-Pocaterra trail near the hut-
They’re gone! The pine needles and tree debris were nowhere in sight today, just untainted fresh snow and excellent tracks.
Chip and I had not yet skied this winter from Pocaterra hut, and we picked the best day to do it. About 3 cm of fresh snow had fallen overnight but some skiers ahead of us had skied-in the tracks nicely. Chip and I were exercising our mantracker skills by trying to figure out exactly how many skiers were ahead of us. He guessed three, and I guessed four. It turns out we were both partly correct. See if you can figure that one out.
Not only was the snow perfect, but so was the temperature. The thermometer at the hut registered -10°C when we started at 12 noon, and -8 when we returned at 3 pm. Snow temp was -8, so another easy waxing day with VR40(-4/-12). With the fresh snow, grip was awesome and I rarely had to herringbone. It was a lot warmer in PLPP than anywhere along the road on the trip out there. It was -16 at the casino, and -14 as we passed Kananaskis village.
I overdressed today, not thinking it would be so warm. At the Lynx junction we both removed our jackets and skied for the next 45 minutes with one layer.
Our route took us along New Pocaterra where we met only one skier. We ran into a smiling Diane on Lynx. I don’t think it’s ever been easier to climb the steep Lynx hill than it was today.
The south leg of Amos was in nice shape. Lynx and Amos had the most fresh snow, as those trails haven’t been groomed for seven days, but the tracks were still well-defined.
We followed fresh coyote tracks the entire distance of Packers. Pretty sure they were coyote as they weren’t large enough to be a wolf. Fox could be a possibility, too. Not a cat, as toenails were evident.
Although we were climbing Packers today, you could have descended it easily in the fresh snow. On the subject of wild animals, make sure you read Adam Kahtava’s account of his meeting a Lynx family on Kovach trail(Adam, let me know if I’ve got the wrong trail).
Next time you go up Packers, take note of the dozen or so places along the trail where the tracksetters have stopped to shovel large amounts of snow onto the trail to try and smooth out the bumps.
At the top of Packers it was time for a drink and a snack. While Chip was finishing his tea, I climbed for 400 metres distance up Pocaterra just to get some extra downhill for the trip back. With the fresh snow, we didn’t break any speed records but the descent was still fun and reasonably fast.
It’s wonderful to ski for an entire 19K and not see any pine needles, except on the trees!
If you’re planning on skiing at Lake Louise tomorrow, take note of Ken Hewitt’s grooming report.
The Spray river loop in Banff was trackset today. The Kananaskis village trails were trackset yesterday. Fox creek in PLPP was trackset for the first time this winter yesterday.