Day 12
Wednesday July 27th

Mount Whistler

Having failed to go up the cable car in Banff because it was too expensive we thought we'd go up Mount Whistler instead. This of course turned out to be dearer.

All the tickets had an embarkation time even though the total trip was only about 10 minutes. I suppose this stopped people queuing and allowed them time to wander around the gift shop.

The temperature was several degrees colder at the top and I was glad of something warm. There was still a long climb from the top cable car station to the top of the mountain. After a few minutes Jude and the boys set off upwards whilst I dawdled taking photos.

Along the route various people had built the Indian statues of men, there are a whole series of different variants each with their own meaning but the simple man was the most popular and possibly the easiest to build.

At the very top was a large cairn with views over to the back mountains, these were a very red colour, probably from iron oxide in the ore.

The view over Jasper was wonderful, we could see our lodging (or at least the road our lodgings were on) in the estate at the bottom left and further back Pyramid lake and the forests we rode through yesterday.

Jude and the boys set off back down almost as soon as I reached the top. I set off 10 minutes later taking a long and steeper cut but coming out below them on the path.

Jasper, Pyramid lake at the back left (our lodgings bottom middle)

Red mountain (or so I named it)

The climb from the station

Maligne canyon

Back past Jasper and the first valley on the right leads up to Maligne canyon and lake. We stopped at the canyon which had a more extensive network of bridges than any of the others we' been to..

Chris was in a bad mood so stomped off and looped around the top two bridges so he could say he's done it and move on, Jude and David headed off down stream and I made it to just beyond the 3rd bridge before heading back where I met Chris in a slightly better mood. Together we looped to the top bridge, attempting to throw pennies onto the rock ledges on the way but they all bounced into the river. Chris & I visited the cafe for an ice cream whiolst waiting for the others.

Jude and David had apparently made it all the way to the fourth bridge but gone back to the car. Chris and I denied having any ice cream strenuously.

Our 4th waterfall

Maligne Lake

Onwards to Maligne lake which we'd heard was beautiful. It was about 20 miles further down the windy road. We had to stop briefly for some mountain goats on the way and by the time we reached it the weather was quite dull.

Whether it was the cloudy skies or simply that we'd seen enough lakes by that point I don't know but none of us were particularly impressed. I guess that seeing Morraine lake first meant that every other one was always going to come off second best in comparison. We spent half an hour or so walking around the paths before heading back to the car.



©2005 Rob Hayward