After skiing at Lake Louise yesterday, I stayed overnight in Field at Truffle Pigs Lodge, wanting to check out some of the Yoho trails (and eat delicious food at Truffle Pigs Bistro).
The Emerald Connector was first on my list. Starting out from the Natural Bridge, the temperature was -6, overcast, and no wind.
From the Natural Bridge I skied for 300 metres on Tally Ho and reached the Connector. There was 1 cm of fresh snow on the trail but the tracksetting was excellent. I knew I would be grateful for the fresh snow, especially when descending the ultra-steep section(later in the day) which I was now about to climb.
The next 700 metres of the Connector is the re-routed portion which is very steep with lots of turns. The trail was re-configured a few years ago in order to avoid an avalanche slope. There is grooming but no tracksetting on this section.
The Connector is a mixed bag of conditions. In some places it was excellent, but there were also some sketchy parts, mostly bumps and uneven terrain. Five places along the trail there was a plethora of spruce cones, thankfully only for a few metres each time.
The fresh snow got deeper and deeper, until there was 6 cm on the trail as I approached Emerald Lake. The first part of the Connector, from the top of the steep hill for 3.6K is trackset but there was no tracksetting on the final 3K. Total distance, counting Tally Ho and the steep hill, is 7.6K.
While skiing along the Emerald River, I kept an eye out for Dippers but didn’t see any today(Dippers are birds, not NDP voters).
Upon reaching the other side of the lake I took the Tree Hugger to the Fan. Now there was closer to 8 cm of fresh snow on the trail.
The Alluvial Fan tracks have been walked in, and with the fresh snow, not much remained of the tracksetting. On the way back I took the Horse trail which had no footprints and good tracks.
It warmed up to -2 but with the fresh snow on the trail, my VR40(-4/-12) worked well all day.
The dining experience at Truffle Pigs in Field is amazing and overindulging might have been responsible for slowing me down today.
Good luck to all the participants in the Nipika Loppet tomorow. I hope we get a report from someone.