Feeling the Love…
Estelle from Spain and Roberta from Italy were enjoying a beautiful day on the Spray River trail. Feb 14, 2011

The Spray River west side had been trackset earlier today. I saw from the trail reports that some grooming had been done in PLPP and Ribbon Creek as well, but the possibility of howling winds scared me away from those locales.

Loving the brand new tracksetting for Valentine's Day. Feb 14, 2011

It was warm enough at +4 to cause me some concern about what skis to use. Waxable or waxless? There’s a conference in Banff  with 700 attendees and a lot of them were out skiing the trail this afternoon. I spoke to a few who were returning to the trailhead and asked about their wax selection, but everyone was on waxless rental skis, and even some of them were complaining that the snow was sticking.

Looking back at the long downhill which I'll get to enjoy on the return. Feb 14, 2011

Being a contrarian, I chose waxable skis and in retrospect, I made the correct decision. I started out with Swix violet and was quite pleased. I was getting good enough grip and if I needed more going up hills, I stepped out into the skating lane, without any icing or clumping.

The snow conditions changed once I reached the bridge at 5.3K.  Only two skiers had ventured beyond the bridge, and the snow was soft. It started icing up on the bottom of my skis. Before frustration set in, I remembered Peter’s advice(see comments from yesterday) and covered my sticky wax with VR45 and it worked like a charm.

This deer did a good job of staying in the tracks! Feb 14, 2011

I reached the Goat Creek trail at 9.9K and could see that no tracksetting had yet been done. Lots of fresh snow with skier tracks. Even though it was getting late, being this close, I still had to ski down the hill to the Spray River to soak in the beauty. That’s some of the benefit of a warm day; probably wouldn’t take the time to stand around and snap photos on an extremely cold day.

A late afternoon view of the Spray River bridge and environs. Feb 14, 2011

Time to get moving if I’m going to get back before dark. The soft snow slowed me down a bit on the long downhill; had to double-pole in places where I’d normally be flying. It would have been painfully slow on the waxless skis.

“It’s so big…!” While always a welcome thing to hear when coming from an attractive woman, in this case it was an exclamation from Roberta, referring to the landscape we enjoy in this neck of the woods. How did we get so lucky to live here and to experience this incredible place of beauty every day?

Estelle and Roberta assured me that they’ll be logging on to see their picture. Although very limited, I hope you’re impressed with my Italian!

Thanks to everyone for picking up the slack and leaving so many good comments over the past four days while I wasn’t skiing.

I’ve updated the below posting “Avalanche at Emerald Lake” with some photos.

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