Three cute chicks on Spray river

When I encountered Laurie, Sue and Sue, they had already skied 14.3k from the Goat creek trailhead, and were having lunch at the junction where Spray river west meets Spray river east. They had 5.6k yet to ski, as they were heading all the way to Banff. They reported good conditions on all sections of the trail to this point.

Chuck and Lorraine were enjoying the good conditions on Spray river

When I took their photo, I said I’d try to remember their names, but with my memory, it’s never a guarantee. One of them said, “just call us the three cute chicks.” Hey, don’t blame me for any political incorrectness with today’s title. 🙂

Eleven days ago when I skied Spray river west, there were still a lot of thin spots on the first 5.6k, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I reached the trailhead around 1 pm. Luckily two skiers had just finished and told me the conditions were pretty good. They reported using VR55 wax with much success.

Tuesday trekkers on Spray river west

I waxed with Toko yellow(-2 and warmer) and it worked very well. The tracks were fair to middlin’ and I was pleasantly surprised at the good condition of the snow, considering the air temperature was +3°C. I had good grip and excellent glide. There’s been a lot of new snow on the trail since it was trackset, but it was skied-in well. Most of the thin spots had been covered, and I didn’t have to get out of the tracks to avoid any dirt.

Spray river west at 8k

The story changes after the junction at 5.6k. This portion of the trail is not so heavily used, so the snow in the tracks was softer, and my wax started to ice. I stopped at 6.5k and re-waxed with VR45 which worked reasonably well for the remainder of the way to the end of the trail at 9.9k(That’s where Goat creek starts).

On the way back, the warm temperature had taken a toll on the final 2k into Banff. I re-waxed again with the sticky yellow, but had marginal grip. It required a lot of double-poling and a bit of skating to complete the ski.

There’s a snowfall warning in effect for Banff with a predicted 10-15 cm overnight. Even better, the forecast is calling for cooler temperatures as we approach the weekend, so maybe these difficult waxing days are behind us. The forecast high for Saturday is -8°C. I see from the Trip Reports that Chip had excellent conditions in Lake Louise today. I was curious about PLPP, so I’m glad to hear about Mary’s trip there today. By Friday, I’m expecting some much improved conditions around here.

I’ve posted a comment under the Backcountry section of Trip Reports. Does anyone have knowledge of avalanche terrain on Rummel Lake trail?

We’ve had some interesting stories about skiers and their most humbling experiences on the Win Fischer Sportglass skis  contest page. Definitely worth a read, and you’ve only got 10 days left to enter this contest.

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