Pocaterra and north PLPP

-Joanna and Arielle at Pocaterra trailhead-

Update: Joanna(pictured above) has coined a new term for snow conditions: 

“Longest ski of my life (so far). We had the privilege of breaking trail on our way out through a couple inches of fresh stuff, and the honour of discovering “Velcro Snow” on our way back. AKA snow that instantly freezes as a ball of ice on the bottom of your ski, stopping you dead in your tracks.” -Joanna

We’ve had three detailed trip reports regarding PLPP conditions and I’m about to add one more. I originally intended on heading for cold, clean snow at Lake Louise today, but after reading about all the vehicles in the ditch between Canmore and Banff, I changed plans.

This group of skiers at the Lodgepole - Meadow junction are happy because they have waxless skis.

This group of skiers at the Lodgepole – Meadow junction are happy because they have waxless skis.

The Pocaterra trail had 1-2 cm of snow last night and more was falling late this afternoon. It snowed on and off, sometimes heavily, around 2:30 – 4:30 pm as I set out the back way from the hut onto Lodgepole. Air temperature was 0°C.

I was using Skintecs and I agree with Kate about the downhills. Painfully slow in the fresh snow, but awesome grip going up. I originally tried to see if wax would work on Pocaterra but it was marginal, and the skiers I talked to with waxable skis were experiencing the “high heels” syndrome.

In these conditions, I believe my fish scale waxless would have performed better, and I had them along, but forgot to bring the SNS boots which I use with them. To add insult to injury, I just picked them up from the stone grinders yesterday and the coarse grind would have been exactly the perfect thing for today’s conditions.

Woolley trail

Woolley trail

When heading out on Lodgepole there is a steep hill to climb. No problem going up, but it’s still a bit bumpy for skiers who are descending. The first skier I met was walking down the hill.

Other than that minor detail, all the trails have good snow coverage and that includes Lodgepole, Meadow, Woolley, Amos, Lynx, and lower Pocaterra.

No pine needles here

No pine needles here

You can see in the photos there’s fresh snow. There should be enough to cover the pine needles, and if any tracksetting is done tonight, it should be excellent tomorrow. No weather forecasts were predicting this snow and I see there’s still nothing in the Snow Forecast. The Weather Network is forecasting a low of -5 tonight and high of -2 tomorrow which should make it okay for waxable skis.

It was snowing heavily when I departed from Pocaterra around 4:50 pm. The temperature had fallen one degree and was at -1.

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