Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Spectacular Icefields Parkway - Part 2

28th June: Columbia Icefield to Lake Louise 

Odometer: 132 km, Start: 9.30am, Finish: 6.15pm, Avg: 18.7 km/h,
Weather: Overcast with rain showers, Temp: 7-16°C
Bear count: 5, Moose count: 1, Mosquito Bites: 31, Hills walked: 0
Road Conditions: #93, 2m shoulder, still with perpendicular cracks every few metres. Traffic light-ish. Restaurant at 50km and 86km. 7km climb @7% (Bow Pass) to 2067m. Ascent: 1000m up/1500m down.

It rained during the night and it was pretty cold and damp in the morning at 6 degrees. Unfortunately it was to be overcast for the day, but the Icefields Parkway didn’t disappoint again.

We (Frans, Mirjam and me) topped Sunwapta Pass early and without ceremony as there’s no sign and begin the long descent to the Saskatchewan Crossing, our lunch stop for today. After the initial plunge down the pass we were greeted round the corner to a great view of the bowl shaped lower slopes.

Looking down Sunwapta Pass into the bowl
Frans heading towards Bow Pass

After lunch, we began to gradual climb all the way back to 2000m for the Bow Pass. This would be our last major obstacle on the Parkway. The last 7km were a comfortable 7%. We were all used to this type of slow rhythmic climbing by now. At the top of Bow Pass I took a picture. This represents the high point of my tour (2067m altitude).

My tour high point, Bow Pass summit

Just over the pass we stopped off at Bow Lake and the Nup Ti Lah Lodge for tea and coffee. This is a great old building, harking back to the early 1900s with lots of oak panelling inside and hunting trophies hanging from every available space!

At Bow Lake
Nup Ti Lah Lodge

From Bow Lake it’s a long (35km) gradual descent down to Lake Louise where we’re camped tonight surrounded by an electric fence! There must be a lot of bears around here. I’ll get a look at the lake in the morning as we’ve arrived here quite late.

Camping here? I think not...
End of the Icefields Parkway
Behind an electric fence tonight!

Thanks Icefields Parkway, it was a brilliant two days…

One last magnificent view on the Icefields Parkway

1 comment:

Jason Dalton said...

Not the place you would want to sleep-walk and bump into the fence… that would wake you up alright!!