Snow farming on Elk Pass

Trip date: Wednesday Jan 25, 2023

Submitted by Bob Truman



I have to start this by saying thanks to Alf Skrastins for finding my camera laying on the trail. There wouldn't have been any photos with this report otherwise.

After reading this morning's report on Nordic Pulse, I knew that my name was written all over Elk Pass and Tyrwhitt. I did half of the SkierBob Special, staying on the new tracksetting which was magnificent.

I skied Elk Pass and Tyrwhitt to the high point, about 19.2K return. I initially stopped at Boulton Creek, thinking I could do the entire loop, but Whiskey Jack was a little too slick for my liking. Other skiers told me later that Fox and Moraine were not in good shape, so I made the right choice by continuing on to Elk Pass.

The conditions on the trails are amazingly good considering there's been little to no snow. I could see evidence of the PLPP version of snow farming - blading the fresh snow from the side onto the trail and incorporating this new snow into the grooming(see photo #3). The blade grabs a few branches in the process, but the trail was clean.

This winter has been challenging but today's conditions were great - cold snow, no tree bombs, no snow fleas, no debris, and nice weather. It was -3 at the Elk Pass trailhead at 12:30 pm and the snow was -5. This old snow is a bit sugary and abrasive, so I topped up my wax once. VR45(-2/-8).