PLPP = Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.
Purchase your Kananaskis Parking Pass online.
Nov 20, 2020: If you want to read about all the new grooming that’s occurring in the SkierBob domain, make sure you read to the end. Chuck has posted enticing photos of the newly-trackset Kicking Horse trail in Yoho. Thanks to everyone who has submitted a Trip Report. The information will help readers decide where to ski this weekend. If you know of any grooming that hasn’t been reported, please let everyone know.
Chris and Karl have already submitted a PLPP trip report which includes Blueberry Hill so I’ll tell you about Elk Pass and a whole lot more. Chris and Karl have submitted numerous trip reports over the years, so I was very pleased to meet them today.
When I arrived at the Elk Pass parking lot at 10:30 am, there were already 20 vehicles and a whole bunch of excited skiers getting ready to hit the trail. James did an amazing job of grooming last night and his work has created a lot of happy skiers.
Pulling in right beside me was notorious couch-builder MaSid. I ran into him on the trail later. I caught him just as he was about to make the turn into the meadows where this season’s couch will be constructed.
I was taking a picture of all the skiers at the trailhead when Janice and Charlie decided it was time to take a picture of me. Janice and I gave a demonstration of social distancing which you can see in the photo gallery.
It’s unusual to have tracksetting right from the trailhead this early in the season, but there it was, right out of the gate, those beautiful tracks. Being the last trail which James worked on, there wasn’t any fresh snow on it. Hydroline, the first trail trackset last night, had about one cm of new snow.
Tracks were firm and fast, but not icy, just the way I like them.
The temperature at the trailhead was -4°C and VR45(-2/-8) took me up the big hill with minimal herringbones.
The conditions are excellent all the way to the top of Elk Pass. I don’t even have to qualify it by saying “good conditions for early season.” I can tell the conditions are exceptional when coming down the two steep hills at speed. No bumps.
Last night’s tracksetting in PLPP included Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill, Hydroline, and Patterson. Lookout South has been groomed as far as the creek(1.1k).
Kananaskis Outfitters posted this on Facebook: “First grooming of this season’s ski trails at the Village. It’s still early season so there are no tracks and some twigs/grass poking through but the staff report is it’s pretty good.”
Chuck talked to Yoho tracksetter Joe and discovered that Yoho Valley road will be trackset tomorrow. Also in Yoho, Kicking Horse River has been trackset along with Tally-Ho. Read more about Yoho trails on the KHSC website.
More grooming in PLPP
After skiing on Elk Pass, I did some scouting and discovered that Whiskey Jack has been roller packed. I expect there are some early-season hazards and thin snow. Be especially careful at the steep S-turn.
There has been lots of snowmobile packing on the single-track trails in the south end of PLPP including Moraine, Boulton Creek, and Fox Creek. Snowmobile packing leaves a rough surface with ridges.
Thanks to Canmore Chris, we know the Great Divide at Lake Louise was groomed and trackset today.
Elk Pass Parking
The parking lot will fill up early at Elk Pass, so be prepared to park at the Upper Lake. There’s a 900-metre easy, groomed trail which will take you to Elk Pass. The parking lot at the Upper Lake is huge. The trailhead is at the south end of the lot.
Last night, coming back in the dark, I saw an elk on the shoulder of Hwy 40 near Galatea. This morning the elk was laying in the ditch, dead. About 100 metres further down the road a smashed-up and disabled truck was parked on the side of the road. It had an incredible amount of damage.
My usual Photo Gallery App isn’t functioning. We’ll have to make do with this one.