The big cat is out

Trip date: Friday Dec 03, 2021

Submitted by Bob Truman



This report started out similar to Rich W's, but mine has a different ending.

With three full days of rain on the trail, only fear and good judgement was holding me back, so I went all the way to Elk Pass. There, to my delight, I was greeted by Big Tex.

Not knowing what I would encounter, I used my wider, metal-edged skis and I'm glad I did if only for the two descents of the big hill. I had corduroy right out of the gate but the first 500 metres is very thin with lots of ruts and uneven terrain.

No rocks or excessive dirt was on the grooming, just lots of the aforementiond uneven spots and ruts. There's not enough snow to trackset yet, but I had an enjoyable time on the corduroy in any event.

As is usually the case, after reaching 1800 metres of elevation at 3K, the snow improved considerably and was less sugary and more like.... snow! I had success using VR45(-2/-8) with a layer of VR50(o/-4) on top. The temperature was -5.

The highlight of my day was running into Jody with the brand new Pisten-Bully. First time out for the big snowcat and Jody says it's unlike any of the snowcats he's ever piloted. This one is highly automated and he's still learning the ropes.

Trails which should be groomed tonight include Elk Pass, Hydroline, and Patterson. He wasn't sure if he'd get to Blueberry Hill. Take note - groomed only - not trackset.

I was surprised at all the snow around Ribbon Creek and Kananaskis Village. There's at least 12 cm of overnight snow in the parking lots. I was even more surprised that there was no grooming at any of the trailheads.

I expect the big hill will get snowplowed down to ice if there's no fresh snow. The forecast is predicting snow for tonight and Saturday, so let's hope it materializes.

Forget Pocaterra, it's just ice with a dusting of fresh snow on top.