• In a repeat of yesterday and the day before, we cleared snow today. This is the most we have every received in a first-of-season dumping. It’s pretty much stopped now but high winds tomorrow will whip it around making for a miserable day ahead.

    tractor with blower in deep snow

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    I decided to leave the snow on our sales pavillion for the photo.

  • Inspiration: we met this unidentified gentleman twice on our Lake Louise hike. The first was near the start and then 4.5 hours/~5km along. He is missing part of one leg and sometimes crawled his way up. He declined our help and shared photos of his dog in whose memory he hiked.

  • We bought some bear spray in Banff before heading onto the trails. It was reassuring to have but fortunately, we didn’t need to use it. Since airlines don’t allow it on board, we took it to the Parks Canada office in Banff and donated it to their people to use in the back country

  • Two more Sno Coaches make their way down the moraine and onto the ice. Notice the angle of the second coach as it descends the steepest part. An accidental roll-over two years ago caused the operators to step up their safety game and we were sure to wear seat belts.

  • The view out the front window of our Sno Coach as we ascended the lateral moraine. The road appeared to go straight up which is what it pretty much did! The coaches have very low gearing and very powerful engines.

  • Our early morning trek onto the Athabasca Glacier gave us an opportunity to feel its vastness. It was a bumpy ride on the Sno Coach and the parking lot was scraped smooth for us but it was awe-inspiring.

  • I have never found an ideal way to portray the vastness of mountains. This photo is of the Columbia Icefields and surrounding valley. In the centre of the photo is a large front end loader that appears as but a tiny dot.

  • We visited a few canyons to see how meltwater had shaped the landscape. I neglected to record the location of this photo but it does nicely show how water can sculpt rock if given enough time and force.

  • Peyto Lake, Banff National Park: another stop on the Icefields Parkway. The parking lot was constantly full, the trail was busy, very steep but also paved and there was a crowd at the viewing point. However, everyone was polite and took turns. Very international demographics.

  • We were at first perplexed as to why anyone would carry scads of rope on the Lake Louise trail. However, we found a perfect climbing wall for those so inclined. Karen’s finger shows an anchor used along a ledge we crossed. We assume it holds a cable to clutch when the path is icy

  • Some people chose to ride horses on the same trail we hiked. Not my cup of tea but it worked for them. We even managed to avoid all the patties they left.

  • Photos of Lake Louise without showing the crowds. Our early arrival let us see the sunrise over a mountain and a long hike gave us spectacular views of the blue water (coloured by suspended rock dust from the glacial meltwater feeding the lake).

  • Lake Louise is gorgeous as long as you can overlook the crowd! By 9 AM, the parking lots were full when we arrived by shuttle and the wooden deck overlooking the lake was crawling with selfie sticks.

  • Spiral Tunnels at Kicking Horse Pass from Hwy 1, East of Field BC. These photos are my best effort to illustrate the view of one of the two tunnels. 1: train enters tunnel; 2: train exits mountain after circling 270 degrees; 3: same train passes below us after another 180 turn.

  • Several highways in Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks have wildlife overpasses and underpasses to allow for safe crossings. They are of course, a large expense but help demonstrate Canada’s commitment to enviornmental protection. For more, see Canadian Geographic.

  • The TransCanada highway is under construction East of Golden BC. I wanted to see it first hand so we made a quick round trip. The large cranes are suspended over nothing. At another similar project, the operators did not wear seatbelts so they could jump free!. Yikes.

  • Wildfire smoke blew in yesterday and got worse as we drove west on the Transcanada highway. At times, the mountains were almost invisible. If you look closely, you will see what we experienced.

    very smokey view of a mountain

  • Sure are different warning signs on the highways in Alberta/BC compared with Ontario!

    winter tires or chains October to aprilbig horn sheep next 10 kmchain off area

  • There are two service levels on the Rocky Mountaineer: Silver Leaf (single story, panoramic view) and Gold (2 stories, meals below, travel up top). 4 hosts per car plus 2 kitchen staff. We chose gold for the enhanced view. People came from around the world just for this trip!

  • A laid back, sunny day in Banff and a chance for an easy ride on rented ebikes. A nice trail led is to Vermilion Lakes and a great view of Mount Rundle.

  • Enjoying the view from the open air platform. Masks still mandatory on Canadian trains!

  • Abandoned Masonry Bridge

    This masonry bridge was built ca. 1885 for the original route of the CP Railway. The bridge was abandoned a few years later due to the track section being regularly impacted by avalanches. Now the bridge provides excitement for passengers on the Rocky Mountaineer as they anticipate seeing it and the little waterfall it frames. The Rocky Mountaineer is the only passenger train through this area as Via trains use CNR rails farther north.

  • Construction on the Trans Canada Highway in BC near the Alberta border is proceeding as they widen the last section to four lanes. We got a very brief glimpse from below of some of the work. For more photos, see Kicking Horse Canyon.

  • Our first view of snow-capped peaks was just outside Revelstoke and happily, there were many more sightings. Some had a very thick ice pack. The generator car on our train is visible in the first photo. The two smoke stacks on its roof sometimes looked like people lying on the car’s roof!

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