Boulton Creek in PLPP was the warm spot today


It’s surprising how pleasant -19°C can be when there’s no wind and the sun is shining. 

With an acute case of cabin fever, Cheryl and I drove out to PLPP to see which weather forecast was correct. Yesterday’s prediction was dead on at -19. That was at 2:45 pm at Boulton Creek.


Cheryl dropped me off at the Whiskey Jack – Moraine junction where I headed across the road and started down Wheeler. Monday night’s tracksetting had a skiff of fresh snow on top. I found the corduroy to be much faster than the tracks.

Arriving at the Lodgepole Braille junction, just hare tracks

I went fully prepared for cold weather but didn’t really need much extra in the way of clothing. The photo shows me wearing a buff but I would have been fine without it. Toe warmers in my boots were my main concession to the cold temperature. 

The most important cold weather gear I used was LF4. That’s glide wax for temperatures between -12 and -32. 

Lisa and Doreen on Wheeler

Leaving Calgary in -29, I thought it would be a successful day if I was able to ski for one hour in the cold. In retrospect, I could easily have stayed out for two hours or more. As it was, I was out for about 80 minutes. 

I enjoyed the entire 4.5K of Wheeler. Warm and happy. I was surprised to see other skiers out this late in the day. Lisa and Doreen didn’t appear to be cold whatsoever when I met them on Wheeler.


When I arrived at the Elkwood Amphitheatre parking lot, I had a choice to make. Continue down Meadow(which was in nice shape like Wheeler) to the PLPP Discovery Centre, or head across the road and ski for the first time this winter on Lodgepole and Braille. The latter won out but it turned into more of an adventure than I expected. 

Lodgepole was in pretty good shape despite 4-5 cm of fresh snow over Sunday night’s tracksetting. The tracks were skied-in and I was moving along at a nice pace.

All the skiers turned around and left the trail-breaking to me

It turned out to be a sucker trail. After .7K on Lodgepole, at the Braille intersection, no more skier tracks, just 5 cm of fresh snow. All the skiers who had been on the trail turned around and went back to wherever. 

I soldiered on, breaking trail in the fresh snow. It was slow going in the cold, ungroomed snow but beautiful and pristine. I finally had tracks to follow, but I wasn’t sure which animal made them. Perhaps a coyote, as Anne and GordF surmised on the previous post. JeremyN made a good case for a fox. 

I got to the PLPP Discovery Centre in time to change my boots and clothes. They close at 4:30 pm. is predicting a high of -14 at Boulton Creek tomorrow(Thursday) with clouds and 1 cm of snow. 


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  1. If you’re doing a loop it really doesn’t make a difference. The Bridge parking is right off the highway whereas the other is part of the campground area, it’s much larger and there’s more direct connection to all local trail options.

  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Boulton parking lot versus Boulton Bridge parking lot?
    Looking at the PLPP trail map, there doesn’t appear to be a difference in terms of accessing the trails I want to ski when I’m there 6 weeks from now.

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