Goat Creek bridges

by Bob Truman on January 23, 2018

in Goat Creek

Two skiers have made it safely onto the Goat Creek bridge

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll be aware of the sketchy downhill to the Goat Creek bridge. I’ve emphasized the need for extreme caution when descending to the bridge. For anyone unaware of the danger, it’s an accident waiting to happen. 

Look closely, you can see the narrow bridge ahead. This is about 400 metres before the Goat Creek bridge.

I believe the “Narrow Bridge” sign is for one of the single lane bridges about 400 metres before the Goat Creek bridge. The narrow bridge is at the bottom of a fairly fast downhill and you want your skis to be pointed straight ahead or you will catch it on one of the handrail supports and …game over. 

Warning sign about 100 metres before the start of the steep descent to the Goat Creek bridge. Is it still there?

I’ve skied Goat Creek so many times I don’t even pay attention to the signage along the trail, so I don’t even know if the warning sign for the Goat Creek bridge is still at the side of the trail.

If still there, it is about 100 metres before the steep descent begins. In good snow conditions, you can snowplow your way down, but you still have to make a sharp last-second turn to access the bridge.

At 6.9k the Goat creek trail takes a sharp turn and drops precipitously down to the bridge 

The trail builds speed the further down you go, so when you finally see the bridge, you might be going too fast to make the turn, and your only choice then is to bail, or as Steve just commented, “sliding to a stop by wrapping his arms around the rail, after running into it.” It might also involve a pretty severe blow to your mid-section. 

I have probably walked down the final 100 metres as many times as I’ve skied down. After lots of skiers have snowplowed down to the bridge, it becomes hard-packed and difficult to control your speed. It’s also quite common in the early season to have rocks poking through the snow. 

Katelyn bails at the top of the hill while Braden looks on. Photo from Feb 19, 2013.

On Feb 19, 2013, I encountered two friendly skiers on Goat Creek who hadn’t previously skied the trail. This is what I later wrote:

“I skied with them for about 5K and scared them enough about the downhill to the Goat creek bridge that they removed their skis and walked down. Katelyn bailed at the top of the hill when she saw what lay before her. It was scraped pretty clean.”

Does anyone know what year Banff National Park started grooming the Spray River/Goat Creek trails?


Brand new wooden skis for sale

January 22, 2018

Jan 22 @ 10 pm: Update from Paul “I’ve had a huge amount of interest about these skis! Most of the longer lengths are spoken for though I have 170cm and 180cm skis left, also some shorter pairs, and shoes size 9 to 6. Just email to see what there is left!” Here’s your chance […]

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18K of cross-country ski heaven

January 21, 2018
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I started climbing Whiskey Jack on perfect new tracksetting at 11:15 a.m. The air temperature at Boulton Creek was -2°C and the snow was -6.

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Sunday morning update

January 21, 2018

This should be another wonderful day of skiing in the mountains with nice weather and good snow/trail conditions. I have a bag full of Swix grip waxes to give away today. If you see me on the trail in PLPP,

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Smiling skiers, happy dogs at Mt Shark

January 20, 2018
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The skiing at Mt Shark today would qualify as a “Best Day.” What a terrific day, and I’m not just referring to my ski at Mt Shark, but to most of the trip reports which have comments like this:

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Saturday morning update

January 20, 2018

Good news! We just heard from Adam the downed tree on Elk Pass was cleared last night.  West Bragg Creek The following report was submitted this morning by WBC Groomer Jeff: Conditions virtually the same as our last report. Classic tracks are generally icy throughout. Numerous trails should be avoided as they are hard and […]

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Brewster Creek was trackset today

January 19, 2018
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When I started up Brewster Creek I had a snowmobile packed trail with the usual ridges and ruts. It didn’t bother me, however, because I was wearing my

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Tree down on Elk Pass

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Update Sat Jan 20 @ 9:05 a.m: Adam has informed us the tree has been cleared. MaSid took this photo of the deadfall on Elk Pass today and remarked,

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Cypress Hills ski trails are ready

January 19, 2018

For my readers in Medicine Hat and the southeast corner of Alberta, the Cypress Hills ski trails are groomed and in good shape right now. Chris Dodds from Alberta Parks sent an email and stated … “Trails are in great shape right now and should last throughout this brief warm spell and be good for […]

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Heads up on Elk Pass/Hydroline and Mt Shark

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If Chuck’s report and photos of Mt Shark have enticed you, along with tonight’s tracksetting, to head over there on Friday, be aware that Spray Lakes/Smith Dorrien road south of Canmore will be closed for avalanche control

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Thursday morning update

January 18, 2018

Chip took the above photo of the “SkierBob extended family” on the Pipestone trails yesterday.  Update 9:50 a.m from Adam in Peter Lougheed Prov Park:

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Canmore Nordic Centre

January 17, 2018
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Update Thurs Jan 18 at 10 a.m from CNC: All Ski trails have ice from last nights freezing rain. Please use caution on Natural snow Trails

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“It was like a family reunion”

January 17, 2018
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Unfortunately I wasn’t there to join the fun, but I’m glad to see so many of our “regulars” were enjoying the day on great conditions at Pipestone. Chuck skied every trail

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Bow River loop at Lake Louise

January 16, 2018
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If you’re looking for a scenic, easy, dog-friendly trail, check out the  Bow River loop at Lake Louise. I had a wonderful ski there with Tessa yesterday afternoon.

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Monday night update

January 15, 2018

Volunteers are required at Confederation golf course for snow harvesting which involves shoveling snow onto trails Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm(1 to 2 hour commitment). Register here ****** Reading Captions Trip reporter Chuck usually tells the story of his ski trips with photos

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Soul-mending rhythm of XC skiing

January 14, 2018
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Too bad my friend Chip, who coined the above phrase, went to Mexico for the month of January. He is not only having to endure hot weather, but he’s missing

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West Bragg Creek Jan 13

January 14, 2018
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Thanks to Alf Skrastins for the report and photos: “Here are some photos to go with all the other posts about the great conditions at West Bragg Creek on Saturday. 

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Goat Creek and Spray River

January 13, 2018
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I don’t know about you, but I eagerly anticipate reading all the trip reports every day. Chuck did the epic ski to the elk trap today. Not sure how many Ks he did

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Snowshoers wanted to pack trail in Yoho

January 13, 2018

This request came in today from the Kicking Horse Ski Club: “We are finally getting into some really good snow–next on the agenda is the Monarch trail to link up Field and the Tak Falls

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Healy and Brewster Creeks

January 12, 2018
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This should be one of the best weekends of skiing this winter with the new snow, new tracksetting, nice weather, and lots of choices.

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