As you’ve already read from Helen, conditions on Goat creek were wonderful. Chuck reported the new tracksetting yesterday and I couldn’t resist. The tracks were fast, and VR40(-4/-12) was working well for the entire 19K to Banff and I don’t remember doing any herringbones. The air temperature at Goat creek trailhead at 1 pm was -5°C, and at Banff at 3 pm it was zero.
About 2K down the trail I stopped to politely ask a couple snowshoers to avoid walking on the tracks. One of them was in the mood for confrontation and denial, but the photo tells the story. If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I’ve been effusive in my praise of the snowshoers this winter, as most have been very considerate about not walking on the ski tracks, but WTH are these two thinking? If they misunderstood the etiquette, my request would have informed them, but to deny they were walking in the tracks? It tells me they knew the etiquette and just didn’t care.
With that incident behind me, at 3K I caught up to Katelyn and Braden from Edmonton who were skiing Goat creek for the first time ever and having a lot of fun. They sure picked a good day to do it. They also saw the snowshoers walking in the tracks but unlike me, they didn’t say anything.
I skied with them for about 5K and scared them enough about the downhill to the Goat creek bridge that they removed their skis and walked down. Katelyn bailed at the top of the hill when she saw what lay before her. It was scraped pretty clean(from Helen I guess), but looked skiable.
As I approached Banff, I could clearly see they didn’t get as much snow at that end of the trail but it was still okay, just a little glazed in a few places where the snow was thin, usually under the canopy of a tree. I took the Spray river west all the way and encountered only one place where there was tree debris, about 800 metres from the end.
A cautionary note: There are two steep hills with sharp turns on Goat creek which require strong snowplow skills. Skiers are advised to remove skis and walk down these hills.
Cascade Valley in Banff was trackset again today.