Exterous' summer vacation #1: Canadian Rockies

Exterous

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Jun 20, 2006
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#1
It's a busy summer for us with 3 continents in 3 months for 4.25 weeks of traveling. Using credit card points and miles, along with a really cheap trip to Peru, made the whirlwind summer trips possible without sacrificing our other trip plans. For example we offset $600 of airfare to Calgary with a Bank of America card. Merrill Lynch was kind enough to offset $1000 of our $1500 business class airfare to Peru. Barclays paid for our lodging in Canada.

Trips:
1: Canadian Rockies*
2: Peru and Ecuador
3: Spain, Andorra and France (upcoming)

*So yes a slight stretch of the '3 continents' since we already live on one of them.

We got very lucky with the weather while we were in Canada. Always a unpredictable it was, overall, great hiking weather and we had a particularly gorgeous day to drive up the Icefields Parkway and trek along its many stops. We ended up with a later start than planned so Lake Louise and Morane Lake were already zoos by 8:30am on Sunday so we skipped those and planned to come back a different day. A bit of a risk at the time but it paid off later. Also - this was a bit of a shoulder season for Banff and Jasper since it, apparently, doesn't really pick up till July 1st. We got to the rest of the popular places very early and encountered large crowds on the way back. I can only imagine how bad it gets during peak season as those descending hoards of humanity were large enough that I wouldn't have enjoyed my stay as it was.








A marker of where the glacier was in 1992:




 

deadlyapp

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Apr 25, 2004
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#2
Beautiful pictures. What'd you shoot those with?
 
Jul 20, 2003
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#3
I traveled from Edmonton to Vancouver through the Canadian Rockies several years ago in the Summer. One of the all time best places to camp I've ever been. Those camp sites all have split dry wood for campfires and each person leaves you wood ready for a fire at the camp site when they leave. The bathrooms were immaculate as well and there were always nice campsites available even in peak season.
 
Jul 11, 2001
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#4
I heard they are quite wonderful. Of course, you have to pick the right time to go. Figure you should take your mosquito repellent, I'd bring some camera equipment.
 
Jun 19, 2006
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#5
Awesome pictures. Would love to go to the Peru and Ecuador and see the megalithic sites.
 
Jul 12, 2006
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#6
Awesome pictures. Would love to go to the Peru and Ecuador and see the megalithic sites.
I first read that as "magicite" and thought: nerd!


...then I realized that I am the asshole. :(
 
Aug 11, 2005
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#7
Awesome pictures as always! the Banff area is amazing, drove the length of the Canadian Rockies 2 summers ago
 

glenn1

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Sep 6, 2000
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#8
Canadian Rockies are some of the best spots on earth.

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Exterous

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#9
On the second day we did the Sulfur Ridge Hike in Jasper. Quite a view from the top and a nice place to sit and have a snack





We even found a friend







We saw a few bears while we were there but never in convenient picture locations. This was taken from the driver's side window


A group of elk did sneak up on us though while we were setting up for a panoramic shot


Our cabin for a few days


 

Exterous

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#10
Beautiful pictures. What'd you shoot those with?
Canon 5D Mark III with the 24-105 lens mostly. We brought a 35mm 1.4 prime lens but my wife likes that lens more than I do. We have some other options (like a 70-200) but they tend to be much heavier and I'm not fond of trekking around even more weight on 5+ hour hikes.

I traveled from Edmonton to Vancouver through the Canadian Rockies several years ago in the Summer. One of the all time best places to camp I've ever been. Those camp sites all have split dry wood for campfires and each person leaves you wood ready for a fire at the camp site when they leave. The bathrooms were immaculate as well and there were always nice campsites available even in peak season.
Yeah they had very good availability of facilities while we were there and managed to keep them fairly clean

I heard they are quite wonderful. Of course, you have to pick the right time to go. Figure you should take your mosquito repellent, I'd bring some camera equipment.
We treated our clothes with permethrin so we didn't run into too many bug issues
 

Exterous

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#11
Jul 11, 2001
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#12
We treated our clothes with permethrin so we didn't run into too many bug issues
I downloaded all 11 of your photos to my computer! Stunning. Hopefully motivation to plan a trip!

Edit: Oh! I see you posted more!!! Thank you!
 
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Dec 10, 2005
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Canon 5D Mark III with the 24-105 lens mostly. We brought a 35mm 1.4 prime lens but my wife likes that lens more than I do. We have some other options (like a 70-200) but they tend to be much heavier and I'm not fond of trekking around even more weight on 5+ hour hikes.
Great photos! When I've gone hiking, I tend to carry my 10-22mm lens as my go-to lens and a 200mm prime to better capture wildlife from a distance.
 
Jul 1, 2001
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#14
Once again, Exterous does a master class on Coolcoin worthy post creation.

The rest of us should just be embarrassed, really.
 
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May 24, 2003
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#15
Nice!

I need to visit that part of Canada one of these days. Only really stayed in Ontario and went a bit into Quebec. Been to raven hill and went on top, if that counts as a mountain... :p
 
Jul 20, 2003
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#16
Nice!

I need to visit that part of Canada one of these days. Only really stayed in Ontario and went a bit into Quebec. Been to raven hill and went on top, if that counts as a mountain... :p
Really? Western Canada is one of the greatest places on planet earth. Get your ass over there. Vancouver Island, Banff, Jasper, Revelstoke and Whistler are all amazing places everyone should visit if they can.
 
Aug 11, 2005
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#17
I've been to Jasper 3 or 4 times now and have yet to really see any of it, always raining and cloudy when i got there :(
Nice!

I need to visit that part of Canada one of these days. Only really stayed in Ontario and went a bit into Quebec. Been to raven hill and went on top, if that counts as a mountain... :p
Once you get out of Ontario it's not a bad drive, the prairies go by quickly after 24 hours of driving through the rocks and trees of northern Ontario

Just a quick 30 hour drive from Timmins
 
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#18
Haha I think if I went I would take a flight tbh. But since it does not involve going through the GTA the drive would probably not be THAT bad, just long.
 
Aug 11, 2005
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#20
Haha I think if I went I would take a flight tbh. But since it does not involve going through the GTA the drive would probably not be THAT bad, just long.
If i can make it to Thunder Bay on the first day of driving i'm usually in Medicine Hat the next night....but i can drive 15 hours no problem, it's not that bad of a drive, see a lot of the country that way...i've never taken the northern route through, that's my next drive on the way to Yellowknife
 

Exterous

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#21
After several days of sunny weather and temps in the mid 60s some snow moved in






This turned out to be a huge benefit. For those that don't know Moraine Lake is a small lake about 20 min away from Lake Louise. There is only one road in and out and they only let a certain number of cars drive down. Once they hit the limit they close the road until a certain number of cars leave. When it comes to a couple of inches of light snow - that's no big deal to us and, since the road was currently open, we drove in. The wind and snow had recently reached Moraine Lake causing a mass exodus of tourists. We donned our extra layer and waterproof jackets and headed out along the lake. Within a few minutes we had the entire area to ourselves.


To make things even better, by the time we reached the end of the hike at the opposite end of the lake, the weather cleared up. So there we were, all alone in a beautiful area that seems like its constantly over run by tourists. In fact, after about 15 minutes of clear weather we could see the bright colors of the tourist hordes' jackets moving along the lakeside towards us.




Johnston canyon is another hugely popular location. We got there by 8am the following day and had a pleasant hike up. Coming back though....good lord the crowds. There is a small bridge along most of it but that means you are stuck going at the pace of the rest of the hoard. Which frequently came to a stop for instagram photo sessions and whatnot. This is not an enjoyable experience with the large crowds that come later in the day.


 

Exterous

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#22
Great photos! When I've gone hiking, I tend to carry my 10-22mm lens as my go-to lens and a 200mm prime to better capture wildlife from a distance.
Thanks! I have a friend who does a lot of prime lenses and small zoom lenses. I get the appeal of the sharper glass but I just miss the zoom ability too much if I have to only pick 1-2 lenses to travel with.

The rest of us should just be embarrassed, really.
Very very embarrassed
I need to visit that part of Canada one of these days. Only really stayed in Ontario and went a bit into Quebec. Been to raven hill and went on top, if that counts as a mountain... :p
You really do need to visit it :)
I've been to Jasper 3 or 4 times now and have yet to really see any of it, always raining and cloudy when i got there :(
We really got very lucky with the weather. It was supposed to rain every day we were there but it ended up being sunny for all but 2 of the days. And one of those days didn't have much rain while the snow on the other didn't impact us that much since we spent a good chunk of it driving

as usual, amazing photos.
Thanks!
 

Iron Woode

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#23
Very nice photos!

Glad you had a good time in Canada. I have been all over Ontario but never out west or east.

Now, I am a homebody spending my time between work, Moderating and my girlfriend.

:D
 
Dec 10, 2005
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#24
Thanks! I have a friend who does a lot of prime lenses and small zoom lenses. I get the appeal of the sharper glass but I just miss the zoom ability too much if I have to only pick 1-2 lenses to travel with.
I do miss the zoom ability on that lens. But it was mainly a matter of cost for me - couldn't afford to get the nicer zoom lenses, and a big bonus of the prime is its light weight.
 

Exterous

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#25
Lake Louise:



Once again it rained a bit in the morning but we headed out anyway and the weather kindly cleared up for us. The area in front of the Fairmont was packed with tourists but as we walked farther along the lake we saw fewer and fewer people. Did find a couple more friends though










 

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