To the top of Elk Pass on new tracksetting

-Charlotte is enjoying the excellent conditions on Elk Pass-

It was exciting to wake up and read on the PLPP Live Grooming report that Elk Pass was trackset. Blueberry Hill, Hydroline and Patterson were groomed. The tracksetting is 22 days ahead of last year!

Peter and Martin on Elk Pass at 1.6K

Every November it’s a thrill (and reassuring) to know that I can still drag my old body to the top of this wonderful trail. I don’t seem to descend those steep hills as fast as I used to, though.

The air temperature in the Elk Pass parking lot was -4 with a strong wind. The wind mostly disappeared while on the trail, but the snow had some minor tree debris as a consequence of the winds. The new tracksetting also had about a cm of wind-blown snow in it.

Winter wonderland scenery on Elk Pass

Despite the wind, the trees were still heavily laden with snow, creating a winter wonderland effect for my entire ski trip to the top of the pass. 

There’s one exposed rock soon after you start and the only other early season “inconveniences” are mostly on the first .5K to the Boulton Creek junction where you’ll encounter some thin tracks. They’re fine after that. Occasionally a few twigs are sticking up through the snow but they are of little consequence. 

It’s thrilling to reach the top of Elk Pass once again!

It was enjoyable meeting lots of new people on the trail today. At the Boulton Creek junction I stopped to chat with Pam and John. Pam was adding some wax in order to enhance her grip on the impending climb up the big hill. I used VR45(-2/-8) with reasonable success. I still had to herring-bone up the steep hills. 

The new arch which welcomes you to BC

The Boulton Creek-Fox Creek trails which allow you to skirt the big hill are snowmobile packed but I haven’t encountered anyone who’s tried them yet. 

The steep downhills can be intimidating to novice skiers, so there’s no shame in walking down.

Distance to the top of Elk Pass is 6K with a net elevation gain of 240 metres. There’s a steep hill right out of the gate with an elevation gain of 90 metres over a distance of 1K. From that point, it’s a pleasant, gradual uphill to 4.9K when you encounter another steep climb of about 50 metres over a distance of .5K.

When you reach the top of Elk Pass, you can’t help but notice the new addition to the landscape: an impressive archway on the BC border. The two supporting columns are done in the style of totem poles but really, carvings of quads and snowmobiles? Let’s be thankful that we can enjoy our beautiful trails in PLPP without the intrusion of “motorized recreation.”

There were about 15 vehicles at Pocaterra and it looked like a lot of skiers were enjoying the fresh snow. No grooming has occurred there yet. 

West Bragg Creek

Put in a bid for this Robert Bateman print in support of West Bragg Creek trails maintenance

I enjoyed skiing at West Bragg a couple times already this month, and I like reading the numerous daily trip reports from there. Check out the Sealed Bid Auction Fundraiser for a Robert Bateman print(pictured at the side). Proceeds go towards construction, maintenance and repair of Bragg Creek trails for the benefit of all trail users.

Over the past 10 years the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association (GBCTA) has invested over $ 3 million in Bragg Creek trails. The GBCTA has constructed over 110 km of new non-motorized trails and upgraded over 30 km of existing trails to create a world class 165 km public trail system.

More photos from Elk Pass. 

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