×

CANADIAN ROCKIES IN THE SUMMER: PART 1

We’ve done many a winter road trip in Canada hitting the ski resorts … now it’s the turn of summer.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Here at PlanetSKI we are now looking forward to the summer months in the mountains and beyond. 

We start our summer coverage by looking back at the experiences and adventures of last summer. The highlight was a month or so travelling round the Canadia Rockies. 

Some of it in an RV as we crossed British Columbia. 

Read on…

BYE BYE BANFF… (26th July)

The first leg of the PlanetSKI Canadian adventure is coming to an end. 

We’re now heading out on the road and into British Columbia. 

In our new mode of transport. 

On the road again...

On the road again…

 

We have no idea exactly where we going as road trips need a vague plan but nothing more and in such a vehicle we are entirely self-sufficient.  

The plan is to head in the general direction of Vancouver Island, 1000kms or so away.  

And for a final hurrah in Banff, Alberta we took to water. 

Firstly canoeing out of Banff with the Banff Canoe Club.  

It is based downtown, just 5 minutes from Banff Avenue.

Canoeing, Calgary

Canoeing, Calgary

Canoeing, Calgary

Canoeing, Calgary

A canoe costs just $40 an hour to rent and can take three people. 

Bit of a bargain we reckon.  

And this is what you get.  

Canoeing, Calgary

Canoeing, Calgary

Canoeing, Calgary

Canoeing, Calgary

We paddled up a gently flowing river.  

Canoeing, Calgary

Canoeing, Calgary

And then out into the Vermilion Lakes. 

Canoeing, Calgary

Canoeing, Calgary

Canoeing, Calgary

Canoeing, Calgary

It was the most relaxing way to end our time in this wonderful summer mountain town.      

Then it was into the RV for a test drive and to look at the area’s lakes – some of the most stunning in this part of Canada.          

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

Johnson Lake

Johnson Lake

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake

Slowly does it – nature at work:

It will be hard to leave Banff but we heading out on the road – life really does not get much better in PlanetSKI’s book.

Adventures await...

Adventures await…

LAKE LOUISE TO DECEPTION PASS

THIS IS PERHAPS THE BEST MOUNTAIN HIKE THE PLANETSKI EDITOR, JAMES COVE, HAS DONE. EVER. 

It was always going to be a tall order. 

Hiking from Lake Louise in the Banff National Park to Deception Pass  – the guidebook said it was up to 5 hours, and that was just the one- way time.

We then had to get back.   

The route ahead

The route ahead

Like most big mountain hikes the first section was a long and slow plod up some fairly steep and dull terrain.

A mud track basically.  

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

 

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

T

This plod was made worse by being under constant attack from mosquitoes that seemed to have liked the overnight rain and were out in their droves.  

And in attacking mood.  

Fortunately I was prepared with defences.  

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

To begin with the views to the side were better than those straight ahead.    

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

 

But that would change and little did I know that I was about to see some of greatest high-mountain views I had ever had the pleasure to savour – more of those pictures later.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

The last time I had been on this particular trail was back in 2013.

In winter when I had ski toured to the Skoki Lodge. 

This time round we weren’t going to Skoki – a one day round trip hike would have been a challenge as it takes up to 6-hours on skis to get there. 

But we were following the same route. 

On the way to Skoki

On the way to Skoki

Yours truly, March 2013

Yours truly, March 2013

 

 

The trail in the winter

The trail in the winter

Four years ago I needed two attempts to reach Skoki, but I made it. 

As on all long walks the time slowly slipped by and the terrain gradually changed.  

First some of the most colourful alpine meadows I have had the pleasure to hike through.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

And then some stunning rock formations.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

My wife Kisia usually leads the way on our walks as I prefer to plod, think and let my imagination wander. 

Kisia usually moans that I am going too slow.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Though unlike our embattled Prime Minister I rarley take a decision on matters while hiking – I just chew the fat.

And as you will see from this article I am partial to taking the camera out too. Wink

And then snow at the first pass.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

And this at 3hrs into the hike.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

 And it was round the shores of the lake to head to Deception Pass:

I was at the back again with Kisia pausing.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

 

And it is Redoubt Mountains (2,902m) and Ptarmigan Lake. Cool    

There was an abundance of wildlife en route including these fellas:

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

And this is the noise they make: 

   

And my words certainly can’t do justice to this particular part of the Rockies.

It was, quite simply, stunningly beautiful. 

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

And at the top as the wind picked up this was the 360 degree panorama view from Deception Pass.  

We saw a few other people but not many make the effort to come this high.  

Pretty much everyone we saw was overnighting either in huts or free camping. 

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

 
These people were doing a 7-day trek on four feet. 

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

And at the top time to see more snow. 

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Note the retreating glacier in the distance.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

It had taken us just over 4-hours to reach the summit and it took the same time to get down – back through the same stunning scenery.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

But in this neck of the woods there is an ever present danger – Bears.

They live int he woods and do attack humans.  Everyone is warned to know what to do (stand tall, don’t run) and to carry peppar spray but you need to squirt into there eyes as they charge – easier said than done!

We has ours to hand in a backpack compartment.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

8-hours after setting off we were back and my feet took a well-deserved wash and cool down. 

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

On the way back from Lake Louise to Banff along the Bow Valley Parkway road the Canadian scenery was equally as stunning.  

Views from the Bow Valley Parkway

Views from the Bow Valley Parkway

Views from the Bow Valley Parkway

Views from the Bow Valley Parkway

FIRST THINGS FIRST

As the Canadian adventure begins there a few things on the itinerary – hiking, kayaking, whale watching, camping and more besides in the greta Canadain outdoors.

First on the list is paddle boarding.

Prepared for paddle boarding

Prepared for paddle boarding

There is Stand Up Paddle Boarding:

SUP

SUP

And I also tried Kneeling Down Paddle Boarding:

NDP

NDP

Then Sitting Down Paddle Boarding: 

SDP

SDP

  

And my favourite of all…  

LDP

LDP


See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains – PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •