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Canada in pictures, the journey ends - James Cove, Canada
Tuesday April 12, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

We're back in Banff skiing the resorts around the town after driving along perhaps the most spectacular ski road in the mountains; the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper.

Sadly all good things must come to an end and our latest Canadian road trip is drawing to its close.

We end where we began - Banff in Alberta.

See here for this earlier photo gallery from Banff and its resorts

Down in the valley just outside Banff winter seems but a distant memory.

The ice on the lakes has mostly melted.

Alberta, CanadaLake Two Jack, Banff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banff, Alberta, CanadaBanff, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the rivers are now free-flowing.

Alberta, CanadaAlberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But in the nearby ski resort of Sunshine Village, that remains open until the last week of May, winter is still underway.

Sunshine Village, photo c/o Daniel ParishSunshine Village, photo c/o Daniel Parish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunshine Village, Alberta, CanadaSunshine Village, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunshine Village, Alberta, CanadaSunshine Village, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunshine Village, Banff, CanadaSunshine Village, Banff, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though it is getting a bit thin at the very base of the resort down in the valley.

Sunshine Village, Banff, CanadaSunshine Village, Banff, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We arrived back to Banff down the Icefields Pathway road a few days ago that runs between Banff and Jasper.

The town of Jasper, with its ski resort of Marmot Basin, are sometimes overlooked by British skiers and snowboarders in Canada.

Big mistake.

"They fly into Calgary and head to the resorts of Sunshine and Lake Louise around Banff and maybe Kicking Horse or Panorama. It looks like a long drive here, and it is by European standards,  but it is through the most spectacular mountain scenery and when you get here, well, it is altogether different,"  the Vice President of marketing for Marmot Basin, Brian Rode, to me.

I don't always agree with what the marketing people of ski resorts say to me but in this case Brian is right. 100% right.

It is a unique spot in the mountains and I hold it in a special place in my skiing heart.

Jasper from Marmot BasinJasper as seen from Marmot Basin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jasper is an authentic old railway town with a laid back atmosphere.

Time simply goes slower and I know of no other ski town like it.

And up on the slopes? 

Marmot Basin, Alberta, CanadaMarmot Basin, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marmot Basin, Alberta, CanadaMarmot Basin, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After 2-days in Jasper it was the Icefields Parkway - 232kms (144 miles) of stunning scenery.

I have now driven the road four times, see here for an article from last winter that contains much more detail about Jasper and Marmot Basin.

And each time the drive gets better and better.

You can go for ages without even seeing another vehicle.

And you won't see a petrol station.

The road awaitsThe road awaits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alberta, CanadaOn the road again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icefields Parkway, Alberta, CanadaIcefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icefields Parkway, Alberta, CanadaVaried mountain scenery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then round about the midway point you reach the Columbia Icefalls - sadly the glaciers are melting at an alarming rate but they still look stunning.

See them in all their glory while you still can.

Icefields Parkway, Alberta, CanadaColumbia Icefield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icefields Parkway, Alberta, CanadaColumbia Icefield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icefields Parkway, Alberta, CanadaColumbia Icefield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columbia IcefieldColumbia Icefield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In mid-winter the road can be treacherous with huge avalanches sweeping down.

Even in April there is evidence of the huge snowfalls that hit the route.

Icefields ParkwayHeavy snow can fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icefields Parkway Avalanche activity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The road simpy goes on... and on... for hours on end... the view after view...

Icefields parkway, Alberta, CanadaIcefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icefields parkway, Alberta, CanadaIcefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icefields parkway, Alberta, CanadaIcefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icefields parkway, Alberta, CanadaIcefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was disappointed when the journey ended.

I could have kept going and going.

Icefields parkway, Alberta, CanadaIcefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icefields Parkway, Alberta, CanadaIcefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was no need to be that disappointed.

The next stop was Kicking Horse in British Columbia - in my view it has some of the best, if not the best, skiing in North America.

I was here in February 2016 on a motorhome road trip - see here for my report from the time.

Kicking Horse, CanadaFebruary's accomodation

 

 

 

 

 

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Now I'm staying somewhere a bit more luxurious - a fabulous 2-bedroom apartment complete with hot tub on the balcony overlooking the slopes.

Kicking Horse, CanadaApril's accomodation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is the end of the season here in Kicking Horse as I have mentioned in this related story on PlanetSKI.

And the end of the season means the bears are coming out of hibernation and I was lucky enough to see one as I was skiing.

Meet Boo who is resident in Kicking Horse.

Kicking Horse, British Columbia, CanadaBoo the Bear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


There is more about Boo the Grizzly Bear here on PlanetSKI.

But I was really in Kicking Horse for the skiing.

Upper slopes of Kicking HorseUpper slopes of Kicking Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upper slopes of Kicking HorseUpper slopes of Kicking Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apart from a few nursery slope lifts Kicking Horse has one gondola and a short (and slow) chairlift - I can't think of a resort in North America that gives access to such good skiing from two simple lifts.

Kicking Horse, British Columbia, CanadaKicking Horse, British Columbia, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kicking Horse, British Columbia, CanadaKicking Horse, British Columbia, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kicking Horse, British Columbia, CanadaKicking Horse, British Columbia, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the views from the top?

Welcome to Canada.

Looking into the Canadian RockiesLooking into the Canadian Rockies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the next stop on the road trip?

It's back to Banff, and the ski resorts of Sunshine Village and Lake Louise, as I go full circle.

FACT BOX

James was travelling in a vehicle provided by Hertz - For further details about car hire check out the offerings from Hertz.co.uk

For more information about Jasper and Marmot Basin then see its web site here.

Meanwhile here is the web site of Kicking Horse.

For further details on the accommodation then see here. It was provided by Lush Mountain Accomodations that has numerous offerings in Kickingg Horse and the nearby town of Golden.

And if you want to try out something more adventurous in Kicking Horse then see what you can do in the backcountry with Kicking Horse Powder Tours.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

For the spirit of the mountains

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