-We were skiing in the clouds at the top of Blueberry Hill-
Conquering both Whiskey Jack and Blueberry Hill in one day, combined with all the other trails you’ll need to ski on, your total ascent will be 759 metres of elevation.
Of course, I could have named this “Downhiller’s Delight” because with all that climbing, you also have the same amount of downhill fun. It’s a real treat to descend Blueberry on good conditions. The downhill section of Tyrwhitt from the start of the meadows to the picnic table was superb.
It looks like the cold snow in PLPP might survive until tomorrow(Saturday). At Boulton creek parking lot at 11 a.m. the snow and air temperature were both -4°C, and it never got above zero. The snow in the south end of the park shows no deterioration whatsoever.
I stopped at Pocaterra on my way home and the snow appeared to be in good shape there as well. The thermometer read -1. My advice is to go early and beat the warm temperatures.
The Weather Network forecast for PLPP indicates a few snow flurries overnight and a high of +2 for Saturday. What scares me is the predicted low temp for tonight is 0. The Snow Forecast is a little more optimistic with a low of -3 and a high tomorrow of +1.
While passing Kananaskis Village at 4 pm, the temperature was +6.
Ray, Mary, Keith and I started out from Boulton creek soon after 11 a.m. Whiskey Jack was in much better shape than I expected, considering it’s last grooming was almost two weeks ago. There were a few pine needles on the lower section but not enough to be annoying.
With new tracksetting, Tyrwhitt, Hydroline, Patterson, Elk Pass, and Blueberry Hill were fantastic. We were skiing in the clouds at the top of Elk Pass and Blueberry Hill. You will often see the fluffy white cloud sculpted around the mountains above Elk Pass when driving out to PLPP. Anyone skiing up to the Kananaskis Fire Lookout today would have been looking down on the clouds.
As we were nearing the end of our ski, Mary wanted to enjoy the downhill on the big Elk Pass hill, so she ventured off on her own, while Ray, Keith and I took Fox creek. Fox creek was better than I expected and was quite enjoyable. We were travelling in the downhill direction today. Good, fast tracks with only a few pine needles. Keith said that skiing on Fox Creek reminds him of a slalom course with all the twists and turns, while in very close proximity to the trees.
Moraine was the weak spot on today’s trip. The washed-out tracks are experiencing needlemania, but it’s still skiable. I only had two pine needles stuck in my wax at the end of the day.
Speaking of wax, VR50(0/-4) worked well but I had to re-wax twice as the snow was abrasive.
The Banff trail report indicates that Goat Creek and Spray River East were trackset today. The Mt Shark trails were trackset last night. I’m only guessing, but I expect Pocaterra will be trackset tonight.
More photos from today’s ski trip…