Too much to choose from

Pocaterra Hut is now open

The warm and cozy Pocaterra Hut opened today. Nov 25, 2010

Decisions decisions! What a lucky bunch we XC skiers are. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many trails available to us at this time of year. Now, with Pocaterra hut open, I expect there will be a large contingent of skiers wondering about Pocaterra trail. It’s in surprisingly good condition and very skiable.

Pocaterra trail. Nov 25,2010

Groomed but not trackset, the Kananaskis trail report says it has a thin base, which is accurate enough, but from the hut to the Lynx junction I only encountered one rock. You’ll see some grass and a few twigs but they’re easy to avoid. The corduroy had set up nice and the snow was fast. Temperature was -13 with very little wind(unlike Elk Pass).

Skiing on Pocaterra trail today, John arrives at the Lynx junction. Nov 25, 2010

The grooming ends at Lynx junction, but there were skier-set tracks in deep snow continuing up Pocaterra. Lynx was in pretty rough shape with lots of twigs and grass. You can see 7 more photos, including a shot of the conditions beyond Lynx junction, here .

Elk Pass

We ventured down to Elk Pass and encountered a brutal wind with -15 temp. At the top of the big hill it was gale force winds and deep snow drifts over the trail. The tracks were frequently blown in. It was slow going but we persevered for about 3K and called it a day while we still had some energy to return to the trailhead. Coming down the big hill was fun at least.  Today’s Kananaskis trail report shows a number of trails being groomed In PLPP. Let’s hope they get Elk Pass and Blueberry Hill done for the weekend.

Ribbon Creek

Stopped at Ribbon Creek on the way back, and although it was dark, I could see brand new tracksetting. I imagine a number of the trails were done today, and should show up on tomorrow’s trail report.
Update Nov 26: Ribbon Creek and Kovach were trackset. Terrace already has tracks, so you can now do a complete loop on good tracks. Bill Milne was trackset 2 days ago(If anyone skis this trail, you’ll get some beautiful photos of scenery)

Mt Shark

Watridge Lake Road has been groomed to the lake. You can take dogs here, so you’ll probably see Tessa and me on Watridge Lake Road next week.

Spray River

The Spray River East side has now been trackset, so you can do the entire loop with the West side. The West side is trackset for 9.9 K. I’d sure like to hear if anyone has tried Goat Creek yet.

West Bragg Creek

Most of the comments we’ve had indicate conditions are pretty decent  at West Bragg. Trails are packed  with some skier-set track. Steve Riggs left an informative comment on the previous thread.

In addition to all of the above, other trails which are ready include Moraine Lake Road and Tramline at Lake Louise; Cascade Fire Road in Banff, and of course there’s some excellent skiing to be had at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

I added that “Wolf and Bear” item at the end of yesterday’s thread as an afterthought, thinking readers of this blog would be able to appreciate it. I was pleasantly surprised to see 40 people have already clicked on it. You might also appreciate this The grizzly.

While I’m at it, Sid Marty’s book,  The Black Grizzly of Whiskey Creek is an incredible read. One of the things I particularly liked about this book is the way the author told parts of the story(which is true and happened near downtown Banff) from the perspective of the bear. It was one of those books I couldn’t put down until finished. It will bring many emotions to the surface.

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