I have left Revelstoke behind me and found myself in the Rockies for a while. The first week I was busy for Hagen Alpin Tours skiing the ski areas in the Banff National Park before my travel companion Mira picked me up and the adventure Alaska 2.0 took off.
One last night in the hotel and then we finally moved into our van. Cold temperatures during nights weren’t new for me as I had the same struggle when I first visited Alaska, still, it was quite a rapid change. The first night we’ve spent close to Canmore, in a very eye-catching scenery.
Then we drove back to Banff and finalized some preparations for our trip up north. Later that day we then teamed up with Tom whom I knew from Revelstoke and who would join us for two days of ski touring in the Rockies. Tom, like the two of us, spent the nights in his converted GMC Safari Van. Our beautiful van will definitely be the subject of another post in the near future.
Let’s get back to our touring adventures. Early in the morning; it was still freezing cold; we drove up to our day’s destination, the Crowfoot Pass. To reach it, we had to start our tour from the Crowfoot Glacier Viewpoint, which we reached exactly when the first rays of the sun hit the summits above the glacier. Petty breathtaking! Definitely with the early start!
The first one and a half hours we walked through the vast valley and fought our way up the trees on a super gnarly ice crust. Once above treeline, we found ourselves in a stunning winter wonderland.
To reach the pass we still had to cover quite a bit of up and down over some rolling hills climbing up to the pass.
From there, we finally started our first Rockies descend. The snow was far from ideal, anyhow, the first Rocky-Turns felt quite amazing.
The run then ended in a valley on the riverbanks of the Bow River and we had to find a way across, to get back. This attempt almost ended with wet feet.
Back at our vans we immediately started to dry all our gear and cooked a late lunch/ early dinner in the bright sun which made the van-life a lot of fun again.
The next morning we started, once more, before sunrise. With temperatures still below zero, we forced ourselves out of the warm sleeping bags and drove up along the Icefields Parkway to the Parker Ridge. This one looked pretty small from the bottom and didn’t seem to offer a lot of skiable terrain with the current avalanche problems. Anyhow, we made our way up through the designated treed area and reaching the summit of the ridge were pretty much dazzled by the gorgeous view. Again, this day was not a flop at all.
And we’ve only been out for about an hour by this time. Resulting from that quick ascend we started our first run down through a mellow and supportive depression close to the trees. We then ended up doing another quick lap on the same run before we had a relaxed coffee at our vans, once again in bright sunshine. It was only about 11 o’clock when we started our third ascend. This time we took the same way up but from the first summit of the ridge we traversed further to an even higher one, which resulted in an even better run down to the valley again.
Three runs in one day, and it was only 1:30 pm. This was a remarkable effort! And even better, the sun was still shining brightly onto the parking lot and we were able to set up our small camper village again to dry our gear and have a great meal.
In the end, it was time to say goodbye to Tom, who would drive back to Revy. Mira and I packed up our stuff as well and drove further up North, past Jasper and Mount Robson and reached Prince George the following day. From there I am reporting right now. The change between winter and summer on our journey got very noticeable through the fact that we already saw nine black bears along the road during our first travel day outside the Rockies. Let’s see how many more we will see this time. Just to compare, last time I’ve traveled through North America I saw 42 bears over the summer.