If you want to add some variety and fun to your life, check out the trails on the west side of the road in PLPP. All are in wonderful condition, having been recently trackset with no new snow on top.
From Pocaterra Hut, cross the road onto Lodgepole. You’ll soon encounter a steep hill which you need to climb, but once that’s out of the way, you’ve got a lot of neat trails to explore. In addition to Lodgepole, there’s Meadow, Sinclair, Braille, and the easiest trail in the entire park, Spruce Road(great for beginners to practice on). You can also access these trails from the PLPP Visitor Centre and Elkwood Amphitheatre parking lot. In each case, you will need to take off your skis and cross the road.
Better yet, combine these with some of the newly trackset trails on the east side and make a very enjoyable loop(approx 12K) with some thrilling downhills. If you ski Lodgepole to the south end, cross the road at Elkwood, take Wheeler and Amos until you reach Lynx, which is where the fun starts. Lots of easy turns as you begin descending, but it’s always a challenge to make the turn on the steep hill while you’re barrelling down.
You’ll soon be at Pocaterra, but rather than taking it all the way back, make a detour onto Stroil and Come-Along. I’ve never seen them in such great condition. After a short climb up Stroil, make the first left onto Come-Along and you’re in for a real treat with lots of easy downhill turns, and a couple steep, fast downhills to finish off.
For more details on the north end trails, check the excellent Trip Report from John. I hope they’ll be out grooming the south end trails tonight. There’s too many trails to groom in one night, so maybe we’ll see some grooming occurring on Saturday night as well(like last week). Check the Kananaskis trail report in the morning for an update. The snow temp at the hut was -13, and the air was -6.
Most people think Pocaterra is the easiest trail in PLPP, but as I mentioned above, Spruce Road is even easier. It’s also short, so you’re never too far away from your vehicle. There are no hills, only a very slight incline for which you won’t even have to snowplow. The best place to access this trail is from Elkwood Amphitheatre parking lot.
On your way to Spruce road, you’ll pass the Braille intersection. Braille is also a very easy trail for the first 700 metres and has some lovely views.
Follow the directions on the trail maps.
We decided late morning on Sunday to drive out to PLPP and I’m glad we did. We made a loop of Come Along to Pocaterra and did it several times. The conditions were perfect and our barbaric yawps of delight echoed in the woods.
Wax was weird, so I shrugged and dealt with it. Mostly Rode Violet.
Lodgepole and Braille had lots of fresh snow covering the hardly used tracks this afternoon. Even though the temperature was -6, blue wax was so sticky we had platform shoes under our skis in 100 meters. Green v20 worked ok but was still grippy. Stickiest slowest snow I have seen. Other than that, these trails are a great way to loop back to pocaterra hut 🙂