-Last night’s tracksetting on Tyrwhitt was in excellent condition if you didn’t mind that it was soft and slow in the sunny areas-
I know some of my readers would switch jobs with me, and today actually felt like work, so I’m more open to the suggestion right now. I’d be willing to consider jobs such as restaurant reviewer, race car driver, or dog-walker.
On the bright side, it was a gorgeous day at +8°C with a gentle breeze, the deep blue cloudless sky contrasting vividly with the snow-capped mountain tops. I’m not sure how to put a spin on the snow-fleas…experiencing nature with every stride?
I probably should have been out earlier such as when Anna started. I will be able to give you some relevant information, however, about tomorrow’s conditions.
By the time I hit the trail at 2:15 pm, the big hill was still in pretty good shape for climbing, and I had good grip with my Skintecs. There are two spots within 300 metres of the trailhead which had standing water. I had to be careful on the return, as the tracks were full of H20.
At the top of the hill, which is exposed, the sun had taken its toll and the snow was very soft and slow. I managed to get down the other side of the hill without incident, but it will be treacherous in the morning. There’s a big ridge which has been created by snowplowers(me being one of them), and it will be solid ice in the morning.
From the bottom of the hill and onward for about 1.5K, the tracks were mostly glazed with some tree debris and the ubiquitous collembola. As I got nearer to the Patterson junction, the sun was shining on the trail and it was very wet and soft.
I continued over the top of Elk Pass and skied a little ways past the picnic table on Tyrwhitt. The tracksetting was excellent, but not even the beautiful scenery on Tyrwhitt was enough to motivate me today. Skiing in the soft snow felt too much like work, so I turned around and headed back.
On the return, those first downhills on Elk Pass were a challenge because of the shade/sun scenario. I survived that okay, and had a pretty fast run on the glazed tracks lower down. Surprisingly, one of the easiest descents of the day was the big hill. Being north facing, the snow stays in nicer condition(except for the puddles near the trailhead).
I expect the conditions will be dangerously icy on the hills in the morning.
Are you looking for consistently cold snow? After reading Chuck’s backcountry report on Redoubt Lake, I asked him how the snow was, and he replied: “The snow is cold cold (because of the elevation). You could do the whole trip on wax, but we prefer using skins on the way up (more stable and allows you to look up at the views).”
If you’re wondering why I’d pick race car driver, well, it’s something I have experience at Winner