March 31 – April 6 (Banff, Canmore, Golden & Revelstoke) —
Banff is gorgeous. Banff also has an insane number of tourists. Even in April, the streets were PACKED with tourists from Asia and Europe. It felt like Aspen or Jackson at Christmas. We were a bit overwhelmed by humanity, so we left Banff and headed to the town of Canmore. Canmore is where everyone lives who works in Banff. It’s a great little mountain town and we spent a few days there relaxing, including some hot yoga to loosen up. We ate the worst Mexican food in Canada (in Banff) and the best in Canada (in Canmore at Castillo’s).
There is some great skiing to be had around Canmore and Banff but the terrain is heavily glaciated and crevassed. We thus held off skiing because we still need to learn a bit more about how to travel in glaciated terrain as well as to how to handle a crevasse rescue. Instead, we did a nice hike up to Crater Lake in the Kananaskis Provincial Park, which was a gorgeous hike with no one around.
The high pressure system that was parked over us was doing a good job of chasing winter away, so we decided to head west to see if we would have better luck on the west side of the Rockies. After a quick stop off at Lake Louise – Victoria Louise Cook’s namesake – we headed to Golden.
Golden is a cute little mountain town that we enjoyed. Unfortunately, it poured rain the whole time we were there so we passed on skiing the backcountry as well as skiing in-bounds at Kicking Horse (rain levels were near the summit).
That rain also eliminated any chance we had of skiing the backcountry around Roger’s Pass –- one of the destinations that I most wanted to ski. A front was approaching so we continued west to Revelstoke. We woke up to pouring rain and a snow level again the near summit – they were downloading mid-mountain at the resort. We decided to hang out for a few days to see if the temperatures would drop sufficiently for winter to return, but it continued to rain. So we ate, swam (indoor aquatic center again!), and slept our way through a few days in rainy Revelstoke.
We sat in the rig debating whether to try to chase winter north to Alaska or to give up and head south for proper spring skiing and mountain biking. After waking up to another day of rain, we headed south to Mount Baker.