For a number of years I have read reports of this tour that is normally skied clockwise from tyrwhitt through the east elk pass meadows then through the west elk pass meadows to the blueberry junction. I felt that descending the cutblock to the hydroline was going to be too difficult with my touring skis so never did it. After meeting Masid last week after he had refreshed the track, then reading that Steve Riggs had skied the loop the next day in reverse direction, I just had to take advantage of the excellent weather and newly set track to ski this tour. It meant I could ski up the cutblock instead of down. Maybe another year when the snowpack is more consolidated than this year I will redo this tour in the clockwise direction and zigzag down the cutblock.
We started at the Elk pass parking lot and skied up to the blueberry junction. From there we followed the trail Steve had made that started at the bottom of the blueberry trail. We followed the west meadow trail with a stop at the west snofa in warm, sunny, windless conditions which was heavenly.
Starting on the west meadow from Blueberry trail junction
Relaxing on the melting west meadow snofa
After crossing the hydroline, we ascended the cutblock then made our way through more meadows and short forested areas to finally reach the east meadow snofa.
Ascending the cutblock that is normally skied down doing this tour
View down the cutblock
Top of the cutblock
East Elk Pass snofa melting away
Snow conditions were very good considering how warm it had been the last few days. When we finally reached tyrwhitt, it felt like skiing on boiler plate after the soft meadow snow. The descent to the cars via the Elk pass trail and Fox creek was fast as the snow started to harden in the late afternoon and all the wax was scraped off the bottom of my skis. No grip after awhile and too close to the cars to bother rewaxing. Walked up the few little hills. It was a very enjoyable tour and I'm grateful for my three companions who were willing to join me on a tour new to all of us. Spring skiing at its best. Just over 20kms in 6.5 hrs.
Participants: David, Yolande (c/s), Damian,Jane.