Guess what we found today!?
(See Nov 13 update at bottom of this post)
We arrived in the late afternoon(4 pm) to find the most beautiful snow conditions we’ve ever seen at Elk pass in November. It had been trackset earlier in the day and the tracks were firm and well set-up. Pisten Bully tracks: we love ’em.
The above photo was taken about 4:45 pm, so it was already dusk. We managed to get to the top(6.5K) and arrive back at the trailhead just as it got dark. We took our rock skis, not knowing we would find excellent mid-winter conditions. Normally it’s a quick trip back with all the downhills, but our old skis with summer wax were painfully slow on the cold snow(-8 at the trailhead, probably colder up top).
While skiing to the top, we checked on some other trails along the way. Nothing has been done on Fox Creek but there was lots of snow. Hydroline has been groomed but had considerable fresh snow over top. Patterson was groomed and looked inviting. Blueberry Hill has been groomed but not trackset. I skied up about 200 metres and it was pretty good, maybe a little bumpy.
Tyrwhitt looks like it has been groomed with fresh snow over top, but I believe it’s a “sucker” trail. I heard that term for the first time today. It means the groomer went down the trail for about 300 metres and turned back.
Earlier, I also skied out on Meadow from the PLPP Visitor centre for about 1K. It had been groomed, there was some fresh snow on top, with skier-set tracks. It’s all hills right out of the gate and I didn’t see any hazards or feel any rocks scraping on my skis.
I’d like all novice skiers to take note that even with good conditions, Elk pass is a difficult trail. There’s a very long, steep hill at the start. Don’t attempt this trail unless you are competent on fast, long hills.
With all the new snow, I expect they will have more trails in PLPP ready soon. Wheeler looked very skiable and is an excellent trail for beginners. It was dark when I checked Pocaterra but I could see there was a fair bit of snow and people had been skiing there. Take note, the Pocaterra hut is not yet open for the season.
Skiing at Elk pass on Nov 12 in near-perfect conditions. How good can life be?
Update Nov 13: The following trails have also been worked on:
Pocaterra: groomed. It probably has a few rocks and hazards yet.
Lodgepole: trackset but lots of hazards
Whiskey Jack: groomed. If descending, be cautious.
Thanks for this report. After seeing your report I skied Elk Pass on Friday morning. Perfect conditions, fast snow, crisp temperatures, and beautiful blue skies. What a way to start the season.