We are refreshed and ready to take on ‘one of the most scenic roads to drive’ according to the National Geographic, the wolfpack is bus bound and on the move by 8am.
Sleepy Mount Robson
Our first stop of day two of West Trek’s Summer Explorer Rockies Tour is Mount Robson. My first reaction is to ohhhOHHohhh (Korean Girl) at the burnt orange and red colours mixed in with purple from blueberries.
The 3000 metre Mount Robson is being shy, hiding behind the clouds. We are used to the Dita Von Teases of the earth (like our summer expedition with the Sunshine Coast whale.) The tallest mountain in the Rockies was just not up for showing off that tip. The wolfpack unites as a team again and starts the day with a group hug before moving on to our next stop – Jasper.
Rockies’ Lakes, Just Jasper, Gorgeous Guests
Jasper is smaller than I expected. There are a handful of restaurants and cafes but because West Trek knows its client base doesn’t have the pockets of the mature holidaymakers in the area, we are advised to buy lunch at the supermarket, which suits us. We grab a coffee at a very busy and touristy cafe too, Jasper has a population of 3 thousand and a tourist footfall of 3 million! The small town didn’t blow me away; it’s like a poor man’s Pitlochry in Scotland (jokes, it’s expensive to stay anywhere in the Rockies) but Jasper is obviously the gateway to some of nature’s greatest offerings such as…
Day two really was the day to be in awe of that typical turquoise water we all came to Canada to see. This beauty is just jaw dropping. So what makes the Rockies’ lakes so blue? In layman’s terms, rock flour runs down the glacier after ice has thawed on the mountains. The silt particles that lie underneath the water give off that stunning turquoise colour but they need reflection from light to do so. The lakes don’t look like this all year round, the best months to see the turquoise colours are in summer but don’t rule out other seasons in the Rockies!
Polar Bear Swim – Bow Lake
It wouldn’t be a trip to the lakes without a swim. Our past experiences of lake life in B.C have been pleasant; this experience was a thrill but let’s just say, not toasty! The daredevils of the pack, stripped down to their swim stuff, held hands, ran and took a dive. Cue scrambling to get out of the five degrees glacier water! Refreshing.
Thanks to our companions who had our towels ready for us – team!
Deemed the ‘pyramids of Canada’ by Brewster Attractions, the Columbia Icefields weren’t even on my radar but Craig ticked off a bucket list item today. This additional activity ($58 / £29) allowed us to board an Ice Explorer and there are only 23 in the world!
This monster truck took us on to the Athabasca Glacier and dropped us off on the ice.
Although this glacier is as thick as the Eiffel Tower is tall, it may not exist in the next hundred years! Athabasca looses ten metres of ice every year so get there quick to taste nature’s skin age defying ice cold glacier water. And it was our biggest hit on Instagram! We even saw a group (and a dog) hiking on it and our Colombian friend, Sebastian, saw snow for the first time!
Now that we were looking ten years younger, it was time to party in the Rockies most happening party town, Banff! We checked into our plush hotel, put on our party gear and had a pre party meal to line the stomach. I brought along fluorescent face paints so we donned a few tribal stripes and hit the dance floor of Club Hoodoo.
We were the envy of the club with those bright stripes – sorry, for wolves only! Then it was a slice of pizza and drunken stumble back to the hotel, not before a game of Pass the Hug (from day one) on the street!
Have you seen anything like these lakes?
Website: West Trek Tours
Tour: The Rocky Mountains (Summer Explorer)
Contact: (604) 408-WEST (9378)
Cost: $448 / £226 (adult) / $399 / £171 (student) + room upgrade options and additional activities