This ski trip didn’t meet my expectations. When I’m doing my all-time favourite loop, I want everything to be perfect!
I was happy to read the trip reports from Chuck, and Chris and Karl, because it sounds like there are still places with clean snow.
Last winter truly spoiled me. Any time we had a windy day which deposited tree debris on the trails, it snowed the next day and made for clean tracks. Furthermore, we had very few windy days that created problems.
The south end of PLPP is nearing the phenomenon known as Needlemania. Some of the trails are still okay, but the forested sections of Tyrwhitt, the lower half of Whiskey Jack, and the first K of Elk Pass have enough tree debris to be more than annoying. Boulton Creek, which was trackset yesterday, already had a fair bit.
I stopped twice to remove needles which had accumulated in my wax. After the high point on Tyrwhitt, and re-waxing with colder wax, I didn’t pick up any more needles. The descent on Elk Pass was pretty clean until you reached the big hill, and was the most enjoyable skiing of the day along with the Tyrwhitt meadows.
The forested sections of Tyrwhitt are notorious for depositing spruce cones on the trail after a strong wind goes through. Lots of in and out of the tracks while dodging them.
It was -4 at Boulton Bridge at 1:30 pm. There was a howling wind on the road driving out, but it wasn’t a factor while on the trails. I was able to access Whiskey Jack on the usual trail with no detour. The trail is groomed all the way to the Moraine/WJ junction. The parking lot at Boulton Creek is still closed.
I already had VR50(0/-4) on my skis. Being quite sticky, it was a magnet for the pine needles on WJ. Surprisingly however, the grip was barely adequate. The tracks were not icy but they seemed very slippery. That assessment was confirmed when I met Michel, Suzanne, and Roy. They had climbed Packers and said the same. By the way, They also mentioned that Packers is still quite bumpy, and it’s best to go in the uphill direction. We’re half way through the ski season and still beset with early-season conditions.
I ski Boulton Creek once every winter to remind myself why it is a difficult trail. The tracksetting from yesterday was excellent, but had lots of pine needles. The corduroy was somewhat crusty and difficult in which to snowplow, which makes those downhills with sharp turns quite exciting.
Three skiers caught up to me on Tyrwhitt and Rob was remarking how the shrubs were still visible in the Tyrwhitt meadows in this, the dead of winter.
Tired of tree debris, I avoided Fox Creek after talking to Rob and took the big hill to the Boulton Creek junction.
The rock on the steep part of Whiskey Jack is now covered with snow. The downhills on Elk Pass are getting hard-packed but I was still able to control my descent.
You can see the large downed tree on Elk Pass from a good distance, so there’s time to stop. It is about 400 metres from the top and is easy enough to duck under but it will have to be removed before the snowcat can groom the trail.
My summer time hobby is attending as many classic/collector car shows as I can. Michel and Suzanne saw my post of the classic cars I had seen over the summer. They told me about their ’64 Corvair and sent a photo which I’ve included in the gallery below.