I skied with my friend Chip and he’s providing the write-up for today’s trip:
Wouldn’t You Rather be Shopping?
Following a wonderful get-together for Skier Bob’s fans, friends and contributors, what better way to spend the day than, you guessed it, skiing the gorgeous trails in Peter Lougheed. After a leisurely breakfast and gabfest at the Stoney-Nakoda Resort and Casino, Bob and I headed down to our winter paradise, after reckoning that the temperatures would be a bit colder than other spots such as Ribbon Creek.
On arrival at the Elk Pass parking lot mid-morning, the air temperature was about -6, with a few centimetres of new snow on the ground. Maybe it was the Domino’s delivery van that had warmed up the air, because we both waxed with VR45 and found, though the initial climb was effortless, that we started clumping up after making the big hill.
A few more kilometres of slow going and kicking off the accumulating snow underfoot and we decided to scrape and re-wax. VR40 did the trick all day and Bob bragged, with some justification, that he didn’t have to herringbone once in our 22 km workout.
At the Blueberry junction, we had gorgeous sun, solid tracks and a chance to touch base with old friend Marie of Calgary Ski Club days. Of course, the resident Whiskey Jacks are always in the Welcome Committee there.
Continuing on to Elk Pass, the snow got deeper, the air colder, but brilliant sunshine and some muscular effort kept us toasty and the new snow made the descent from the Pass sooooo smooth. Along the way, we met Rob and his daughter Melanie, both avid skiers and, of course, readers of the blog.
Tyrwhitt was a bit slow, but stunning as usual and we had no wind to speak of. I thought my speed and style were pretty good until Gord Jewett, former Canadian Team skier and Olympian, came sprinting by. It was an ego-deflating moment, but the utter joy of the day quickly put this out of mind.
Heading down from Whiskey Jack, the track was well skied in, warmer and faster. I think Bob clocked our top speed at about 43 km/h, not too shabby for a couple of pensioners. We ran into a few other XC fans, including the Frank family, dad and mom giving the kids a chance to learn how much fun winter can be. Boy, do I wish I’d had those experiences growing up!
We arrived at Pocaterra Hut at about 3 p.m. and it was still fairly busy, a nice sign for a Monday. Still no fireplace, but the warmth and merriment of everyone made up for it.