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?

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Brand new wooden skis for sale

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