Well, I’m in the car on the way back from three gorgeous days of hiking in the rockies.
My family and I stayed near a tiny town called Field on the BC / Alberta border. After a 10 hour drive from Vancouver on Sunday we ate at a restaurant there called Truffle Pigs. Great name, terrible pasta. Dumping a tin of chopped tomatoes and grated asiago cheese on fettucini does not count as pasta. Dad loved his meal, some beef stew or something, and sulked the rest of the trip because we refused to go back.
In all we did two hikes in the Yoho Lake area and one in Lake Louise. Weather was sketchy, especially on the drive out, but by the last day it was glorious.
The first hike was Burgess Shale which included a brush with a world heritage area. The hike started just up from Emerald Lake. It started as a grind through the trees before breaking into the alpine. Once there we traversed a scree slope just below the UNESCO world heritage site. The site is known for its well preserved sea-life fossils. From there its a climb down into a flood plane and a lengthy walk out, finishing up on the shores of Emerald lake.
The Kicking Horse Lodge in Field: don’t order the nachos; tortilla crumbs covered with cheese.
The next day we hiked Iceline, which follows a galacial wall along a ridge just opposite Takakka falls. This was my favourite hike. When we started, the temperature in the shade was zero degrees, but it quickly warmed up as sunshine cascaded through the valley.
The hike up to the glacier started through the trees, but the Alpine came much more quickly than the previous day. It was clear that the glaciers were dramatically smaller than they have been in previous years; yet another indication of global warming.
We broke for lunch just before the trail peak. My brother and father pushed on for another 10 minutes to reach the peak while my mom, my sister and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch.
The hike down was scenic enough, bottoming out at laughing falls where we had a quick snack before finishing up with another long hike out along the valley floor. Btw, cheese goldfish can swim very well.
Having had enough of the cuisine in Field we decided to try Lake Louise. The Deer Lodge, just down from the lake provided impecable service and a very tasty caesar salad. Top marks to the kitchen for their five star desserts, which included a strawberry creme brulee with pistachio crunch filling.
“Hey, David Beckham! Sign my football and I’ll give you a glass of coleslaw”. Clearly too much cheese on the caesar, as my dreams that night gave birth to a strange but memorable saying.
Last day of hiking involved the scenic Lake Louise. A gentle walk up to the Lake Agnes teahouse (I recommend the Kyoto Cherry Rose tea) followed by a bit of a grind to the top of a rock called the Beehive. Hours later we had a brief lunch on a ledge before walking to the base of the Victoria glacier. There’s an amazing little chalet called the Abbot’s hut which used to be accessible by our route, but is now only accessible from Lake O’hara due to increasing glacial cracks (due to the non-existant global warming no doubt).
The hike ended with us tracking the shores of Lake Louise surrounded by horses, rock climbers and many many tourists.
We then ate at the old Lake Louise railway station which was very nice, especially the tasty grasshopper beer I had.
All in all, a very successful hiking trip. The accomodation was odd, with four stars cabins, five star prices and 3 star service. The broken bathroom door was repeatedly ignored by the staff, our toiletries were never resupplied and the main lodge underutilised as a place for guests to spend time after hiking. The menu was so extortionate it was never even considered.