I didn't think I would get another mountain trip in this spring because of the work season but I'm still not back to work, income taxes are in and @silvergingerman has the long weekend off!! Perfect timing to squeeze a short trip to the Rockies! It wont be as long as we would like, only having a 2 night/3 day trip but it will still be loads of fun ahead. Last minute accommodations on a holiday weekend is a bit pricey tho since it's still to cold to camp...to be honest, I was willing to sleep in the truck if we couldn't find anywhere to stay to make it work!! Luckily we won't have to and we will be sleeping in a nice warm bed after all! 😃😃😃
Naturally, like any other mountain trip we semi sorta plan, I'm mountain porn shopping to see where we want to go visit and like any other trip, 2 days of looking at amazing mountain blogs and photography , I have already come up wit more places to visit and activities to do then we will have time to do. Some will be places to return, others will be entirely new. I'm not too sure what to expect yet, spring starts later in the mountains. I have been on the fall shoulder season before but never in spring(shoulder season is the period between winter skiing and alpine hiking). Right now many of the majestic locations are still closed because of dangerous winter conditions and accessibility, trails will probably be a mess full of mud but hey, I'm all in! We will see when we get there!
We will be staying near Castle Mountain (the picture above) located in Banff National Park. We have spent some time there before but only stopping for an hour or two for a place to bbq, we never actually stayed there. It will be our chance to explore. Both pictures above are taken from the exact same location off the Bow Valley Parkway, just looking in different directions. I expect the mountain tops to still be covered in snow like these pictures but the lower areas to be free of snow with lakes partially melted. At least I hope so, I want to get some reflection shots but frankly I'll be happy with anything, there is no such thing as an ugly picture or landscape from the Rockies!
The picture above, I had taken so many years ago before I was familiar with mountain and lake names, I couldn't figure out for the life of me where I had taken this aside from being on the parkway then suddenly it hit me, it's Rundle Mountain and the Vermilion Lakes...Duh! The picture above, I captured a beautiful phenomenon called Alpenglow when we were on our way back from Lake Louise area. I just found out what it was called today, learn new things everyday. This area will be near where we are staying and has some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets along with a network of trails that may or may not be open but we will be checking it out either way. I told @silvergingerman , sleep or no sleep, we are waking up at 5:30 am to make our way there in time for sunrise.
Being close to the town of Banff, we must go pay a visit! Looking at the forecast, saturday is supposed to be the sunniest day with minimal clouds, perfect day to take the gondola up to the top of Sulfur Mountain and take a few altitude shots of the town and do the hike along the summit, maybe see a mountain goat or two. I always hope to see one but haven't yet. This will be the expensive touristy attraction we will do. This view comes at a bit of a cost , almost $60 per person I believe, I will fill you in on more details when I actually go on the trip! The picture above was taken in summer so there wasn't snow on the mountain view but hopefully it's early enough to get that picturesque view we all expect from Banff. One thing I hope to see , may be a long shot tho, the mentioned above phenomenon called Alpenglow, where the sky lights up soon after the sun disappears behind the mountains in the opposite direction (like the Rundle Mountain picture with all the pink hues) and then spend the rest of the evening relaxing in the near by sulfur hot springs. Here is more info on Alpenglow:
With the famous Lake Louise being only 15-20 minute drive from where we will be staying, we have no choice but to go. This picture was taken in the month of november when the lake was just beginning to freeze up. Because of the altitude it sits at, spring comes much much later so we may not get to see it's breathtaking emerald colored waters. Last time I checked out the live webcam view, it looked like it was still frozen solid but I'm sure it will be a stunning view nonetheless and there is still a trail that goes around the lake and a few possible hikes in the area that will be open for us to get a nice vantage point of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. If steem ever goes to the moon or I win the lottery, that's probably one of the first places I would book a stay! But for now I can only admire it from the outside.
Also on the itinerary will be the above Johnston Canyon, we have been putting this one off for the last few trips because we always run out of time with the over-packed dream landscapes schedules of the Rockies I prepare for us but this time, we are going for sure, hopefully the waterfall is still partially frozen but it may or may not be, we'll see. Maybe we can try hiking to the Ink Pots this time if the trail is accessible this time of year. It may seem like it's more than 2 days worth of fun planned already but I have so much more on the list of places to visit but I have no pictures of them yet as they will be new discoveries for us and I want to leave some for the element of surprise for my future posts! Bears are starting to come out of hibernation and will be hungry and active looking for food, I hope to get another chance at pictures but given that 10 years of traveling there , I saw my first grizzly last year. There is only about 65 grizzlies that roam the park, it might be wishful thinking on my part but I can still hope, I would like the chance to get better pictures of the majestic creature. This weekend can't come fast enough, I am so excited I couldn't help but share my previous photography with you. This might be my last post until I return from our trip with new goodies!
All images taken with Nikon D7000.
Cheers my friends and happy Easter to all! X🐞X