Lovely day in PLPP; many new trails ready

It was wonderful to be skiing on Tyrwhitt after eight long months without. It was groomed only, not trackset, and as the trail report specifies, there are some stretches of “hollow snow.” All minor details(you will indeed get that “sinking” feeling, though).

I started out my day by dropping in to the PLPP Visitor Centre, re-opened today after a month’s closure. Upon learning from the new trail report that Fox creek and Moraine had been trackset yesterday, I knew this was the day. The day that I’d be skiing the “Tyrwhitt loop” again.

Pocaterra trail at the Whiskey Jack junction

It was -8 at the Boulton creek parking lot, with a snow temp of -9. No wind. I eagerly headed up Whiskey Jack on yesterday’s grooming. The snow was still uneven in places with some pretty deep ridges, and was still too thin to set a track. Ascending is no problem; it would be the descending that would have me taking lots of care and caution.

This moose was spotted at the Tyrwhitt picnic table

At the top, I was surprised to find tracksetting on Pocaterra. Nothing has yet been done on Lookout. When I reached the Tyrwhitt picnic table, I ran into a group of skiers who reported that Elk Pass had still not been trackset. They were skiing through the new snow of the past six days.

My timing couldn’t have been more perfect. As I climbed the last hill to the Tyrwhitt – Elk Pass – Hydroline junction, what’s sitting directly before me on the trail but the Pisten-Bully.

The groomer had just trackset Elk Pass

As the groomer headed down Hydroline, I proceeded on Elk Pass with brand new tracks under me. It’s so easy to take those steep hills without a concern when the conditions are excellent.

Skiers at the Blueberry junction reported that Blueberry Hill was groomed about 90% of the way.

Fox creek was it its delightful best today. Excellent snow, trackset, and no more fallen trees to climb over. I could see there was a bit of tree debris mixed into the groomed snow, but it wasn’t an issue. Moraine’s snow pack is a bit thinner, but it was also trackset and had a little more debris from the recent winds.

I took a picture of Wheeler trail at the Elkwood trailhead. Groomed only, but it looked good. Also stopped at Pocaterra hut and skied out 1.1K, returning on Rolly road. Pocaterra is thin, but skiable. The tracksetting doesn’t start until you reach the Packers junction.

A new contest is now ready for you to enter Win a ski package valued at $450 from Lifesport

The Banff trail report shows that Redearth creek has been trackset. The snow cover didn’t seem heavy enough to trackset for the first 2K when I was there on Wednesday.

Lake Louise must be fantastic with Fairview, Upper Telemark, and Lakeshore added to the list of trackset trails. It says that Moraine Lake road will be groomed tonight. That, or the Great Divide are probably your best bet if you are a beginner or novice skier.

Bev and Robin report good conditions on Cascade Valley today – see Trip Reports

Here’s an update from the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association


This just came in from Cross Country Alberta:

The National Trails Roundtable Working Group is seeking input from trail user
groups and individuals to an online National Trails Survey to determine needs
and priorities for trails from a national perspective.  To date, we have
received not enough response from the cross country ski community.  A deadline
to complete this online Survey has been set to the end of this year (December
31, 2011).  To access the Backgrounder and Summary Report to this Survey, go to National Trails Roundtable.
To complete the Survey itself, and provide your comments on the Summary Report visit the following website:

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  1. As we await Bob’s 9 pm update… three of us went up and down Whiskey Jack yesterday. Piston Bully was hard at work. The snow was just fine for us.

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