PLPP middle trails – be prepared for tree debris

The Amos meadow had excellent tracks and cold, clean snow.

Don’t be deceived by these beautiful photos. Most of the trails I skied today had a lot of pine needles in the tracks. If you ski on these trails, it would be best to use waxless skis. 

As you’ll see in the not-so-beautiful photos, the tree debris was sticking in my wax. I won’t go so far as to call it needlemania, but it was very annoying.

Tree debris stuck in my wax

I did an 18K loop including Wheeler, Whiskey Jack, Pocaterra, Lynx and Amos. Every trail had some nice sections which were free of debris and the cleanest of all was Upper Pocaterra between Whiskey Jack and Packers. As I continued past the Packers junction, the debris became more prevalent. 

Pocaterra at the Whiskey Jack junction

I cleaned the crud(including the wax) from my skis at the top of Whiskey Jack and had one rip-roaring run for 6K to the Lynx junction. 18 thrilling minutes of fun. The tracks are lightning fast, and all downhills where there are no tracks are scraped down to the hard-pack. 


The air temperature at Elkwood Amphitheatre at 1:30 pm was -2°C and the snow was -6. I used a combination of VR40(-4/-12) and VR45(-2/-8). I had good grip except on those hard-packed hills where I had to herringbone. 

I ran into a large, friendly school group from West Island College in Calgary at the Pocaterra-Lynx junction. Nice bunch of kids( and teachers). 

Tree debris on Lynx

Thanks for all the trip reports. I had to laugh when I read Helen’s comment about trains. It seems like I was the only one who was dealing with an excess of tree debris. If I had known what was in store, I would have headed down to Elk Pass to ski on last night’s new tracksetting. Using waxless skis would have been another alternative. 

Chuck did a 50K epic journey to Cuthead cabin with 20K of it in backcountry conditions. He started at Cascade Valley where the trails were being trackset today. See all Chuck’s photos.

Alex or Jeff from Ribbon Creek is out tracksetting as I write this at 9 pm. You can follow the progress on the Live Grooming Report.

Feb 20 update from Boomer Groomer at West Bragg Creek: “Another beautiful day in paradise! More fresh track setting today on a number of trails, and a number of problem areas have been repaired including surface ice on Mountain View and Telephone/Hostel access. Conditions remain very good throughout the system.”


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