Weekend updates

PLPP – Hydroline, Elk Pass, Blueberry Hill

Hydroline. Mar 20, 2011. Photo by Steve Riggs

Hi Bob,

Lately, we have mostly spent our ski time enjoying the excellent backcountry conditions in the Alberta rockies.

For Sunday though, we changed it up for a day of cross-country at PLPP. And what a day it was!

Top of Blueberry Hill. Mar 20, 2011. Photo by Steve Riggs

Warm, nearly windless, and sunny despite the clouds and snow in the forecast, it really did feel like spring.

We skied Blueberry, Elk Pass, Hydroline and Patterson, finding great conditions with a few cm’s of fresh new snow atop the recent grooming.

The intense spring sun made for the occasional sticky or slippery spot, and will have created some areas that will be icy in the mornings, but overall, a thin layer of Rode violet worked perfectly.

In addition to the superb views, a crowd of Chickadees entertained us during a very pleasant break atop Blueberry Hill.

Chickadee on Blueberry Hill. Mar 20, 2011. Photo by Steve Riggs

Keep up the good work with the blog!

Steve Riggs


This photo on Tyrwhitt is interesting for the fact that the trail is flat and smooth. Normally, you'd see a dip here where a creek crosses the trail. I don't recall a winter where the dip has been completely filled in. Mar 20, 2011

?Cheryl and I went back to PLPP and skied the Tyrwhitt loop again. While we had to contend with a few cm of fresh snow over the grooming, everything was still in good shape considering it was the first day of spring. Steve has described conditions accurately above; but here’s a photo which shows just how deep the snow cover is on Tyrwhitt:

Deep snow on Tyrwhitt. As you can clearly see, Cheryl's 145 cm pole is almost buried. Mar 20, 2011

When you turn off Elk Pass onto Fox Creek, within the first 100 metres there’s a stretch of trail(maybe 50 metres long) which gets exposed to the sun. We were skiing here at 6 pm, and it was very icy by now. That’s not generally a problem, but on here, you’re going down a small hill with a turn at the end. If you don’t make the turn, you’re wearing a tree.  For some of us, it might be prudent to walk this short stretch.

Goat Creek

Hi Bob – just wanted to let you know that Goat Creek was great!!! today – it had snowed just enough Sat night to have a fresh coat of snow and as the temperature hovered around zero degrees – we found violet to work well on the skis. – Thanks again for getting back to me the other day re: your thoughts on this wonderful run.



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  1. Walking on the ski trail is a definite no no. It creates holes in the trail that are a significant danger and could very easily injure other skiers. The best choice for those that don’t want to ski down this hill is to ski back to the Elk Pass trail and return on that wide trail.

    The trail was icy. Ski boots would leave no print or holes whatsoever. -Bob

  2. Skied Goat Creek today (March 21st), it is not in good shape. It has not been track set since March 3rd and looks it. Snowshoers have trampled all over it and no x-country tracks were seen until crossing the bridge. The snow coverage was great, it just need grooming! Spray River trail was better lacked the snowshoe damage, but could use track setting.

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