Our week long trip to Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper was excellent! It started off with a bit of a low point though, our original flight was canceled and we got bumped to the next one at 9:30pm which meant we didn’t get in until nearly 1am! My mother was there to pick us up at the airport and it was great to see her again. We stayed up chatting until nearly 2am before finally crashing out.
Saturday brought a relatively early start and Jamie and I met up with Sean and Leigh Ann, another couple that would join us on this adventure. We set off for the grocery store, the beer store (of course), MEC and finally some lunch. I must be completely used to living in the US by now because the cost of everything seemed much higher to me. Alchohol and food were the two glaringly obvious ones but fortunately MEC remained less expensive than REI.
Once we were fully provisioned we set off for Lake Louise and the first camp of the night. At camp we had great weather for prepping gear and cooking dinner, but come time to eat dinner the skies cracked open and we scurried into our borrowed 6-man tent that I can almost stand up in! It was with high expectations and much excitement that we went to bed that night; with the sun still up I might add, yet another vast difference from Colorado. The next few days would be bring some excellent mountain terrain our way.
After Athabasca we took a rest-day in Jasper. The hot tub at the hotel was magnificent, despite the arguing German couple we shared it with, and the food at the pub that night was passable for starving folks while the beer was simply amazing. We spent the day sleepinng in, then out at the Miette hot springs, and finally on a roof-top patio with poor service and worse food! That night we slept at the Wabasco (wah-bas-co, or wahb-a-sco you decide) campground in preperation for Mt. Edith Cavell.
On our rest day we had decided to swap out an icy Skyladder route up Andromeda for a more forgiving route up Snow Dome. But after our 14hr epic on Edith Cavell we found ourselves re-evaluating even the updated plan once the alarm went off at 3am. Sean and Leigh Ann had decided that they had had enough and were just going to head home and given our physical and mental exhaustion it just didn’t seem safe for the two of us to be on out the glacier in the pitch of night. Instead we went back for more sleep and settled on a leasuirely hike up to Helen Lake instead.
That night we found ourselves sweaty and dirty on the doorstep of sister’s place in Calgary. We had a quick dinner and met her and her husband at their softball game where at least one beer was had 😉 We retired to their hot tub and soaked sore muscles, told stories and lies, and generally kept the neighbours awake far into the night.
The rest of the weekend was a blur of visiting family, grandparents, aunts, and of course mom and dad. We went floating down the Elbow river on a raft, took in the new Bass Pro Shop out at Balzac, played lots of bocce, and sat on the deck chatting and eating and socializing.
It was definitely great to be back in Calgary, and great to see everyone again. We had some great climbs and a weekend of family that was just far too short! Can’t wait to go back.