Goat Creek, Spray River

Ian and Richard on the Spray River trail in Banff. Feb 21, 2011

Ski Goat Creek, stop at the Banff Springs for a Scotch, ski back. That’s what Ian and Richard did on Monday. We ran into them as they were about 9K from Banff and on their way back to the Canmore end(that’s a 36K round trip). They seemed pretty happy.

But who wouldn’t feel intoxicated with the wonderful skiing we’re enjoying right now?

Cheryl started at the Goat Creek trailhead while I drove to Banff and started at the Banff Springs trailhead. I made it to the Spray River bridge, 10K, and had just skied about 50 metres up the other side when Cheryl appeared.

Cheryl on Goat Creek, approaching Spray River bridge. Feb 21, 2011

That’s a fast downhill with a sharp turn exactly where she is. I had taken my camera out to get a photo of the crash site(if you’re coming down too fast and can’t make the sharp turn). The fast downhills are in excellent condition with all the snow, including some fresh snow. She didn’t crash, so I turned around and took another photo as she skied towards the bridge(last photo below).

Skier on Spray River, about 3K from Banff trailhead. Feb 21, 2011

The  tracks are getting a bit washed out from heavy use, but still in fair condition. Cheryl said the worst is the first couple K from the Goat Creek end where walkers and snowshoers have trashed the tracks pretty bad. There’s a few cm of fresh snow over the most recent tracksetting.

Skiing down to the Spray River bridge on Goat Creek. Feb 21, 2011

I’ve skied this trail in better conditions…and much worse. It’s not perfect, but still thoroughly enjoyable. From year to year, we never know what kind of snow and trail conditions we’ll have, so we’re getting our fill this winter. Some minor inconveniences such as wobbly tracks pale in comparison to the poor conditions we had for the entire winter last year on the Spray River.

Enjoying the long downhill on the Spray River as it descends to the East-West junction. Feb 21, 2011

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