Monday, March 31, 2014

Kananaskis Lakes Trails

Trip Date: March 2014

Christine and I decided to get outside and do some cross-country skiing.  This day-trip marked a few firsts for both us.  It was Christine's first time up on skis this season and it was also her first time cross-country skiing at Pocaterra in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.  This was my tenth day out on skis this season, but it was my first without having Rome by my side.  Dogs aren't allowed on the groomed trails at Pocaterra, so sadly we had to leave her at home.  I had been to Pocaterra previously, but hadn't skied there in almost seven years.  The spring floods in 2013 had destroyed different sections of the trail system, so it looked a little different than how I remembered it.  

The system of trails in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
The Pocaterra parking area is about 140km southwest of Calgary along the Kananaskis Lakes Trail (Highway 40).  Pocaterra is a great skiing area with different trails to suit all abilities.  It is part of the Kananaskis Lakes Trail System.  We ended up skiing a 10.5km loop that connected Pocaterra, Come Along, Lynx, Amos, and Lodgepole Trails.

The entire drive from Calgary featured wet, falling snow, but almost as soon as our boots were snapped into our bindings the sun started to breakthrough the clouds and gave us some spectacular spring weather.  The sunshine and warm temperatures remained for the majority of our trip and it wasn't until the last section of our loop that the weather turned on us.  The wind picked up and the snow started to fall again, luckily we weren't too far from a warm vehicle and some delicious snacks!

The clouds started to break-up, which gave us some great mountain views
Just getting our day started
Views along the Pocaterra Trail
A hilly section of the Lynx Trail
Christine at the top of a hill
Skiing down
Untouched snow in a small meadow somewhere along Amos Trail
The shower house in the Elkwood Campground was covered in a lot of snow!
On our way back.  This must have been just before the weather turned on us.
Overall it was a pretty great day of spring skiing, although the loop we chose may have been a bit over ambitious for Christine's first day of the season.  We are hoping to get out at least once more before all the snow melts.  Finger crossed!