Icefields Parkway

The road from Jasper to Banff is called the icefields parkway due to the glaciers that reside in the mountains that line the road (http://www.icefieldsparkway.ca/). Our first stop on this leg of the trip was the Athabasca Glacier. Here we took a specialised bus up onto the Glacier where we could walk around, drink the water and take a few photos (http://www.explorerockies.com/columbia-icefield/). From the bottom, the glacier looks smooth and soft,  however once on top the ice was quite coarse. Our next stop was Lke Louise (http://www.lakelouise.com/) which is a beautiful lake aproximately 50km outside of Banff. This lake is one of the most photographed scelakers Canada. After some spectacular photos & a bit of lunch we moved on to Banff into the Alpine Hostel.

Glacier bus On the glacier Lake Louise Banff is another small town whose population significantly increases in summer due to the range of outdoor activities available. It is located within the Banff National Park (http://www.banffnationalpark.com/) and is approximately 260km fom Jasper. Our first activity in Banff was meeting two local legends of the mountaineering industry, both who are honorary members of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (http://www.acmg.ca/). Up first was Chic Scott who spoke to us about the history of mountaineering. Chic has written many books about the history of mountaineering in Canada, and also about Canadian mountaineers abroad.(http://www.chicscott.com/). His knowledge was amazing as were his photographs. Our next talk was by Ferdl Taxbok who is another local legend, who originates from Austria. Ferdl moved to Canada for a "couple of years" in the 1970's and didnt make it back to Austria as he "fell in love with the mountains". He has been guiding in Canada for over 40 years and provided us with an interesting look into the mountaineering industry from a guides point of view. 

After a morning in the class room we were rewarded with an afternoon at the Banff thermal bathes (http://www.hotsprings.ca/). The temperature of the pool was 39 degrees Celsius, which almost became a little hot as it was quite a warm day. The pools are open all year round, and are filled from Sulfur Mountain. As the mountain name implies, the smell of sulphur was evident, though the stench not too bad in the actual pools. 

Thermal Banff The group spent the evening at the hostel, where we played pool, had some dinner and were treated to karaoke. Josh and Sean's singing talent was displayed....which some of us are trying desperately to remove from our memories. Overall it was a really fun place and a great day enjoyed by all. 

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