-Goat Creek with some fresh snow which has been well packed-
I’m sure some of you were wondering why I was skiing Goat Creek so often back in December. By now, I’m sure you’ve all figured it out.
Between Dec 14 with its first tracksetting, and Dec 30, I skied Goat Creek/Spray River 6 times on near-perfect conditions. My goal was to ski it a dozen times this winter. I slowed down the pace in January, thinking the excellent conditions would last forever, and only skied it twice more by Jan 17.
It’s now a month later, I’m stalled at 8 trips and am not sure if I’ll get another chance, but with the snowfall yesterday, I was curious to see how the conditions were. I’m still recovering from this cold, and wasn’t ready to do mega-Km, so I skied out 2K from the Goat Creek trailhead.
I took my wider metal-edged skis hoping the snow would be cold enough to use wax, with the Skintecs on standby. The air temperature was +3°C and the snow looked to be skiable with VR55(0/-3), and it was.
The trail has 3-4 cm of new snow which has been very well packed by all the multi-users over the previous ice. There are no set tracks to speak of, but it was pretty good skiing, and remarkable there was almost no debris. The only places which were still icy were under tree canopies and on quick downhills which have been scraped bare. No problem, however, with the metal edges.
As I discovered later, when I spoke to some skiers in Banff, the snow was dry until the 7K Goat Creek bridge, at which time it became a lot wetter.
Spray River West
It’s probably a good thing I didn’t have the energy to go all the way to Banff on skis, but took the car instead. I skied out for 3.5K from the Spray River West trailhead on my Skintecs and realized that waxable skis would have been useless.
There were still reasonably good tracks at this end, but the trail conditions were inconsistent and variable: Sometimes wet, sometimes icy, and occasionally I had good snow. It looked like this end of the trail received about 2 cm of snow yesterday. The Skintecs performed well on all conditions whether I was climbing or gliding.
I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of debris, well, for most of it. When you look at the photo gallery you’ll see some spots which were strewn with debris, but they were isolated.
At 2.6K I ran into Connie, Kevin, and a young lady(who’s name I forgot, sorry) who had come all the way from the Goat Creek trailhead. They were using fish scale waxless and were having problems with the wet snow sticking to the grip zones on their skis. Despite the problems, they were still smiling. This is when I learned about the snow turning wet after the Goat Creek bridge.
Connie was using short, wide skis which give good control on the icy downhills but did not glide very fast. I managed to catch up to her just as she was finishing and took the celebratory photo. 19K on these difficult conditions is an accomplishment to celebrate and be proud of.