Elk Pass and Blueberry Hill

It was cold in PLPP today which means the snow is still in excellent condition. It was -10 at the Elk Pass parking lot at 2 pm with a bitterly cold wind so I didn’t linger.

Skiers from the 5th Dimension Outdoor Club in Calgary at the Elk Pass/Boulton Creek junction

Later, while climbing Blueberry Hill I could feel the temperature dropping even further. Not wanting to freeze to death at the top, I didn’t go all the way. 

The tracksetting starts on Elk Pass 500 metres from the trailhead at the Boulton Creek Junction. That’s where I met some returning, happy skiers from the 5th Dimension Outdoor Club. 

Janice(foreground), Kristin and Bob at the top of the Elk Pass hill

Five hundred metres of strenuous climbing later, I met Janice, Kristin, and Bob at the very top of the Elk Pass Hill. Both sides of the hill are still in good shape for descending. The tracksetting to the Blueberry junction is in remarkably good condition. 

Elk Pass

While climbing Blueberry Hill I could feel the temperature dropping even further. With thoughts of a windy summit, and not wanting to freeze to death, I didn’t go all the way to the top.

There was frost in the tracks on Blueberry Hill which acted like ball bearings – screaming fast! Not good for grip, though. Snow was very cold and I used VR40(-4/-12) but slipped a lot on the frost. It was dynamite coming down.

Moose near the Pocaterra hut

On my way back, I ran into Margah at the Elk Pass/Fox Creek junction. She agreed the snow was incredibly fast and also that it was quite abrasive, hence she was adding wax to her skis. 

The Pocaterra hut is open, but take note, the closing time is now 6 pm. On the road by the hut is where I saw the mama moose and her two calves. 

Shaganappi golf course has been groomed and trackset. Shaganappi trail report

Dawn Mountain in Golden, BC, is opening this weekend.


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  1. Boot Bang & the Wet Glove

    Very VERY dissapointed that Pocaterra Hut now closes at 6pm! Come on Parks AB! WHY!?!?!?
    We regularly use it after 6pm on weekdays, after long trips at the south end of the trail system. I’m sure it is used even more on weekend evenings. On one rare occasion, when we happened to be there on the weekend, we met a couple from Lethbridge who said they made that weekend trip at least a few times and year. A slow-cooker and the hours of the hut made that possible for them. Between 6 and 8 the hut is a place to change clothing before driving 2 (or more) hours, the chance to meet and celebrate/commiserate with other skiers. A place to lie down and stretch and gather yourself before heading down an arguably dangerous stetch of road — in the dark. I’d argue it should close at 9pm, as the doors are on timer-lock and there are motion sensors, etc. and that system seems to work just fine.
    I’d like to clamor now for fire-wood be made available down at Lower Lake picnic area fire-rings which I suspect is now the ONLY place left after 6pm for a fire… outdoors by the windy lake.
    Anyone here remember having a hot shower at Boulton for a loonie? What’s happened to us? Was it about carbon offsets? By the way, protesting a pipeline makes as much sense as a glutton dieting by murdering their pizza delivery boys.

    • Agreed! On hut staying open late. They will probably encounter more alarms from people exciting late. Then what? Full closure? If not for a fire at the end of the day, sometimes roasting a potatoes or warming a burrito, enjoying the fullness of the day and the mountain experience, I would have gone insane years ago. Shouldn’t hurt to keep it open as boot bang says given the timer, unless they just don’t want it being used late. It’s not like the heat gets turned off. Lights maybe, but that’s it. I’m not sure if they check in at the end of the day. Sad news indeed. And that’s after they repointed the fireplace at some expense.

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