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2023-02-21 at 00:18 - comment by DEMOCRATIZE AB
Chuck answered the question correctly.
The top of the trail is where the B20 Pipestone trail comes close to the Pipestone River. Sometimes there is a snow couch by the river at this location.
They only decent way to get to Point Camp meadows this year is by the Pipestone River Horse/Backpacking trail as no trail has been broken on the river and it would take days to do so due to the cold affected faceted deep sugar snow. It is thigh deep in places except where the ice froze more recently.
I did a fair bit of trail work on the hills and on bridges to make it faster to get up them and to ensure shallow poling rather than deep poling in the sugary snow. It was a fast trail going in and out due to the trail work.
My ski trail will likely be buried with new snow now. However it should still be slightly visible except in wind blown areas. There are a couple of places where my trail goes onto the river ice for very short distances maybe 20 meters roughly at most.
If the trail is not visible, you will have to look for trail blazes carefully and or feel for the ski trail with your ski tips under the new snow.
With the new snow the Point Camp Meadows should be in excellent skiing shape for the most part, perhaps excluding the very north end which may still have some willows. I personally would wait for the winds to move the new snow around in the meadows and add a chinook to create a crusty base to ski on for ease of skiing. The first 200 meters of the meadow will be somewhat difficult trail breaking if my ski trail is not visible as the snow is highly faceted cold rotten Rockies style sugary snow until one skis out to the wind/sun affected areas.
Be very careful out in the meadows looking at the 360 degree views as you may end up with a neck injury moving your neck around like a Snowy Owl taking in the great views.
2023-02-19 at 22:16 - comment by Diana Piggott
Thank you, Chuck, much appreciated!
2023-02-19 at 16:45 - comment by Chuck
As it is not likely that James will notice your question, I will answer it for him:
He always takes the horse trail... I understand that he has had some bad experiences with river ice!
Attached is a photo from our February trip last year that shows the route.
Access here from top of #20 trail
2023-02-18 at 15:54 - comment by Diana Piggott
Dear Mr. Democracy,
Your trail breaking is greatly appreciated! I have never been beyond the groomed trails at Pipestone before, but I am intrigued. Do you go straight up the river, or do you follow the trail through the trees from the far end of the groomed loop?
POINT CAMP MEADOWS
Report Submitted by DEMOCRATIZE AB
(trip) Date: Thursday Feb 16, 2023
Submitted: Thursday Feb 16, 2023 at 23:40
A champion to legalize real democracy on 205 cm x 60mm Madshus Voss metal edge skis
The Pipestone B20 trail has had a little new snow since last week which has helped to reduce the amount of debris on the trail. Deep trackset trail with generally low amounts of debris on the snow. Moderate fast snow. At night it was snowing lightly. There was about 1 cm of new snow during the day/night. Excellent skiing.
The Pipestone River trail is in generally excellent condition. I broke the last few hundred meters of trail to Point Camp meadows that I did not get done last week. I broke the trail well into Point Camp Meadows. It was moderately difficult trail breaking for the first couple of hundred meters and then it became generally somewhat easy trail breaking for the most part through the Meadows. Light to light moderate snow was falling in the Meadows. Conditions up there have improved greatly since I was last there. Most of the willows are buried in the southern half of the meadow. The Pipestone River seems to have opened up a little more up in the meadows recently. There are still good snow bridges over the river though.
I was unable to find the 190 cm of white ski base I lost last week. Hopefully someone picked it up.
The last few kilometers of trail before the parking lot at night was somewhat smoky. It was hard to breathe the dirty Bow Valley air coming out while skiing. This has been the case out skiing the last few trips at night. There is a lack of respect for clean air with all the burning going on in the Bow Valley by the dirty polluting Governments.