Rockies

For my August vacation, I took a family trip with my Ma and Sis to the Rockies. I had been to the Rockies before in my youth but both times they were on ‘lovely’ bus tours with both sets of grandparents. Suffice to say, all I did on bus tours were eat and sleep.

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This time, my mother decided she would spend a night camping with us while we embark on our 4 day trip. My mother hasn’t camped in 30 years, I am still amazed she agreed to sleep in a tent. The first night we camped at Shuswap Lake Provincial Park. From Shuswap Lake we continued our drive to Banff. The view was quite nice, however my mother having travelled around quite a bit herself, was not particularly impressed. Sigh.

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Our first stop in the Rockies was at Yoho National Park, Takawaka Falls. The nth highest fall in Canada. Side note: I find it strange that you don’t pay for access to Provincial parks, but you have to pay $19.95/day/family to go to a national park. I pay my taxes! and the government wants more money from me? Sniff…

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Me and my Sis managed to do a short climb in Banff on the Sunshine Walls. We met a veteran climber named “Mike Barter” who was fixing/cleaning/making more routes. As a novice climber, I really appreciate the men and women who make new climbs for everyone.

This is Cathedral Mountain, it does look like there is a cathedral built on top of the mountain. The city of Banff also has a hot spring, what a rip-off! It is just a small outdoor pool. Perhaps I have been too spoiled with the hot springs in Japan and Taiwan.

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And here is the infamous Lake Louise. We were really lucky on our trip to have really hot and sunny weather. It makes the glacial lakes so much more stunning. My mum was finally impressed with the view. While we were walking around the lake, we saw quite a few climbers heading towards the end of the lake, looks like there is a pretty popular crag there.

We continued along the Ice field Parkway, we stopped by several scenic points. Mistaya Canyon is definitely one of the most unique viewpoint along the whole drive. Basically, over the years, the water has carved a lovely curved canyon through the rocks.  I wished I was brave enough to step closer to the canyon’s edge, but with no railings one false step and goodbye world!

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After a long drive, we reached Jasper National Park where the Athabasca Glacier is located. Tragically, the glacier recedes at 2.4m a year. We did not go up the glacier on the Brewster busses, because I have already been up it twice and found walking on a glacier nothing special.

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We ended the long day in Valemount due to the ridiculously overpriced hotels in Jasper.  My sister insisted we walk around a bird sanctuary and it actually turned to be quite nice even though all I saw were ‘common teal ducks’ and got attacked by mosquitos.

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And that, we went to Wells Grey Provincial park where we saw more waterfalls. Then we continued on our long drive home to Vancouver. This is how me and my sister looked like after 9 hours of driving.

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