Canmore, Banff and Jasper Oh My!

I had the pleasure of doing some work in my backyard area for the past couple weeks in the Canadian Rockies. After Golden I wasn’t quite ready to leave the white blanketed Rockies so naturally I stayed there. Stoneridge Resort in Canmore was my first awesome accommodation, now for a plus one… I asked a few friends, all which were busy with jobs and obligations so I was ready to play in the Rockies solo. My friend Elisabeth and I were planned to hit Yosemite at the end of the month so we had been talking frequently. I casually asked if she wanted to join me in Canada, expecting my California friend to say no on such short notice. Well she didn’t say no, she booked a flight that afternoon.

The first day in Canmore was rather casual, Elisabeth wasn’t coming in until the following day so I had some time to explore on my own. I met up with my friend Callum to catch up for he travels often so it can months before I see him again. We got some coffee and did a leisurely walk around Johnson Lake. We later met up with a couple other Instagram friends that were in the area for the week. It was a good day.

The next day I went to Calgary to pick up Elisabeth and some new lenses for my new camera. Sorry Elisabeth I was more excited for the new glass…just kidding… After dropping what felt like a small house down payment on camera gear I got Elisabeth. We were in for a crazy week.

We started off Dog Sledding. 9am is what I had booked, great that means sleep in and Starbucks! 8:40am and we are sitting in Starbucks with loads of time when my phone rings. The tour was supposed to meet at 8:15 and the lady on the line did not seem impressed. In fact she said if we were not there in 5 minutes we would miss the tour. We hustled hard! Lucky for us we were two minutes away and ready to go. The bad new was I had to leave my coffee 😦 It’s okay dog sledding was well worth it and we went back to Starbucks after to claim my unmade coffee. Luckily they remembered me! The dogs rocked. We took time to learn our dog’s names and personalities. Tsunami was a hind dog that would always look back to see if we were okay! Bam Bam was another character who you could tell loved to run. It was a great morning and we finished with Cider by the fire pit.                            Photo: Elisabeth Brentano



I showed Elisabeth Johnston Canyon, and she was in awe of the blue ice. We spent a lot of time on ice this week, you will soon see the problems that came form it.
Of course I took Elizabeth to Lake Louise and we found the snowy trees. She loved snow and Ice, obviously she needs to move to Canada because we are in no short supply.
Next Up JASPER! Down the Icefield Parkway. Such a lovely drive.
I took Elisabeth to Abraham Lake where the infamous Ice bubbles lived. These bubbles are caused by methane released from the bottom of the lake and frozen in time. I’m surprised Elisabeth could stand for this photo because the combination f the wind and slippery ice made for quite the challenge!
We started in Jasper at the Chili Cook OFF! Wow, crazy fun. Everyone had a booth that was highly decorated and the chili’s were to die for! What an awesome event held in Jasper to keep the Winter interesting. We stayed at Mountain Park Lodges that helped with these events. So glad we were included.
Okay, so you are looking at one of my Hero’s right here, I just didn’t know it at the time. Elisabeth and I wanted to do Maligne Canyon this day. We started at the top of the canyon and walked down the walk way to look for an access point. A small downward gully looked do-able to get into the canyon where we help a rope to lower in. Elisabeth was very unsure but I reassured her it was okay. I gave her my mico-spikes for her California legs were not as stable on ice and she need the extra help. We got down to the base of the canyon where I took this shot of an ice climber working this route. We worked our way down the canyon thinking it would be easier than going back up the sketchy rope wall. We soon found how impossible it would be. Imagine a waterside, now imagine the water in the water slide was frozen. That was what we came upon next. Small water falls made for a downhill grade on the canyon bottom and I was about to turn back on the severely slippery ice. As I took a step my feet slid out from me and I fell face first on the concrete ice, hitting my brow on the surface. I sat up dazed, Elisabeth was around the corner waiting for me. I touched my cheek, no blood. YES! I got away with it! My eyelid felt droopy… I touched my brow, my hand was red with liquid. Dam. I knew it wasn’t good but I figured I’d ask Elisabeth. She asked “Are you Okay?” not knowing what was going on. I responded, “Ummm, not really. But stay there.” I puled my face into view and said, “How bad is it?” Elisabeth looked at me with a frown and saucer eyes, “It needs a stitch.” I laughed knowing it needed more than one after I peered at the exposed skull on my iphone camera. I was quite calm and knew I needed to get out fast. Putting pressure to my brow with my glove I crawled up the incline towards Elisabeth. Even on hands and knees I slid back, then I panicked. If I slid fast enough I would never stop the momentum and I would end up going down the water slide with who knows how many waterfalls. I spread out my body and stopped the movement, grabbed the canyon wall and did not move. “Go get those Ice climbers to bring me some rope!” I hollered out. Thankfully the climbers saved me, helping us get completely out of the canyon. If you know who they are or if you are them reading this, Thank You. I wish I could have gotten their names. We went to the hospital to get some stitches, trying not to scare ever tourist with my bloody face.
Okay it looks bad I know, but I had too. 25 stitches later. The doctor was rather incredible however so I call him my other hero. It’s been over a week and everyone says you can’t even tell. This picture was the day after it happened. So thank you Jasper ER doctor. You saved my face.
We had the Wine in Winter Event that night, and despite having to explain my eye accident to everyone it was rather nice. Who doesn’t love wine!? Another Mountain Park Lodge.
The next morning we went back to Maligne with rented micro spikes and we went the correct way. It worked out much better!
We went crazy with activities this day, this was the closest I have ever been to Athabasca Falls. It was surreal to hear the rushing water under the ice.
We took in some relaxing time at Pyramid Lake while enjoying a sleigh ride.
We finished off on the Parkway again at the Columbia Ice Fields. I showed Elisabeth the amazing Ice Caves. What a beautiful perfect day.
A very snowy Peyto Lake, sorry no Blue water Elisabeth 😦

I was amazing to have such a full week in my backyard with a great friend. We ended up getting rear ended on HWY 1 on the way home. Such was our luck! Elisabeth also left her passport at the lodge in Canmore however we arranged to pick that up. We were bound to have our luck changed but it is hard to not stay positive in such a beautiful place. We went to my house before taking off to California the next week.



6 thoughts on “Canmore, Banff and Jasper Oh My!

  1. Yours is the kinda life I’ve been dreaming of!! Been wanting to go to Alberta for so long now.. I think of how you were looking for friends an all I could think was I woulda been there in a heart beat!! Mountains an all the beauty of nature is my life. Right now I’m workin like 60 hour weeks to pay my bills, save.. Buy a plane ticket and get out there!! I hope to be able to share in the things you have one day! You truly inspire me! If you ever need a friend.. I’m there!! Haha keep up the snap chats to I love watching! My insta @bohoshorty! Thanks for the inspiration!


    1. Thanks for the comment, that is amazing that you are going after it. I hope you get there, I don’t doubt that you will. Good luck and Travels!


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