Fantastic spring skiing in PLPP

by Bob Truman on March 24, 2017

in Kananaskis, PLPP(P Lougheed Park)

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In my log book, I use the term “Best Day” reservedly and only for exceptional experiences. Today’s ski trip earned that honour, one of only five this winter.

 I had other choices for today’s headline:

  • Worst to first – after yesterday’s disappointment
  • Zero to hero – I used my zero skis
  • 21K of heavenly bliss – this was a super natural experience
  • A day without snowplowing – no herringbones either
  • Steppenwolf snow – perfect grip, perfect glide; like a magic carpet ride (This song makes me wanna dress like a hippie and ride in a volkswagen van. Does anyone have a black light poster?) 
Upper Pocaterra

Upper Pocaterra

Bev and A.J. at the Whiskey Jack - Moraine junction

Bev and A.J. at the Whiskey Jack – Moraine junction

I made some good choices today, all resulting in one of the best skis of the winter. When I saw that grooming had occurred in PLPP rather than at Mt Shark, I decided to go there again. Praying there would be no new snow in the tracks, I was full of hope that I could erase the disappointment of yesterday.

Pocaterra, near the Whiskey Jack junction

Pocaterra, near the Whiskey Jack junction

The second good choice was using my zero skis. The window for using these skis is limited, but when conditions are right for them, they are excellent. The grip was awesome. I didn’t even have to herringbone on the steep part of Whiskey Jack. Glide was lightning fast. The zero’s grip zone has less drag than other waxless skis such as fish-scales or skins. 

Tyrwhitt avalanche chute

Tyrwhitt avalanche chute

As you’ve already heard from Stephen Vermeulen, the tracks were hard and fast. Where I was skiing, I wouldn’t call them icy, but I expect they will be glazed in the morning.

I met Bruce about half way up Whiskey Jack, and his big grin said it all. He said the downhill was the most fun he’s ever had on WJ. 

Packers

Packers

At the top of WJ, I turned south, hoping to find skied-in tracks on Tyrwhitt, which I did. With the fresh snow, however, it was still a lot slower than the new grooming, but much better than yesterday. I went 3.5K in that direction, enjoying a pleasant ski through the meadows.

Lower Lake trail

Lower Lake trail

I finally noticed the avalanche chute along Tyrwhitt. After reaching the high point(the start of the meadows), it’s about 200 metres further along on your right. 

Overnight accommodation along Lower Lake

Overnight accommodation along Lower Lake

I turned around and had a nice downhill run to Pocaterra and back to the new grooming. When I hit the new tracksetting, it felt like someone shot me out of a cannon. From here it was warp speed to the Packers junction. 

I didn’t think Packers could get any better than it was on Sunday, but it was exceptional today. Pedal to the metal all the way down. No ice flow was evident. 

Nearing the top of Whiskey Jack

Nearing the top of Whiskey Jack

I completed the day with a ski down to the Lower Lake. It’s a lovely little trail of 1.6K with wonderful scenery. Someone had even built overnight accommodation near the lower lake trailhead. There is a parking lot next to the trailhead if you want to park down there. 

The air temperature at 1 pm was +3°C and the snow was -1. It was still +3 when I departed Boulton Creek three hours later. 

This was the first time I used my zero skis since Frozen Thunder way back in October. They are worse than useless in fresh snow. If I had used them yesterday, I would have been walking on 6″ heels. 

There’s quite a spectacular photo on Chuck’s trip report but I don’t have a clue where he was. Does anyone know?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Janice P March 24, 2017 at 10:58 pm

I know where it is because we were skiing there too but we won’t blow your cover Chuck.

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