Canmore and Stanley Glacier

Trip Start Feb 16, 2011
Trip End Jun 11, 2012

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Howdy folks.

On Monday I went to the Banff Recreation Centre for an information day which had a number of stalls advertising services and activities in the town and area. I managed to pick up some info on a cheap shuttle service that goes between Banff and Canmore as well as a few of the hiking trailheads in the Bow Valley which just started up. As a promo, they were letting people ride the shuttle for free the next day. I thought great - I was planning on going to Canmore anyway! I spent the rest of the evening watch Vancouver lose Game 6 to Boston in the NHL Finals.

I woke up late on Tuesday and caught the 12:30pm shuttle over which took under 30 minutes. I was the only one on the bus so I had a bit of a chat with the driver who was actually a Banff local - a rareity. I had two hours to wander around so I decided to go for a walk down along the Bow River at the end of the main strip, but there were notices of bear activity so I went for a walk along Policemans Creek. Canmore lies just outside of Banff National Park, so the building restrictions aren't as tightly controlled. It has a coal mining history, but was also heavily involved in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. The Canmore Nordic Centre is a big training centre for cross country skiing and also has a disc golf course (which I want to try!). After a good hours walk, I went into the civic centre to have a look at the small museum which is mostly dedicated to the coal mining past and the local geography.

I caught the bus back and went up to the Banff Centre for a free lecture by Michael Taussig who is an anthropologist. It was about his travels to Columbia and the craze of plastic surgery which is permeating through the narco-culture into the general populace in relation to the body and identity. As with many of these socio-philosophical discussions, unless you have read a lot of the background material it is easy to get lost in the references and jargon. I did have a nice dinner at Melissa's Restaurant. I haven't had steak in a while and it was great.

I had an early night as I got up early today to do the hike up to Stanley Glacier in Kootenay NP just across the border marking the continental divide into British Columbia. I did the hike through a group called the Grand Nature Club which organises weekly hikes in the region for a small fee. It is oriented towards people like myself who want to do hikes, but may not necessarily have the transporation or friends to do them with. I met Kirk and Sheila Hagert from Rhode Island who were in Banff for a few days on holiday and they drove me out to the trialhead. From the car park, we hiked up and over a hill to the base of a wide V shaped valley between two mountains leading up to the glacier which was perched high on the right side of the end mountain face. We easily hiked up the slightly muddy first section until we reached the end of the maintained trail roughly in the centre. From there we had to scramble up the scree (giant rock slides of loose rock) through a few patches of still unmelted snow to the headland of the valley where we saw a beautiful waterfall caused by the meltwater and the Stanley Glacier itself.

The trail took just over two hours to climb and by the time we had rested and returned to the cars it was four hours exactly. I went home for a nap and then watched Boston beat Vancouver in Game 7 to win the Stanley Cup! Oh well there is always next year...
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Tom on

Michael Taussig!!! I studied his work at Uni. He used to give lectures with a paper bag over his head. Very interesting dude!
What the heck was he doing in the Canadian Wilderness?
And more gorgeous pictures Pinno.

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