Goat Creek was fantastic; then the snowshoers came

Caroline is safely across the Goat Creek bridge

We had fantastic weather and wonderful trail conditions today on Goat Creek. Caroline and I skied to the Spray river bridge and up the other side, about 9.5K one-way. That’s the half-way point if you’re skiing the entire distance from Canmore to Banff.

As I had hoped, yesterday’s snow was skied-in by the early skiers and the tracks were quite fast. The snow temp was -7, and the wax worked so well that we didn’t even have to herringbone once today. The steep hill down to Goat creek has lots of snow and you didn’t have to take your skis off. It was unusual, though, to see two skiers having lunch at the corner of the bridge exactly where you have to make the sharp turn.

Crossing one of the many single-track bridges on Goat Creek

We were amused by a skate skier, who we didn’t see, but his tracks told the story. On Goat Creek, it’s normal to have a large ridge of snow in the middle of the track. This skate-skier plowed through the ridge which was a foot deep on his skate skis! We were having such a wonderful day, I couldn’t get upset over his skate tracks messing up the classic tracks, as the damage was minimal since the snow already had a day to set up.

What did upset me was the ignorant people who completely ruined the tracks on the first 4K.


Goat Creek BEFORE the snowshoers

While we were out, some snowshoers decided to emaciate the trail for our return trip to the Goat Creek trailhead.


Goat Creek AFTER the snowshoers

It’s rare that we get an opportunity to ski Goat Creek on such magnificent conditions. It’s a shame to have a few self-absorbed, inconsiderate people ruin it for all the skiers who will be out tomorrow. It was obvious there was no attempt to walk in the middle of the trail to preserve the tracks; in fact it almost looked as if they tried to walk in the tracks on purpose. Thankfully they only went about 4K. I’m not criticizing snowshoers in general, just the ones who did this. In fact, I’ve been impressed with the way snowshoeing has not interfered with the skier’s tracks in PLPP.

A remote camera captured this image of a wolf and her pups on the Fairholme Benchlands in Banff National Park

I’ve been enjoying the banter on the Trip Reports page about the animal sightings. The photo of the wolves is one of my all-time favourites from the Banff National Park remote wildlife cameras. Those pups are extremely happy to see their mom who probably just returned from a hunting trip. Click on the photo to see a larger image.


Some trails were trackset in PLPP last night. Check the Kananaskis trail report.  Check the comment on this post from tracksetter Jeff for an update on the Ribbon Creek/Kananaskis Village trails.


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  1. Hey skier bob, nice to see you on the trail and be able to put a face to the blog writer, thanks for the updates.


  2. Sorry to hear about the ski tracks being ruined by inconsiderate snowshoers. We all share these trails and as a skier and snowshoer I hope everyone has the respect to not snowshoe or walk in ski tracks. I and everyone I snowshoe with is very aware of where the ski tracks are and avoid them.

    There is usually room to the side or between the double tracksetting to snowshoe and if not then the trail should not be snowshoed.

    Signage and more information provided on which trails can be snowshoed could “maybe” help avoid this.

  3. If you’ve seen the devastation left behind after clear-cut logging on trails like Wildhorse / Quirk Creek (which used to be an incredible mountain bike ride), you’ll want it done differently in West Bragg Creek. One of the proposed solutions is to provide a significant windbreak (100+ metres) between trails and the logged areas, which I think is a reasonable accomodation for SLS to make. Let them hear your voice!

  4. All the trails around the Ribbon Creek and Kananaskis Village have been groomed and or track set in the last 3 days. Lots of tree debris on Wed but a bit of fresh snow managed to cover most. The only exception is the Bill Milne trail and the Wedge pond area these haven’t been groomed.

  5. When I was at a meeting in Banff in Dec. I heard people complaining about people walking and snowshoeing in trails there. When I mentioned our sucsess on our trails in Yoho and Louise, they didnt believe me, but all we did was to create enough room for them and some small ,polite signs asking them to stay to the sides, and presto 99.9% success!

    Hi John, what’s the temperature down there today? I’ll bet you miss riding the snowmobile in -30. -Bob

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