Summer in the Canadian Rockies

Blue Hour at Vermillion, Headlamp Portra
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I have been fortunate enough to travel the world, but theres one place I keep coming back to.  Where else can you become lost and found time and time again. Between sunrise and sunset missions, multi-day treks to 10 thousand foot peaks, the Canadian Rockies is the ultimate playground, and the place that I am proud to call home.  

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For visitors and locals alike, the classic viewpoints never grow old and always leave you with a feeling of gratitude for how beautiful nature truly is.  But my absolute favourite way to start or end the day is lakeside with a coffee and my camera in hand.  Theres a reason people fly from all over the world to experience this part of Canada.

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But what is it to explore the Canadian Rockies in their truest form?

My answer? Hands down, human powered!! Blood, sweat and tears.

 

The scenery will leave you breathless, and the epic mountain vistas will no doubt leave you feeling curiousBut what runs deeper than what we see with our eyes, is what we feel from our experiences.  These feelings are difficult to describe...only those that are brave enough to endure the backcountry can put them into words.  We wear them...the good, the bad and the ugly, like a badge of honour when the day is done.  Because those stories are all ours to tell.  

 

It's in the thousands of kilometres where the wild things roam, that we truly find out what we are made of, and who we really are.  And that type of self discovery leaves you wanting more.

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Mount Assinboine Provincial Park

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Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park is located on the Great Divide between the Alberta and British Columbia Borders.  Home to the Matterhorn of the rockies, no roads penetrate this unspoiled wildnerness, with trails providing the only mode of land access to arguably one of the most beautiful backcountry areas in Canada. But beware, you are in bear country!

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Floe Lake

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The night before this adventure, we left from Canmore and drove late into the night on the Ice Fields Parkway to the Columbia Icefields parking area.  We set our alarm clocks for 3am in preparation to meet our friends for a sunrise mission and ascent up Wilcox Peak.  Except we didn't account for the absolute downpour of rain that steadily fell overnight.  There was little discussion to be had when our alarm clocks went off, but to turn them off and go back to sleep. 

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As nice as it was to gain a few extra hours of rest in the van, we were never quite settled and when the rain started to dissipate our anticipation to get moving grew.

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Instead of spending sunrise on the summit, we steadily spent climbed, watching as the peaks around us turned orange with alpine glow.  The subalpine meadows resembled what I might imagine Iceland to look like...stretches of rolling landscape, limited vegetation and towering mountain backdrops.  Wilcox Peak was truly one of the most beautiful hikes we did all summer.

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Just as I thought this hike couldn't get any more beautiful we arrived at the summit to the most incredible cloud inversion over of the Athabasca Glacier and most of the valley below.  The air above the valley was beginning to warm quicker than at ground level with the suns radiation, creating the fog like phenomena as pictured.  Sometimes good things come to those who wait, and on this particular morning I think that statement rang true.

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Bugaboo Provincial Park

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