Dec 8, 2017: Joanna arrives at the Elk Pass/Blueberry Hill junction. When will tracksetting occur on Elk Pass this season?

There was a flurry of activity at the polling station where I cast my vote in the Olympic plebiscite. I’m not saying how I voted because you know how I dislike controversy. 

A flurry of last-minute guesses are coming in for the Elk Pass contest. Neil and Nora’s recent trip report from Elk Pass indicates some snow is present but it sounds like another 15 cm is required for any grooming to occur. 

The weather forecast is predicting snow flurries for Wednesday/Thursday. The ever-optimistic Snow Forecast is predicting 16 cm for PLPP and 15 cm for Lake Louise. Windy is predicting 7 and 9. Weather Network weighs in with 5-10 cm. 

Tracksetting ends at the avalanche sign at 9k and warns of avalanche danger if you go further. 

Yesterday, as I was loading my skis into the car at 2 pm, a number of vehicles pulled into the Moraine Lake road parking lot but the occupants weren’t skiers. They were tourists thinking they could get to Moraine Lake on foot.

Have you been following the discussion I’ve been having with Ken about avalanche danger on Moraine Lake road? Moraine Lake road is trackset Every time pictures of the ungroomed trail are posted on here, there is an accompanying warning note about the avalanche danger beyond the tracksetting. If I stop posting photos, will that stop people from wanting to go to Moraine Lake through the avalanche zone? 

There are thousands of enticing summer photos of Moraine Lake posted on the internet. This is what is encouraging the hikers. I don’t think photos should be banned because they show trails in avalanche zones. That would mean no more photos of Redearth Creek, Spray River west, and Tyrwhitt. Skiers have a responsibility to inform themselves of avalanche danger. If that fails, they can surely read the sign at 9K(in both official languages no less) and make an informed choice to endanger their life or not. At some point, we have to take individual responsibility. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. As far as the Avalanche season goes, there is a nasty deep layer present in many areas in the Rockies (being referred to as the oct 26 layer) that is causing some unusually large early season slides. Probably requires more caution and assessment than normal and avalanche forecast professionals are anticipating it to become a “deep persistent weak layer” and an issue to be cognizant of throughout the season, especially as it receives more snow loading in the coming months. A number of our track set cross country ski trails are exposed to avalanche runouts and have seen large slides over the grooming in the recent past when these conditions exist.

  2. Emerald Lake…Morraine Lake Road and 1A are nearly always the first trackset areas. The skiing community tends to focus on Elk Pass as the next skiable destination. But just when do the trails at Emerald Lake become skiable. If one drives all the way to Lake Louise only to find a crowded parking lot, why not drive the extra half hour to Emerald Lake and enjoy uncrowded trails and beautiful mountain scenery ?

    The Yoho trail report indicates “Thin snow cover, not enough snow to trackset.” Emerald Lake tends to be about a month later than the Lake Louise trails. -Bob

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *