18K of cross-country ski heaven

Magnificent scenery, clean, cold snow and fabulous new tracksetting

I started climbing Whiskey Jack on perfect new tracksetting at 11:15 a.m. The air temperature at Boulton Creek was -2°C and the snow was -6. I feel like I’ve been given a new life since that cortisone shot. 

These skiers all received some new Swix wax at the Elk Pass/Tyrwhitt/Hydroline junction

The first people I met, Erika, Paul, and Vitaly, were taking advantage of the good conditions and skiing 42K today. They already had 13K under their belt when I took their picture about 100 metres up the trail. 

Any “cookie racers” will recognize 42K as the course for the Kananaskis Ski Marathon which will be held on Feb 24. I should remind all loppeteers that you only have four more days to register for the Nipika Loppet which is on Jan 27, 28. 

Stunning scenery on Tyrwhitt

All the steep hills on Whiskey Jack were in good shape after last night’s grooming. No more of the icy conditions which we heard about on yesterday’s trip reports. 

As I was climbing, I was surprised to meet only two skiers descending. This told me I was out too early!

Erika, Paul, and Vitaly were skiing 42K today.

At the top of Whiskey Jack, I turned right and headed for Tyrwhitt. There’s about 10 cm of new snow on Tyrwhitt so the tracks were a little soft but it was beautiful as usual with the blue sky and bright sun.

Tyrwhitt had 10 cm of new snow but the tracks were still well-defined.

Update: The downed tree on Tyrwhitt was cleared on Sunday afternoon. Ignore the next paragraph. 

There’s a fallen tree on Tyrwhitt 600 metres south of the Lookout -Pocaterra – Tyrwhitt junction but it’s easy enough to get over if you remove your skis. 

I met a few skiers on Tyrwhitt, but when I didn’t see anyone sitting at the Tyrwhitt picnic table, I knew for sure I was too early for the lunch crowd. 

Erika on Tyrwhitt

Everyone seemed to be congregating at the Elk Pass junction. That’s where I gave away 10 Swix waxes. 

I met at least 50 skiers coming up Elk Pass as I was heading down. 

Elk Pass/Patterson junction

Descending Elk Pass was perfect. The steep hill was safe, fast and fun. The downhill to the Fox Creek junction was wonderful on the new tracks. None of the corners had been washed out, so I was able to stay in the tracks all the way. It’s so enjoyable, it makes you want to climb back up and do it again. 

Fox Creek was about as pleasant and fun as it gets. Clean snow, good tracks, and double-poling all the way to Moraine junction. Moraine was in excellent shape as well. 

Fabulous conditions on Fox Creek.

I didn’t read Barb Banff’s report about the Lynx tracks on Tyrwhitt before I left home so I wasn’t watching for tracks as diligently as I could have been. I took one photo of animal tracks running parallel to the ski trail which I will post below. 

Yoho/Emerald Lake

We heard from HeatherD about Kicking Horse river and Tally-Ho being in good shape.  I’ve also had an update from the Kicking Horse Ski Club saying the conditions on the Emerald Connector are improving. The Connector reminds me a lot of Fox Creek but it’s much longer(6K).  

Castle Junction

I received an email from Rick saying the trails have been trackset around Castle Mountain Chalets and from Castle Junction to Castle Lookout.

Redearth Creek was trackset today.



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  1. On Sunday (Jan. 21) I found a pair sunglasses stuck in the snow at PLPP. If you’re the owners let me know the brand and how to contact you so I can return them.

    • Thank you Jeff. They might be mine. I left a pair behind on Sunday. I’m guessing in the parking lot or hut at Pocaterra around 4:30 Sunday afternoon, but could have been sooner, anywhere between there and Elk Pass. Don’t know the brand; nothing fancy, drug store glasses with very dark brown (near-black) plastic frame.
      my email: kolbads@shaw.ca

  2. Great update of another perfect day in PLPP Paradise Bob … after a couple other posters didn’t notice that second downed tree I hopped over Friday (Thursday night fall presumably) I was thinking it may have been my phantom, so glad you too noticed it …and it was removed!

  3. I can happily confirm the great conditions at Peterlougheed today! And despite some huffing & puffing, did survive the 42km of the Cookie race course. Always great to run into you Bob, and thanks for this blog (and the fabulous photis!). You’re a real-live celebrity on the trails!!

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