Anna and I got up late, forgetting to message anyone the day before and slowly made our way up the Icefields Parkway on icy roads stuck behind rental cars with no winter tires. We arrived at the closed access for Bow Summit where we found Dingman’s van and a bunch of tourist trying to figure out how to see Petyo Lake. After parking a little south of the closure we headed into the forest and skinned directly to the upper hiking trail. Seems like most people are going around the closure and up the road (which is still within the closure) but if you follow my skin track you will stay well out of the closure and not risk getting caught in it.
We followed the summer trail up over the humps and found Dingman and friends about to drop the roadside area. We backtracked to the tree chutes and skied down into the forest. For a short section we walked downhill as the low snow and deadfall wasn’t providing us with great turns. After arriving at the flats we skinned to the road and walked back to the car.
The little snow in the area is actually skiing ok all things considered. There is a crust in most places and that helps you stay afloat but by no means is the skiing good, “borderline acceptable” at best. We found our best turns midway down in the trees, whereas the alpine and high treeline was fluff on rough. Dingman said the roadside was ok but still hitting rocks on most turns, at least that’s what I think he said because we were yelling back and forth at each other from afar.
I will probably wait until there are at least 2 or 3 more snowfalls to head back for anything outside of going for a walk. For those travelling any notable distance I would suggest waiting for now.