Spray River West in Banff National Park

Grooming on Spray River West is 36 days ahead of last year. This early season is unusual in that we have so many places to ski already.It was wonderful to read all the encouraging trip reports today. 

Spray River West

I was picking up a rock as Louise was coming towards me on a downhill. She mentioned that her day was busy with rock-picking and I thanked her. Everyone was doing their bit to clear rocks but I’m sure there are a few left for tomorrow’s skiers. 

Tyler and Paige were pleased with the skiing conditions on Spray River West

I meant to take my rock skis, however I inadvertently grabbed some good skis in my rush to get to the trail, but I managed to avoid adding any new scratches on them. 

Spray River West has been groomed to the Spray bridge at 9.5K. Thereafter, Goat Creek has been snowmobile packed. I skied out for 7K and turned around. 

Soft, freshly groomed snow & Fat-biker = Carnage

Evidence of a fat-biker walking his bike in the soft snow

Now that old age has mellowed my attitude, I’m going to give the fat-biker the benefit of the doubt and make excuses for the carnage he created on the trail. The poor fellow wasn’t having any fun in the soft snow and the conditions were way beyond his ability.

Ruts left by the fat-biker

He frequently dismounted and made big post-holes and divots in the soft snow with his boots. When he was able to ride, the track he left was wavy, wobbly, and frequently left big ruts.

I will assume he started at Goat Creek and didn’t realize the trail was being groomed today and ended up in-over-his-head. 

Fat-biker on Spray River West

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I have enjoyed meeting fat-bikers on the trail. They are always friendly and respectful and I’ve never seen one creating any significant damage to the trail.

I hope the fat-bike community will use these photos as an educational tool for novice fat-bikers. Riding in soft snow is not easy for a novice biker and you can see the damage it creates. 

When I encountered the fat-biker, it was one of the rare occasions where he was actually riding the bike.

Eventually Parks Canada will post the signs which direct fat-bikers and all multi-users to Spray River East. This worked well last winter.

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  1. I commend anyone who goes out of their way to help others by fixing up a trail by clearing it of debris, or even shoveling snow like I know Bob and others have done.

    So, forgive my horrible geographical sense of humour:

    Conversation between two Martians using a large telescope:

    Martian1: What are those people doing?
    Martian2: They are good samaritans who are picking rocks off of a ski trail.
    Martian:1 What is this place?
    Martian2: It’s called the Rockies. It is in Alberta, Canada.
    Martian1: Why is it called Rockies?
    Martian2: Well, you won’t believe this, but…. -)

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