Spare socks came in handy

Sara M at Spray warden cabin

April 7, 2021

If you’ve been reading the PLPP trail report this winter, it advises… “Plan for rapidly changing conditions and bring extra socks.”

Sara M crosses the Spray River

Yesterday, Sara M completed an epic trip which started at Mt Shark, accessed the Spray Warden Cabin, then finished on Goat Creek for a 43K day, much of it an obstacle course. Not to mention she walked a further 10K from Goat  Creek trailhead to Canmore!

One of the easier sections of Sara’s trip

Read Sara’s trip report and see her photos for all the scary details and the formidable challenges she faced. Here are a few highlights…

“At this point, the river has many smaller branches and I had to wade one of them”

“the road was washed out and I had to bushwhack in the trees above the river”

“There was a lot of deadfall that completely crossed the road, requiring either a careful step over, skiing off the road and around, or removing skis and climbing over”

“I had to use my skis as axes to anchor myself as I kicked steps to cross a particularly steep wall of snow”

“The burned section was ~3km long and it took me a little over an hour to cross, and I’m amazed that I didn’t break any equipment”

“Long story short: I would not recommend skiing from Mt Shark to Goat Creek”

All this after driving to Mt Shark on another obstacle course, the Spray Lakes road. 

Snow and colder weather on the way

Last night’s tracksetting in PLPP included Lodgepole, Braille, Sinclair, Meadow(partial),  Spruce road. The steep hill at the north end of Lodgepole(suicide hill) will no longer be groomed this season. 

It didn’t freeze last night in PLPP, and the temperature at the Lower Lake this morning is +3°C. A wind warning has been issued, but there is also significant snow in the forecast along with cooler temperatures for the coming week. is predicting 20 cm over the next six days and sub-zero highs. 


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  1. A younger Alf in the day may well have awarded Sara with the “light gear touring award of the year” for this trip. I too followed along the great description, map in hand. Bravo Sara.

  2. What a feat of perseverance Sarah. Nicely done and reported.

  3. Good advice but nicely done Sara! An adventure survived always makes for a story that gets better with each telling. A great way to cap off the season and lead into scheming the next.

  4. Sara M: so glad to meet you via this blog and how deserving you are to be featured after that ultra marathon of an obstacle course. I had to get out my old Banff Gem Trek map to check out your ski. So many of us have truly enjoyed your Trip (with a capital T) reports this season. Thank you for bringing such enthusiastic adventures forth and for taking such a terrific selfie!! No wonder you were smiling to make it that far. I’d happily have risked my car’s suspension to pick you up at Goat Creek had I known of this Spring Skiing Adventure. As Chuck said, an awesome description complete with poignant photos. The one of your feet on the snow is a winner as is your beautiful selfie.

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