4763
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Old Goat Glacier Hike

Where:

  • Old Goat Glacier

 

When:

  • July 17, 2021

 

Who:

  • Ed, Craig, Oak, Geoff, Lynn, Bailey, Erin, Tomonori

 

Trailhead:

  • a half-hour drive south of Canmore on the Spray Lakes road
  • at 14 km from the Canmore Nordic Center, and just past the Ranger station, turn right towards the Campground site of Spray Lakes
  • once you are on the far side of the lake, turn left into the Campground road and go 1.5 km to a parking lot on your right-hand side with a red water pump
  • the trailhead starts up a small hill on the left-hand corner of the parking lot

 

 

Degree of difficulty:

  • 700 meters elevation
  • 11 km to the end of the glacier valley and back
  • 4.5 hours total time on the trail
  • the trail starts out gently rolling uphill for the first 2 km before it climbs very steeply up the gully
  • the climb through the gully can be tricky due to some loose rocks and the steepness, so take it slow and steady (poles are a good idea on the descent)
  • at the top of the gulley, you enter the base of the glacial field, where you turn left to head up to the mouth of the glacier
  • this part of the trail climbs steadily along a narrow ridge with some loose scree and rocks and is especially challenging near the end

 

 

Interesting notes:

  • the first part of the trail through the forest has Old Goat Creek bordering it on the left
  • beautiful views back across Spray Lakes to the backside of Three Sisters
  • Old Goat Glacier is unique as you get a tremendous sense of the power of nature to carve out a glacial field (moraine) over a millennia
  • it is part of the Goat Range and is surrounded by Goat Mountain to the west and Mount Nestor to the south
  • the trail is named ‘Old Goat’ in memory of Rick Collier, a founding member of the Old Goats Climbing Club, who had climbed this peak numerous times and had written much about it
  • years ago, Banff Heli Sports used the glacier for heli-skiing