Goat Creek was smooth, fast, and exciting

Can’t get much better than this

The trail descending to the bridge over Goat Creek. Dec 21, 2010

The above photo is a scene you might never see while skiing Goat Creek. If you’re like me, you’ll be concentrating too hard on the fast downhill ahead of you, trying to control your descent in order to make the turn onto the bridge. The trail gets steeper and narrower just as you’re coming to the bridge which requires a quick turn to avoid a  crash onto the bridge railing, or even worse, a frigid bath.

I’m happy to report the snow on this section of trail is in nice shape. There’s still a few exposed rocks, but easily avoidable. If you’re not panic-stricken, you might even have a second or two to take a glance around at the terrific surroundings.

The creek after which the trail was named. Dec 21, 2010

Goat Creek is a beautiful ski trip on a sunny day with gorgeous scenery around every bend in the trail.

Spray River bridge on the Goat Creek trail. Dec 21, 2010

After sub-standard conditions all last winter, this good snow on Goat Creek is a welcome change. The tracks are in good shape and fast.

Goat Creek. Dec 21, 2010

 The air temperature was -8 and the snow temp was about the same.  The uphills here are surprisingly easy when no herring-bones are required. The fast, twisting downhill to the Spray River is still in good shape with not too many big ridges built up yet.

Spectacular scenery from the Goat Creek bridge. Dec 21, 2010

From the trailhead to the Goat Creek bridge, it’s mostly downhill, approx 6k. In good conditions as they are now, this section is like a guilty pleasure if you know you don’t have to return the same way. The usual modus operandi is to have a car or someone pick you up at the Spray River trailhead near the Banff Springs Hotel. The two gentlemen in the below photo were skiing one way, but were planning on taking a cab back to the Canmore end to get their vehicle.

Skiers on the Spray River west side. Dec 21, 2010

I met them on the Spray River west side as I was skiing towards the Goat Creek trailhead. Cheryl gave me a two-hour head start to ski up towards the Canmore end. I met her soon after she started, and we skied back to Banff together.

I’m apprehensive about the couple days of above zero temperatures which are forecast for later this week. I hope it doesn’t wreak havoc with the conditions on here. As it is now, this is one of the best ski trips you’ll ever take.

Action shot! Enjoying one of the many fast downhills on Goat Creek. Dec 21, 2010

Goat Creek is a trail for seasoned intermediate skiers. There’s lots of fast downhills with turns, and although the tracks are in good shape, there are a few areas where they are thin and washed out. The grooming is not as flawless as you will see on the trails in PLPP. Frequently, there’s a ridge in the middle of the trail that can make it difficult to snowplow.

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