Pocaterra Trail

Last Updated 2 Apr 07
Copyright 2007 by Stephen Vermeulen

Pocaterra Trail is a cross country ski trail in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (about 120km drive from the west side of the City of Calgary).

This trail is quite long, and connects to a number of other trails in the park.  It starts from a small (heated) ski lodge which is open during daylight hours (roughly 0930-1630 daily). This is the first trail that you get to inside the park, there are lots of additional trails if you drive for another 5 to 20 minutes within the park. Since this trail is at the lowest elevations within the park (and at the norrth most end of the park which tends to be the warmest) it is the last to get enough snow to ski at the start of the season and the first to loose its snow at the end of the season.

The trail is suitable for beginners with one short steep section within the first 0.5km (which is pretty easy to go up with a bit of herringbone work but may need a bit of snow plow to go down) and after that it is a nice gradual climb. This also makes it a great trail to work on telemark technique or to go for a short (or long) fast training ski.  The trail crosses the Pocaterra Creek on a number of small bridges (about 5 in the first 3km) before it climbs more steeply up. At about the 6km mark there is a nice view point (see below).

Here are some photographs taken on 1 April 2007, it was snowing all day so these are practically black and white.

Pocaterra creek

Looking at the creek

Creek and Mountain

Creek and Mountain

View Point at 6km

View of Pocaterra Creek at the 6km Point

Winter driving can get nasty, even in April!  The weather forecast was for 2-5cm of snow throughout the day and this time the weather man was correct. Here is the result of driving 120km through that:

Previa with Ice

Toyota Previa with an Ice Beard

The old Toyota Previa (especially the 4WD drive model seen here) makes a very good winter ride, especially with four studded winter tires grabbing the ice, its pretty much on par with the Subaru 4WD station wagons I had before it.

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