I was pleasantly surprised when I scouted Goat Creek to check the conditions for Nancy. Not only that, but Spray River was groomed and trackset on the Banff end today.
It was nice and sunny with no wind and the Spray Lakes road is in great shape(nice and smooth with packed snow). Cheryl walked Tessa on the Kananaskis side(dogs are allowed on leash on the first kilometre of Goat Creek) while I skied a kilometre past the Kananaskis-Banff boundary.
The old tracks, which would have been very icy yesterday, were totally rejuvenated with the 3-4 cm of new snow. I was shocked to find the tracks were still there, but I guess that’s the advantage of icy conditions, it preserved the tracksetting! The new grooming configuration also helps by keeping snowshoers, walkers, and bikers off the tracks.
Skiers had skied in the tracks and hopefully they went for at least 9K to the Spray River bridge, which is where the new tracksetting should start and take you the rest of the way into Banff. According to the Banff trail report, Spray River West has been trackset for 9.9K to the junction with Goat Creek.
The air temperature was -7°C at the Goat Creek trailhead and the snow was -6. I had excellent grip with VR40(-4/-12). The cooler temperatures in the forecast should preserve these conditions for a few days. The lows are in the vicinity of -15 and the highs are around -8 for the near future.
Environment Canada is calling for 2-4 cm of new snow tomorrow for Banff. That’s a good thing because it won’t take long for the scary downhills to be scraped down to hardpack by snowplowers.
Not a rock in sight on the first downhill from the parking lot.