Goat Creek and Spray River

by Bob Truman on January 9, 2018

in Banff, Goat Creek

Post image for Goat Creek and Spray River

Linnea from Sweden on Spray River West. She mentioned that she checked my blog this morning before heading out.

The weather forecast was correct: “Snow beginning in the afternoon.” To be precise it started at 12:15 pm as I reached the Spray bridge at 9K. 

Goat Creek bridge at 7K

When I started out from the Goat Creek trailhead at 11:20 a.m, the temperature was +1°C but the snow was still cold enough to use VR50(0/-4). Goat Creek has been hard-packed by the many skiers, snowshoers, hikers and fat bikers and there were no tracks to follow.

Tracksetting on Goat Creek started at 7.2K

All the trails in this update should be covered with lots of fresh snow by tomorrow, so anyone who ventures out will be breaking trail. 

It was a quick trip down to the Goat Creek bridge at 7K, interrupted only when I stopped to watch the antics of a pine marten on the trail in front of me.

Now on Spray River West, about 12K into my trip

I encountered two easily avoidable rocks on the trail, and two more on the fast downhill to the Goat Creek bridge which wouldn’t have been easy to avoid on skis but I walked down.  This 10 cm of new snow should finally cover all the rocks. 

Pine marten on Goat Creek

After climbing the hill from the bridge, I had nice machine-set tracksetting to follow for the rest of the way to Banff. By the time I reached the Spray River West trailhead at Banff there was about 2 cm of new snow on the trail. 

The fresh snow was cold enough that my VR50 wax worked well with no icing. 

A snowfall warning is in effect for Canmore and Kananaskis with at least 10 cm expected. Calgary, West Bragg, and Banff will receive lesser amounts but still enough to freshen up all the trails. 

For the next couple days, Lake Louise may be the warmest place to ski. The forecast is calling for highs around -9 whereas the high in Canmore tomorrow is -17. 

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