This ski trip on Moraine Lake road qualifies as another “best day.” Perfect everything.
When I arrived at the Moraine Lake road parking lot, there were dozens of vehicles lined up along the road. I was considering starting at the Chateau, and coming down Tramline, but I guessed there would be a reserved spot close to the trailhead for SkierBob, and there it was. Actually, at 1 pm, early skiers had already left and there were a few spots available.
The air temperature was -8°C and I was salivating at the prospect of being able to use blue wax. I slapped on VR40(-4/-12) and never had to think about it for the remainder of the day. Perfect grip, even going up the big hill.
I encountered a number of skiers today such as Joanna and Laura whose pictures were featured on this blog years ago. In Joanna’s case, she thinks it was the first year or two. It’s hard to believe this blog is in its tenth year of existence.
It’s unanimous among all skiers: Life gets better after having your photo featured on this blog!
As I rounded the curve at 7.1K and saw the spectacular sight of Mount Temple dominating the skyline, Andrea showed up and we exchanged cameras, and took pictures of each other in that scenic spot along the trail.
Skiing the last kilometre to the end of the tracksetting was easy today. I was thinking back to 11 days ago when Chip, Peter, Pat and I struggled to reach the end when we were beseeched by warm weather and our wax no longer gripped.
The tracksetting ends at the avalanche warning sign at 8.9K but everyone skis another 200 metres to the viewpoint where you can see the Valley of Ten Peaks and all ten were visible today. If you venture to the lake, be prepared and aware of consequences of being in Avalanche Country.
Waiting for me at the viewpoint was a whiskey jack looking for a free meal. No luck, sorry.
If it was possible to complain about anything today, it was that the downhill tracks were washed out in all the strategic places. I was too chicken to try and stay in the compromised tracks so I had to step out occasionally when I saw a potential crash coming. Even so, I made it back in 38 minutes, and that included wasting 5 minutes checking out Fairview.
Fairview at the Moraine Lake road end is really rough and you’d need different skis than what I was using. Snow coverage was fine but it was narrow with huge dips. I imagine it would get a little better after that initial hill but I wasn’t about to find out. Fairview, from the other end by the Chateau, is trackset to the top of the hill, about 2.7K.
I didn’t realize my friend Chip was over on the Great Divide trail, but I imagine he had left by the time I arrived. In any event, he sent this photo of the little boy who is fifteen months old getting his first taste of cross country skiing.
Yesterday, you’ll remember, Groomer Andrew went by as I was skiing the Pipestone loop. According to the updated trail report, “Pipestone, Hector, Merlin & Drummond (groomed & skier tracked).”