Cruisin’ on Tyrwhitt

Peter and Pat cruising along Tyrwhitt

Our group started out from Boulton Creek with five skiers but due to binding problems, two had to go back to the parking lot to make repairs, and never to be seen again. Maybe Chip will leave us a trip report. That left Peter, Pat and me to continue up Whiskey Jack. At the speed with which they passed me, I didn’t think I’d ever see them again, either. 

Jeff at the Tyrwhitt-Lookout-Pocaterra junction. His first season on skis.

Not to worry, when I arrived at the top of Whiskey Jack they were patiently waiting at the picnic table. Peter kindly mentioned they only had to wait 10 minutes! By the way, that was the 199th time that I’ve skied Whiskey Jack. 

Social distancing at the Tyrwhitt picnic table

The temperature at Boulton Creek in late morning was -2°C. With 1-2 cm of fresh snow on the trail, it was a little slower than yesterday. Skiers using wax were having a few issues with the fresh snow sticking. I used VR45(-2/-8) and while it wasn’t perfect, I didn’t have to stop and make any changes. It was an ideal day for having skin skis, which Pat did. 

We continued around the loop including Tyrwhitt, Elk Pass, Fox Creek and Boulton Creek. 

Climbing a hill on Tyrwhitt

As I was about to start down Tyrwhitt, Jeff stopped by to say he read the blog yesterday and that’s why he was out skiing today. He said it was his first season on xc skis. I could see that he is no longer a beginner!

The 2.5K of downhill, from the high point on Tyrwhitt to the picnic table has to be one of the most enjoyable sections of trail in the SkierBob domain. It’s one place where I can keep up to Peter(well, I could have passed him but the second track had too much fresh snow).

Dylan was shovelling snow on Fox Creek

After getting Boulton Creek shovelled, renovated, and groomed yesterday we encountered Dylan working on Fox Creek and Moraine. As MaSid has already mentioned, the name of the implement which is used for the initial pass is the “drag renovator.” It churns up the snow, redistributes it and leaves a combed finish. It also exposes any thin spots. On the return trip, Dylan shovels snow from the side of the trail onto the thin spots. 

Boulton Creek with a skiff of fresh snow

At the end of the day, Moraine and Fox Creek should have a nice corduroy surface. I don’t think there’s enough snow for tracksetting, which suits me fine because I enjoy these narrow trails without a track. 

Skiing Boulton Creek on yesterday’s new grooming was wonderful. There was a skiff of fresh snow over the corduroy but we need all the snow we can get. 

It’s called a drag renovator

Lake Louise

Tracksettting at Lake Louise today included Moraine Lake Road; Great Divide; Upper & Lower Tramline; Townsite; Lake Louise surface; Pipestone; Hector; Drummond; Merlin.

Fairview is scheduled to be trackset tomorrow(Dec 17).

There is significant snow in the forecast on Sunday for higher elevations such as Lake Louise and PLPP. Unfortunately, the areas which need it the most, such as Kananaskis Village and West Bragg Creek, are only getting a few cm. 

Christine checking for parking passes

Kananaskis Parking Passes

Do you have your Kananaskis parking pass? When I checked the vehicles in the Boulton Creek parking lot, 22 of 28 had Kananaskis parking passes. A few days ago we had this comment from Christine…

“Two of us were volunteering at Pocaterra Parking Lot on Sunday to inform people about park passes and were impressed by the support and kindness that people showed. We were even offered beer (which we did not accept) and chocolates (which we did accept) . Thanks to Ken Hewitt and others for spearheading the program to groom ski trails.”


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  1. The other day I skied West Elk Pass past the couch, past a second snowfort, and on to the hydroline in BC. The logging operations I heard earlier in the year have expanded now, and there is a fresh clearcut right beside the powerline. The road underneath the powerline has been plowed out. I returned the way I came rather than skiing up the powerline to Elk Pass as I had planned. In all, going to Elk Lakes Cabin via Elk Pass and the powerline would be a muddy, noisy and ugly mess. Something to consider if anyone has booked the cabin over the holidays.

  2. That drag renovator looks like they stole somebody’s garage door with a Ski-doo!

  3. I see my car in the parking lot, but I don’t see my cat!

  4. Bob,
    I missed you on the trail today, and as you describe the snow/tracks were good, albeit a bit sticky.

    I encountered a skater at the Elk Pass / Patterson junction, and was disappointed (but not surprised) that he had been crossing both tracks all the way up from the Hydroline junction. I guess it is inevitable that folks will skate on these narrow trails, but perhaps it is time for a gentle reminder of both etiquette and places where skating is appropriate.

    • Also noticed those skate tracks. There are several “etiquette” signs at junctions within the trail system which read among other items that “these trails are groomed for classic technique”, and suggest other areas where skaters should go. Unfortunately, these signs are far too small and polite. Some of us do not hesitate to encourage skaters to go elsewhere.

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