I did some scouting around this afternoon in the UNESCO world heritage site that is on my doorstep, Banff National Park. What a treat to be living so close to this incredible place. People from all over the world save their hard-earned dollars to spend two glorious weeks of their life here. I must be living a charmed life, being able to go any day I want.
After having soup and French Fries at Industry Cafe, I drove over to the Banff Springs Hotel and checked out the Spray River West. As luck would have it, I met Chuck at the trailhead, where he and Jeanette had just finished skiing out about 14K(one-way), and reported that conditions were reasonably good. 14K would take you all the way to the Goat Creek bridge and up the other side for about 2K.
I still ventured out, maybe about 1.5K and took a few photos so you can see for yourself. The snow coverage is good, tracks are not deep, but at least they’re not washed out.
The snow temperature was -5, but my grip with VR45 was barely adequate. With tomorrow’s warmer temperatures, you might have to go a bit stickier. The weather forecast is calling for +6 in Banff, so make sure your wax kit is well-stocked with warmer waxes if you’re going to ski Goat Creek to Banff.
Next stop was Healy Creek and Brewster Creek. Healy was just trackset yesterday, and was in excellent condition. I did have to go one step warmer with the wax and applied a layer of VR50(for 0/-3). My most pleasant surprise was Brewster Creek. The snow was still powdery, and there’s a semblance of tracks where the pitch isn’t too steep. I’m not quite ready for a sustained climb on a steep trail, and Brewster Creek climbs and climbs for a long ways, so I only went 700 metres. Coming back down was fun, and easy to control myself on the hills and sharp turns, even in my compromised state. It was so tempting to carry on. If you get an early start, the warmer weather shouldn’t be too much of a factor. It had started snowing lightly.
In total today I only did 9K, but it felt good. I’m saving my strength for a big one tomorrow: 12K on Pocaterra!