Well when I got to Calgary and started chatting with the guy behind the desk at the HI, he highly recommended a very affordable and enjoyable way of seeing the Rockies: True North Tours
And I gotta say, it was well worth it! If you want a fun way of seeing the Rockies and actually getting out there to do some reasonable hikes (you can choose different levels), go with these guys!
Well what to say about the group? Other than that Joel (the guide) was a very excellent dude, who straight away got chatting about the dilemma of protecting the wilderness, and having a job bringing people into the wilderness (good luck on figuring that one out!) and the rest of the people made this a truely remarkable experience, thanks Jamie, Nick, Jess, Mette & Louise in particular!
Day 1: Lake Louise
Ok, I have no idea how to really describe the beauty of this place, it was absolutely gorgeous... Words really don't describe it.. So I'm going to pinch an image off one of those tourist sites:
After a short stroll around the lake, we got to sit back and enjoy a brewski in the Chateau bar, looking out the window at that wonderful view!
That night, I found that Glenfidich in Alberta only costs: $40-, but decided to split the cost of a Jameson's with Jamie instead...
Day 2: Marine Lake
The following day wanting to try a harder hike (rather than the flat stroll at Lake Louise) myself and a few of the others went on a 11 km hike up Larch Valley trail, for an increase of elevation of 520+ metres...
Not having as much energy as Jess (who's from the Swiss alps) I wasn't up for going the extra 200 metres elevation to the crossing over to Paradise Valley (aparently that's where some Grisly bears hang out...)
But I was glad of the time to just hang out, walk on some nearby ice and take some beautiful pictures of the sorrounding mountains, even got a nice closeup of a marmot crossing my path.... :-)
That night at a hostel that I've forgotten the name of, we got to have an ol' fashioned BBQ followed by Smores, and a jump into the hot tub... :-D Now that's the kind of roughing it I like!
Ok, I'm going to leave the rest for another post, I could write so much about each day, but trying to summarise and yet pass on the feeling of wonder for each day... That's hard to do... Suffice to say, I think I took well over a hundred photo's of the mountains we climbed or drove past.... :-)