Jan 5, 2020
It was wonderful to be skiing on Pocaterra trail in PLPP today. Conditions on Upper Pocaterra would rate a perfect score except the tracks were still a bit soft from last night’s tracksetting.
The lower trail, as you leave the hut has a lot of pine needles. Most are embedded in the tracks so they didn’t stick in my wax. I was surprised when I looked at my skis at the Lynx junction(4K), and there was only one little piece of tree debris in my wax.
In the photos which I’ll post in the gallery, the tree debris on the trail looks significant but it had surprisingly little effect on the enjoyment of the skiing.
As I gained elevation after the Lynx junction, the tree debris diminished and at 6K the trail was pretty clean. Between Packers and Whiskey Jack(Upper Pocaterra), the trail was pristine.
The air and snow temperatures at the hut at 10 a.m. were both -5°C. The snow on lower Pocaterra was what I’ll describe as “sugar-crisp.” It was cold enough for my VR45(-2/-8) wax to work, but I had to herringbone all the hills. The snow texture on Upper Pocaterra was much nicer and the grip was excellent.
It must have been Needlemania at its worst before last night’s tracksetting. There were no new trees laying across the trail. The descent back to the hut was very enjoyable if a little slower on the soft tracks.
It’s exactly 10K from the Pocaterra hut to the Whiskey Jack junction with a net elevation gain of 290 metres.
Packers and Whiskey Jack have 15-20 cm of new snow but it is well-tracked. Debbie and her crew, who I chatted with at the WJ-Pocaterra junction, climbed Whiskey Jack so we know it’s skiable. I will include photos of Packers and WJ in the gallery below. I also took a picture of Lynx which was also trackset last night.
The weather forecast indicates 1-3 cm of new snow for PLPP tonight. It would help immensely in covering the tree debris.
The Banff trail report indicates that Cascade Valley was trackset to the 6k bridge.
The following trails were trackset in Lake Louise today: Tramline; Moraine Lake Rd; Great Divide; Townsite; Bow River Loop; Campground.