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13th July – Jasper to Banff via Icefield

Again we headed off with “Sun Dog Tours” and our guide from yesterday Fred – who we cant speak highly enough of, they were absolutely fantastic and his local knowledge (of everything) was amazing.

Today we venture down the Icefields Parkway to Banff. We were joined by a couple from Arkansas – Lorraine and Shorty – who were well can we say on a slightly different budget (try 5 stars, Jasper park lodge and banff springs hotel and arrived on the train pretty similar to rocky mountaineer but not). Honestly though they were absolutely wonderful very friendly and accommodating to these two awestruck backpackers.

We headed off to Athabasca Falls, which was no less amazing second time round. By the way if anyone can think of any new adjectives for me to use instead of amazing spectactular please let me know!

From the falls we headed to the Columbia Icefields and the world of “Brewster”. This company runs the snocoaches at the icefields and some tours out Banff and Jasper – well so we thought apparently its like huge and everywhere and into everything, they run the gondola at banff etc.

The snowfields are glaciers. there are roughly 600 galciers in the rockies with athabasca being the biggest (we think) and surrounding athabasca are the sunwapta and snowdome galciers so this one area is like glacier overdose. We jumped about the specially designed snocoaches and headed out onto the glacier – what a thrill, then we got to walk around on it and i even got to fall in it! So from first hand experience i can tell you that a glacier with the catabatic winds blowing and freezing water running around and below are blody cold and i was extremelly happy to get back on that snocoach and get my shoe sock and pants (the zip off part) off.

After the glaciers we headed back down the parkway through what is known as the ‘toilet bowl’ a looping section of road, where we saw numerous other glaciers and amazing rock cliffs.

Then it was onto picture postcard Peyto Lake and Glacier, then to Lake Louise and a look through the very grand hotel there. From Lake Louise we headed to the Banff Springs Hotel to drop our fellow travellers off and to have a quick look at Bow Falls and Bow River. Then a front door drop off from our wonderful guide fred at the hostel atop of tunnel mountain with mountain backdrop vista’s again – though maybe not quite so good as Jasper (all this for $30 bucks a night who can top that)

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