Tyrwhitt snow elves

Snow elves line the trail on Tyrwhitt

Your imagination can conjure up all sorts of things for the odd shapes which line the trail as you ski up Tyrwhitt from the Pocaterra/Lookout junction. 

Tamara and Andrew on Whiskey Jack

I started out in -15°C at Boulton Creek, four degrees warmer than yesterday, and eight degrees warmer than Monday on Redearth Creek. I could tell it was milder because my hands were actually hot in my cold-weather gloves, and it took a whole hour for my camera battery to freeze up(only 35 minutes two days ago). 

Lyle with a frosty beard on Whiskey Jack

I met a total of 18 skiers today, starting with Tamara and Andrew who were descending Whiskey Jack. They were just completing the Packers/Pocaterra/WJ loop. They went the right direction by climbing Packers as it’s still a bit rough if you are descending. 

Where do we go from here? Elk Pass/Hydroline junction.

Lyle was next, and he had skied all the way from Pocaterra hut. Depending on the route you take on the return, it would be at least a 22K round trip. 

Elk Pass

It started snowing when I reached the high point on Tyrwhitt. There was a bit of tree debris when I started up Tyrwhitt, but tonight’s snow will probably cover it. 


I completed the Tyrwhitt Loop(aka the SkierBob Special), and the most enjoyable trails I skied were Fox Creek and Boulton Creek. Not that there was anything wrong with any of the other trails, but Fox and Boulton had recent tracksetting with no new snow in the tracks so they were fast and fun.

Boulton Creek

Meandering through the trees, I was able to double-pole Fox Creek and Boulton Creek except for a bit of climbing on Boulton. I forgot how fast some of those tight downhill turns are on Boulton and was lucky to stay on my feet on one corner in particular. 

Lots of skiers were braving the cold weather today.

Whiskey Jack, Tyrwhitt, and even the new tracksetting on Elk Pass already had fresh snow in the tracks which slowed me down a bit. I found the corduroy to be a lot faster than the tracks, so I stepped into the middle anytime I was going downhill.

In good conditions I usually do this loop in exactly two hours moving time, but today was two hours and nine minutes. I probably have to attribute a few minutes of that nine minutes to old age and decreptitude, and not just slow tracks. 

Alf Skrastins at West Bragg Creek. Photo by Manfred Kintop

It was snowing lightly all the way back to Canmore. 

We should pay tribute to one elf in particular, and that’s Elf Alf Skrastins. Manfred Kintop caught him on camera with a shovel at West Bragg Creek yesterday doing what he usually is doing, making the trails better for skiers. Check the Groomer’s Reports for today’s update from West Bragg Creek.

The Banff trail report indicates that Castle Junction is now trackset. This trail runs from Castle Lookout to Castle Junction. You can now ski for about 20K in one direction from Castle Junction to Morant’s curve on trackset trails. 

If you haven’t heard already, the warming hut is now open at the Canmore Nordic Centre. The Heritage Guides at Lake Louise got their electrical problem fixed and trackset Fairview today along with Shoreline and Lake trail. 

Moraine Lake road at Lake Louise was groomed and trackset today.

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