Update Fri Dec 21:Yesterday, Mt Shark was groomed and partially trackset. The Alluvial Fan at Emerald Lake was trackset.
It’s always a treat to be skiing on Pocaterra for the first time each season. Even if conditions aren’t perfect, it’s nice to have another trail to ski.
Pocaterra is thin but skiable. As you approach Packers junction, the snow coverage improves considerably and grooming ends at Packers. There’s deep, skier-tracked snow beyond the Packers junction.
The temperature was -4°C on the Pocaterra hut’s thermometer but my car indicated -2 at 10:30 a.m. The snow temperature was -2 with no wind. I was the second vehicle in the parking lot. There were 14 later on.
I started out with VR45(-2/-8) which was already on my skis, but stopped at 1K and added a layer of VR50(0/-4) which gave me a lot more bite. It snowed periodically throughout the day. Windy.com is predicting 3.9 cm in the next 24 hours at Pocaterra.
The snow on Pocaterra which was groomed(not trackset) as far as Packers yesterday was still very soft with some dips and bumps. There are quite a few thin and uneven spots on the first 4K(Lynx junction) but I had no difficulties avoiding them.
Conditions improve gradually as you proceed on the next leg of the journey to the Packers Junction. It’s common knowledge that 1800 metres elevation is the magic number to have good snow depth and it rings true again. Packers junction is about 1800 metres and the snow was deep.
The net elevation gain from the hut to Packers junction is 160 metres but your total ascent is a lot more because of all the up and down on the first 4K. The distance from the hut to Packers junction is 7.2K.
On the return, I met numerous skiers coming up the trail and all were pretty pleased with the conditions.
Being finished so early, I drove south to Boulton Creek and Elk Pass to gather intel on snow and grooming. No sign of the big ‘cat but lots of fresh snow at the trailheads. There was a nasty wind at Elk Pass.
Chip, Peter, and Barbara had finished skiing by the time I returned to Pocaterra so we enjoyed the warmth of the hut while having lunch and tea. Barbara is from Ontario and thinks we’re a little too fussy and demanding about conditions(in other words, spoiled!). Skiable snow should be good enough.
At Lake Louise, Fairview and Upper Tramline were trackset today. Windy.com is predicting 6.5 cm of snow at LL over the next 24 hours.