To continue the saga of the Rockies, well not too much of a saga thus far...
Day 3: Collaseum walk
Today we were given a choice of climbing either Baldie or Collaseum (sp?) and we all agreed on going the longer (but less steep) mountain... Both rising up around 500 metres.
It was a fairly nice walk through lots of trees, except when relatively close to the peak I slipped on some scree rolling my right ankle... And as most of you know OW!! Not a nice feeling, but luckily I was wearing my hiking boots, I didn't do any damage to the ligament, and I had my ankle strap in the backpack..
Also it meant that I seemed to provide a great excuse for a few other people to rest up with me at a spot with a great view (luckily I'd done it just around the corner from a great resting spot!) while the others continued along the ridge to the summit of Collaseum.
So as you can imagine that was a bit of a downer, but the day was salvaged at the rustic hostel we stayed at that night (I say rustic as there was no running water, including plumbing..), where right beside a glacial stream there was a proper japanese style sauna! Fantastic! I was even able to convince a couple of other people to join me (and got thanked for it afterwards), so relaxing and refreshing to soak in that heat, jump into the glacial stream and then back into the heat again... Followed by getting dry in front of a lovely warm fire! :-D
If you want to visit this hostel (aparently there's great rock climbing nearby) it is Rampart HI
Day 4: Athabasca glacier ice walk
Well today we had the option of going on either a Snowcoach* ride or a hike on the icefield itself...
Most of us went for the hike, and all I can really say is WOW!! This would have to of been my favourite part of the tour, and yeah it's an extra charge, but seriously worth it! I swear the stream flowing on the glacier (aparently at 0.8 degrees celcius) looked like awesome waterslides! :-) And feeling the chill in the air as you walk on all that ice! At the bottom of the hill all you need is shorts and t-shirts, about 20 minutes into the hike I was glad for the long pants, jumper, beanie, gloves & waterproof jacket. :-D
Just do it!
* Thanks to some guy for posting up pictures of the Athabasca Glacier that I could point to.
Day 5: Saying g'bye
Well because of my plans to head to Vancouver, I and Jamie decided to hop off the tour a day early so that we could catch the train from Jasper (the tour was heading back to Calgary the following day, and the train only runs 3 times a week).
But before we headed off I got to spend a nice relaxing day out to Maligne Lake, but instead of hiking around it we caught a boat ride out to 'Spirit Island', so named not because of the First Nations (known more commonly as the Native Indians), but because a famous photographer/painter (I'm not sure which) won a competion with a picture at this spot, and titled 'Spirit Island' when asked why? He responded "It captures the Spirit of the Rockies"... And so the island was named.
And that was goodbye for the Rockies and a cool bunch of people that I had the pleasure of meeting, and off to Vancouver and Vancouver Island to relax and enjoy before flying to the UK.