Fantastic conditions for the finale!

Vanessa and Colin on Upper Pocaterra

It’s wonderful to end on such a high note. I enjoyed incredible conditions for my final ski trip of the season. I stayed on last night’s tracksetting and with the cold snow, it was all fun. Almost too good to be true for April 11. 

Starting out from Boulton creek

The temperature around noon at Boulton Creek was -3°C and it didn’t get any higher than -2. There was no wind but the sky was mostly cloudy, which is a good thing. 

Whiskey Jack

The conditions while climbing Whiskey Jack for the 203rd time were excellent from the get-go. I had good grip with VR45(-2/-8) and no clumping whatsoever. The S-turns and steep hills were not icy and it appeared that downhillers would have no trouble negotiating the turns. 

Happy skiers on Upper Pocaterra

Descending the steep hill on Packers was fast and controllable. The ice flow was completely covered and not an issue. Usually by this time of year, edge-creep is starting to encroach on the trail but no sign of it yet. Near the bottom of Packers the tracks were somehat glazed but it only added to the exciting and fast descent. 

As a further bonus, I did not see any collembola(snow fleas) in the tracks on any of the trails. 

Arriving at the Pocaterra/Packers junction 

I was having a wonderful time heading downhill on Pocaterra but I screeched to a halt at the Backdoor access trail to take a photo and to relive some early-season memories. I also thought I might see Helen coming up the trail after reading her comment last night. I should have skied over to “Lionel” because she was indeed on the trail. I ran into her at the Pocaterra parking lot after she completed the 18K loop and I was happy to thank her in person for all the trip reports this season. 

Getting ready to tackle Whiskey Jack

There were lots of friendly skiers to chat with at every junction and photos to pose for.  Natasha and her friends mentioned seeing bear tracks on Rolly Road. I’ve posted a couple photos in the gallery. 

I had one last objective before calling it a season, and that was to ski the “secret” trail which I’ve known about for years but never ventured on to. Now I can say I’ve done every groomed trail in PLPP. 

This was a mediocre ski season regarding overall conditions. We’ve had worse but the contrast with last year is significant. It was unique, however, for a few reasons…

  • The fact that we were skiing on groomed trails in Lake Louise by Oct 18, and West Bragg Creek on Oct 22, the earliest ever. 
  • The first year where we paid for skiing in Kananaskis
  • So many important people retiring.

I’m looking forward to #204! Hopefully in November. 


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  1. Thanks for everything Bob. Happy Trails!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you Bob for all you have done for the X-country community over the years. Enjoy retirement and look forward to continue seeing on the trails.

  3. Hard to believe this is the end. It will be very strange not seeing your updates. Thank you for facilitating such a vibrant community of people sharing their ski experiences so others can follow. Wishing you the best in whatever comes next.

  4. Great to meet you on the trail today Bob! Such a beautiful day and amazing conditions. Thanks for the photos! Hope the end of your ski day was as great as the start!

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