I’ve sure been hitting it lucky this week, getting onto the trails when they are in near-perfect condition. Pipestone on Thursday was sensational, and now the SkierBob Special in fantastic condition.
I need to give a shout-out to Helen Read, not only for her colourful trip reports, but her ability to give descriptive names to trails and special features. Today she did it again, labelling the gates at Pipestone, but she is also responsible for the Back Door, the Double Hump, and the SkierBob Special. There are probably others which I don’t remember.
The SkierBob Special is my all-time favourite, and was previously known as the Tyrwhitt Loop. It consists of Whiskey Jack, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass(or Hydroline which it was today), Fox Creek and Moraine. I feel blessed when I can do it on such magnificent conditions.
As you’ve already heard from Jean-Francois, it was -21°C at Boulton Creek this morning. Man, that guy can climb fast. I had a 10 minute head start going up Whiskey Jack, but Jean-Francois caught me just as we reached the top. My days of climbing Whiskey Jack in 25 minutes are long past.
The snow temperature was -15(thanks to Helen for rescuing my thermometer), so green wax worked perfectly for grip.
Whiskey Jack was in good shape, and I didn’t notice any hazards. Even the S-turn on the steep hill seemed edge-able for the downhillers.
The trail report mentions that Tyrwhitt has a few thin spots, bumps, and uneven surfaces, but I thought it was excellent. Upon reaching the high point, I was thrilled with how fast my skis were gliding in the cold snow. I keep a pair of skis glide-waxed for cold snow, and they were f-a-s-t on the downhill. I said hi to Jean-Francois when I passed him!
I was far enough ahead to finally get the photo I wanted. It’s the one at the top of this post. I’ve taken that photo many times, but not with a skier in it.
After reaching the end of Tyrwhitt at the three-way junction with Elk Pass and Hydroline, I normally take Elk Pass but it was not trackset for the 4K section between here and north Hydroline junction. I chose the new tracksetting on Hydroline and I’m glad I did because it was wonderful. The light breeze was on my back, and there had been no drifting in the tracks, so it was a fun, quick trip down.
I did manage to ski on Elk Pass for 500 metres on new tracksetting before dipping down onto Fox Creek which has lots of fresh, clean snow. It has a reasonable skier-set track albeit wobbly as did Moraine.
I expect the remainder of Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill, and Patterson will be trackset this evening.
The PLPP Discovery Centre is open daily from 10-3, but effective tomorrow(Sunday), services will be reduced to information and washrooms. The lounge will be closed.
I see the Banff/Lake Louise trail report updated their information and Lower Telemark has now been trackset. I believe every trail at Lake Louise is now trackset.