Just like Pete and his family, I only went as far as the bridge. I felt fine, but I knew my toes would only take another hour or so. If I had really wanted to do any distance, I definitely would have required toe-warmers today.
In fact, knowing the last part of the trail to the Goat Creek bridge is a minefield, I turned around while still up top.
Besides being a fun trail, I like Goat Creek because it’s a short drive, only 9K from my house, and that was about all the distance I felt like driving today.
It was bitterly cold with a wind in the Goat Creek parking lot, but 500 metres down the trail, the wind disappeared, and I was early enough to be in the sun, and it was quite pleasant. The car said -16°C at 12:30 pm.
There were more skiers on the trail than I would have expected to see on such a cold day. I did not see any fat bikers or snowshoers, only one couple who were walking in the multi-purpose portion of the trail.
The few rocks you’ll encounter are quite easy to see and avoid except for the first downhill at the trailhead where I walk down. The tracks are a bit thin but for Goat Creek I thought they were holding out pretty good for being a week old.
I should point out for anyone who is considering doing the entire Goat Creek and Spray River to Banff(19K), it is not an easy trail. If anyone entices you by saying it is mostly downhill, don’t forget there are still lots of hills to climb, too. In spite of a net elevation drop of 270 metres, there’s an accumulated elevation gain of 210 metres with all the ups and downs.
Today at 5K from Goat Creek trailhead, a group who were skiing to Banff asked me if there was anywhere along the trail that you could abandon ship and be picked up. I said that once you’re on the trail, you’re either committed or have to turn back.
There’s snow in the forecast for Sunday night and Monday.
On Sun Jan 15, kids ski for free at Canmore Nordic Centre for World Snow Day.