Dec 3, 2019
Two more venues were groomed and readied for cross-country skiing yesterday, Priddis golf course and Sandy McNabb. Hopefully the trails on the north side of the road at Sandy McNabb will also be groomed.
The main trails at Lake Louise were refreshed with new grooming and tracksetting including Moraine Lake road, the Great Divide, and Tramline.
I skied in the south end of PLPP yesterday, starting up Elk Pass at 1 pm. As Chip mentioned in his trip report, conditions are wonderful.
The tracksetting is excellent on Elk Pass, even as you start out. The first half-kilometre can be thin at this time of year, but coverage was very good.
The snow temperature at the trailhead was -3°C so I waxed with VR45(-2/-8) which provided me with good grip. The texture of the snow seemed like it should have been colder than -3. Air temperature was also -3.
I met 11 skiers who were returning to the trailhead as I was making my way up Elk Pass. My original intention was to ski to the top of Elk Pass and continue along Tyrwhitt.
After running into Barb Banff, I changed my mind and decided to tackle Blueberry Hill. She said the conditions were nearly perfect with a skiff of fresh snow on the trail. When I arrived at the Blueberry junction and started up the trail, I could see that Barb had been the only skier on the trail.
As I was nearing the top of Blueberry, it became overcast and very blustery with strong winds, so I didn’t go to the very top. As it was, I enjoyed a refreshing ski back down with a lot of blowing snow in my face. As Barb said, the conditions on the trail for descending were wonderful with the skiff of fresh snow.
I skied up Patterson simply for the joy of turning around and skiing back down. Fox Creek has been snowmobile packed and I could see there has been skier traffic on it.
Regarding the final downhill on Elk Pass, as Chip said, “the drop from the Big Hill was fast but not terrifyingly so.” There’s enough loose snow to snowplow and maintain contol.
With the strong winds yesterday, there may be some tree debris on the trails today. On the other hand, it started snowing later in the day, so it may be buried under new snow.
I took a look at the base of Whiskey Jack and it looked inviting. It has been groomed and I expect it has a few thin spots on the lower half, but if you were climbing. it would be fine.
Pocaterra at the hut has considerably more snow than when I skied it one week ago.
I forgot to take the ballots for the Fischer skis contest, so the draw will be made my next time on the trail.