Nov 22, 2019
What an amazing day of skiing in PLPP. Pocaterra, Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Lookout (north side), and Hydroline have all been roll-packed via snowmobile. These are all shown in green on the PLPP Live Grooming Report.
If you want somewhere new to ski this weekend, this covert location would be a good choice. The Back Door is only available until the barricade goes up on Dec 1.
More choices: With Elk Pass being roll-packed, the Elk Pass trailhead is an alternative location to start skiing, as is Pocaterra hut.
As Cheeky mentioned in his trip report, the Elk Pass cloud was quite a phenomenon as it shrouded itself around the lower mountain tops, following the contours and dipping low into the valley. I had bright blue skies and sunshine for most of my ski trip but as soon as I reached the Tyrwhitt meadows, the Elk Pass cloud closed in on me. It hovered just above my head and it felt like I could almost touch it with my ski pole if I reached up.
When I see the Elk Pass cloud shimmering in the sunlight while driving out to PLPP, it always turns into a good day, and this one was spectacular. No tracksetting yet, but the snow is cold, well-packed, and surprisingly fast.
For those interested in skiing Pocaterra and the other high elevation trails via the Back Door trail, drive 8.9K south of the barricade. You’ll see a small parking lot on the right hand side of the road. A good skier-set track for 600 metres will take you to Upper Pocaterra.
I went upstream on Pocaterra towards Whiskey Jack and the snow coverage was good, just as we’ve heard on a few trip reports. There are a few uneven spots but they’re insignificant. I was happy to run into Cheeky and Simona between the Whiskey Jack and Tyrhitt junctions. Did you know that Cheeky and Simona are the skiers pictured on the PLPP ski trails brochure?
Tyrwhitt is quite bumpy and you need to use some caution, but as Cheeky mentioned, no twigs or rocks. Not knowing what I would encounter, I used a pair of old, flatter, wider rock skis which were perfect for descending on the way back. Much more stable and easier to manouvre around the dips and uneven surfaces. The bridge decks are quite pronounced but you don’t have to remove skis or anyhing like that. I didn’t realize how many bridges were on Tyrwhitt.
The air temperature at the trailhead was -2, and the snow temperature in the Tyrwhitt meadows was -6. I already had last year’s wax on my old skis and it performed perfectly. I think it was VR45(-2/-8).
I stopped at Pocaterra hut where the trail has been roll-packed. There appeared to be decent coverage at the trailhead, but I imagine there are quite a few thin spots until you reach Lynx. I will include a photo of the trailhead in the gallery. Helen mentioned yesterday that Pocaterra was in good shape downstream from the Back Door to the Packers junction. As she continued to the Lynx junction it was fair to good in her assessment.