K2inCanada's Blog

January 16, 2016

Day 5: Peter Lougheed Dec 30

Filed under: Animals, BC Ski Trip 2015, Canada — K2 in Canada @ 6:12 PM

Despite the interrupted sleep, 12hrs in bed had me feel much more rested that morning. And after a hearty breakfast at Craig’s Way Station just 3min walk away I was ready to tackle the trails at Peter Lougheed. Actually I had been a bit nervous about them as the tail system is huge and the last time we went I ended up on this really steep trail that was not groomed and it was nearly dark by the time I got back to the hut. So I suggested to Jeff during breakfast if he would want to do a slow day and stick with me. And he agreed pretty easily. It was another beautiful sunny and cold day – maybe -15 in town. The drive to Peter Lougheed is a bit longer, about 1.5hrs. Unfortunately there aren’t any affordable places to stay closer to it. But it is a very scenic drive and we saw a big Rocky Mountain Sheep ram on the road licking the salt of it. Pretty cool.

Due to the long drive we did not start the ski until almost noon. So we packed the headlamps. But since we were on Mountain Time the sunset is a bit later than at home, but we were surprised how long it stayed light actually. We never had to use the lights. We skied for almost 5hrs through the most beautiful countryside. It was -19C when we started. We made it all around the outer trails and even climbed the other lookout which was not nearly as steep as the one I found the other year. Almost 40km of skiing. The trails were in excellent shape. This is a provincial park groomed trail system and there is no trail fee. Thanks to the Province of Alberta! Grip was awesome with our thin layer of polar wax. I was a bit nervous when we started the climb to the lookout at the furthest away point from the parking lot at Pocaterra Hut. The sun already started to drop behind the high mountains around us but it was only 2:30PM. We made it back to the hut by 4:45PM with still some light left and lucky for us the temperature stayed steady at -19C.

It started to get dark as we left the parking lot. I was happy the car started up without a problem. We just hit the road when we saw a tall shape standing in the road and an oncoming car stopping – MOOSE! Yep, the animal was right on the road licking the salt like the ram earlier. It was a big cow and her fur looked beautifully thick and warm. We stopped right next to her but stayed in the car. A bit too dark to take good pictures but I tried anyhow. As we left her we saw another moose off the road in the bush. 2 MOOSE – almost a mega score, except none was a bull.

The drive back was in the dark under a starry sky. Back at the Rundle, we went for dinner pretty much right away. This time we walked just across the road to try out Woody’s BBQ. A whole bunch of protein is what we felt like after this long day of skiing. And that’s what we ordered – a sampler platter of smoked pork, chicken breast (they were out of smoked chicken due to an abnormal busy day) and St Louis ribs, decorated with 4 sides – BBQ baked beans, green beans, coleslaw and mac & cheese. It was a HUGE meal and I ate way too much. My tummy felt pretty full. So we walked to the store to stock up on cookies and chips for the next few days in case we’ll be hungry again some day :-). At least that meant we walked for a bit more before just sitting on the bed for the rest of the evening. It was fricking cold though – still -15C.

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