I followed these very fresh animal tracks along Redearth Creek
Look at that footprint beside my boot. There were two animals, one on each side of the trail. Technically, I guess there were three counting the animal who was wearing the ski boot. See more photos here.
It was -18C at 2 p.m. when I set out for an invigorating ski up Redearth Creek today. There was not a breath of wind and the sun was shining, so -18 is quite tolerable and even enjoyable under those conditions. About 3-4 cm of fresh snow was on the trail which had been single trackset, and the green grip wax was working well. There had been at least one skier ahead of me, so I didn’t have to break trail. You warm up pretty fast as there is about a 300M elevation gain over the first 5K. Soon after passing the avalanche path I ran into Meghanne.
She had just turned around upon seeing animal tracks, possibly from a cougar. Just a few more metres down the trail I saw them. I hope someone who is more knowlegeable than me will take a look at the photos and give us a definitive answer as to who made them. After Meghanne turned around, I was now breaking trail. For the next 5K the tracks accompanied me as I skied over Lost Horse Creek, Redearth Creek, went through the backcountry campground, and proceeded to climb some more. I spent too much time taking pictures and breaking trail and didn’t make it to the end. Darkness would soon be overtaking me, so I reluctantly turned around with about 1K to go. What an exhilarating trip back! You have to be careful as you get closer to the trailhead on those fast downhills because the snow isn’t as good, and the trail is still a bit rough. There’s a small bridge that will launch you into the air if you hit it at full speed. Another wonderful day in the mountains!
Tip: This ultra-cold weather is a good time to glide-wax your skis with green wax. Swix green is rated for -12/-30. It really does make a huge difference. If you’re still on yellow or pink, it will feel like you’re skiing on sandpaper.
West Bragg Creek
It looks like there’s been more snow and grooming/tracksetting at West Bragg Creek. Thanks to Steve Riggs for sending in this update:
“Got in a quick afterwork ski at West Bragg on Tuesday, just before dark. Skied west end of Crystal Line and north end of Moose Loop to the “meadows”, then back. Those trails were in very good shape, packed and mainly trackset, perfect for green wax.
Hard to tell about other trails as I was short on time, but the west leg of Sundog was groomed beyond Crystal Line junction, which makes me think that the trail to Allen Bill is likely to have been done. No grooming on the east Leg of Crystal line, but well tracked by skiers.”
Update on West Bragg for Thursday Dec 18. All trails groomed and tracked except Telephone, including the new “Loggers Loop” which connects the top of Sundog with the west end of Crystal Line via a rolling narrower single trackset trail. Makes for a very nice little loop when combined with Crystal Line, Sundog and Moose Connector. A bit cold, with slow glide at -21 for my afterwork ski, but conditions at West Bragg are as good as it gets right now.