The side road is much steeper, and while everyone else donned their climbing skins at this point, I did not have any skins and had to make do with my ski wax. Snow drifts and encroaching bushes rendered some sections of the side road quite challenging, and I struggled a bit to keep up with the rest of the group. We eventually leveled off about 3 kilometres past the junction, and we were probably somewhere not too far from the lookout site. However, low visibility and a biting wind sapped our will to continue, and we opted to take a quick break in the shelter of some trees before returning the way we came.
Not unexpectedly, the descent of the side road proved to be quite tricky on our light touring gear, and some of us fared better than others in negotiating the numerous moguls and hairpin turns along the way. After skiing back to the junction, we enjoyed a much more relaxing descent on the Pyramid Lake Road and made it back to the trailhead without incident.
Despite not making it all the way to
Palisade Lookout, I think the skiing overall was still quite enjoyable
(over 21 kilometres round-trip with more than 850 metres of elevation
and I hope to return in the future on a clearer day to complete the
ascent. The group continues to break trail
up the steep side road. Photo courtesy
of Zosia Zgolak
The group makes good progress up Pyramid Lake Road.
Gil climbs over some snow drifts along
the side road leading to Palisade Lookout.
Leslie, Gail, Gil and Sonny stop at
their turnaround point.
This is looking back along a level
stretch a little south of the lookout site.
Zosia practices her ski jumps on a
frozen unnamed lake near the road.
The group resumes the easy descent of
Pyramid Lake Road.
The group continues to break trail up the steep side road.
Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak