CANADIAN ROCKIES IN THE SUMMER: PART 1
6th May 2018 | James Cove, Canada
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.
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.
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.
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.
We paddled up a gently flowing river.
And then out into the Vermilion Lakes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To begin with the views to the side were better than those straight ahead.
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.
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.
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.
And then some stunning rock formations.
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.
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.
And then snow at the first pass.
And this at 3hrs into the hike.
And it was round the shores of the lake to head to Deception Pass:
I was at the back again with Kisia pausing.
And it is Redoubt Mountains (2,902m) and Ptarmigan Lake.
There was an abundance of wildlife en route including these fellas:
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.
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.
These people were doing a 7-day trek on four feet.
And at the top time to see more snow.
Note the retreating glacier in the distance.
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.
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.
8-hours after setting off we were back and my feet took a well-deserved wash and cool down.
On the way back from Lake Louise to Banff along the Bow Valley Parkway road the Canadian scenery was equally as stunning.
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.
There is Stand Up Paddle Boarding:
And I also tried Kneeling Down Paddle Boarding:
Then Sitting Down Paddle Boarding:
And my favourite of all…
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