Welcome to the shortest day of the year. I made sure I started early today and was on the trail by 2 pm! The conditions on Goat creek are very good. It was rare to see any pine needles or twigs, and the downhill to the Goat creek bridge had the best snow cover I’ve seen in a long time. As you can see in the photos, the tracks are excellent.
Everyone I talked to today along the trail skied further than the 7k which is trackset, including me. I only went up the hill to get a photo, but for those who went further, there was a variety of opinions on the conditions. Between Goat creek and the Spray river, which is about 2K, there are skier-set tracks, which are a little uneven and wobbly for ultra-skinny skis. The snow has not been packed, so if you have small baskets on your poles, you won’t enjoy it so much.
Ironman Kevin had wider skis and larger baskets and had no trouble. He went all the way to Banff and was returning to the Goat creek trailhead when I met him. He reports that it’s no trouble to cross the bridge which is damaged, you just have to walk on a few feet of ice.
The snow and air temperature were both -12°C. Swix VR30 did the trick today. There was a cold wind at the trailhead, but once on the trail it was calm. The tracksetting doesn’t start until you ski 900 metres and reach the Banff boundary. It’s possible there were tracks at one time, but it doesn’t look like it to me. The sign at the trailhead says it’s 1.7K to the Banff boundary. How could they get it so wrong? These good conditions will hopefully persist until Christmas. The forecast looks pretty decent right now with cool enough temperatures to keep the snow in nice shape. The Banff trail report indicates that Redearth creek was trackset today. Over the holidays, take note of the Canmore Nordic Centre’s Daylodge hours