Gliding through the beautiful meadows of Tyrwhitt


Tyrwhitt trail. They don't come any nicer than this. Dec 15, 2010

I was elated to be back skiing on Tyrwhitt today. Groomed and trackset yesterday, it already had a couple cm of fresh snow. A few other skiers had been up here today, so the tracks were skied-in.

PLPP has lots of new snow everywhere from the storm that blew through yesterday. I started out at Boulton Creek  and climbed Whiskey Jack in about 8 cm of new snow.

These skiers were enjoying the run down Whiskey Jack. Dec 15, 2010

I saw something new on Whiskey Jack today that made me laugh. When you get past the extremely steep and difficult hills, about two-thirds of the way up, there’s a sign which says “More difficult.” Of course that doesn’t make any sense if you take it literally. The trail actually gets easier at this point. So someone did this:

If you've skied the trails in PLPP, you'll appreciate the humour in this. Dec 15, 2010

At the top, Pocaterra going north was covered in deep snow. I heard the Tyrwhitt Snow Spirit calling my name, so I headed south on the new tracksetting. After eight long months, how exciting to be on this wonderful trail again!

Scenery along Tyrwhitt. Dec 15, 2010

I wonder if anyone can explain something. Both Tyrwhitt and Elk pass were trackset yesterday. There was about 2 cm of new snow on Tyrwhitt, but as soon as I arrived at the Elk Pass junction, it suddenly became 8 cm. What’s with that? Unless they dropped the groomer from a helicopter, he had to return over Elk Pass. Does it have something to do with the continental divide being 20 metres away?

You know the Tyrwhitt trail is ending when you emerge into this clearing and see the power lines:

The setting sun made a pretty sight shining on this cloud at the Tyrwhitt/Elk Pass junction. Dec 15, 2010

After reading on the trail report that Elk Pass was trackset, I was taken aback when I saw how deep the snow was.  Luckily, it had been skied in because it was already late and I had to step on it.  

When I came to the Fox Creek junction I cogitated for a moment. I knew I’d save time by taking the big hill on Elk Pass, but ultimately decided to take Fox Creek and am glad I did because it was a lot of fun. There were good skier set tracks in the new snow and the forest looked magnificent in the twilight.

Fox Creek. Dec 15, 2010

Next junction, you have another choice: Boulton or Moraine? I hadn’t been on Boulton yet this winter, and to my surprise I encountered….other skiers!

Skiers on Boulton Creek. Dec 15, 2010

 I expect the groomer had “Shark” on the menu for today. I’m betting we’ll see it on the trail report tomorow. That leaves two days to get the trails done in PLPP. I will be surprised if we don’t see tracksetting on Pocaterra. I skied a small loop, Pocaterra/Come-Along/Stroil and there’s lots of new snow there too.

Pocaterra with fresh snow and skier tracks. Dec 15, 2010

New tracksetting

The Banff Trail Report shows that Cascade Fire Road was trackset today. Spray River West side was done yesterday, and Redearth Creek on Monday. These should all be in fantastic shape. I don’t think I’ve seen the Banff trails in such good  condition, all at the same time, for many years. They’re even indicating Goat Creek to be in Good condition. Not sure if they’ve trackset it again.

These animal tracks came out of the forest and crossed the trail when I was on Whiskey Jack:

Animal tracks crossing Whiskey Jack. Dec 15, 2010

Here’s a close-up:

Animal track on Whiskey Jack. Dec 15, 2010

Any ideas who this is?

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  1. The tracks crossing Whiskey Jack appear to be from a Canada Lynx. I’ve had the good fortune of seeing them in area.

    Merry Christmas

    Thanks, Lorne. I saw one many years ago cross my path on Boulton Creek. A rare and unbelievable sight, indeed. -Bob

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