10th to 14th June: Jasper
So on the 10th June we crossed provincial lines and arrived in Alberta. Our first stop in Alberta was Jasper and we were going to be there for 2 nights. So we drove a short drive by usual standards towards Jasper and straight into the town centre to have a couple of hours exploration as we wouldn't be allowed on the campsite yet. So first of all we did grocery shopping for the next 2 days before going off into groups for a little wander around Jasper. We did all the usual things like going round the shops, I stocked up on some thermals and bought un-necessary clothes and bits but I always do it when I go in outdoor stores. After a couple of hours we headed back towards the bus on time only to realise that 2 of our group forgot to put the watches forward so we had to wait an extra hour and decided to have a small walk down the road before turning back. We stopped off and had lunch on a pretty little lake outside of Jasper. Again, completely forgot what it was called but it was nice to eat by a Lake. After that we headed towards the campsite to pitch up and settle in.
That night we headed uptowards the Fiddle Valley towards Miette natural hotsprings, We were going to go for a soak and a swim in the springs after a small walk. Myself and Anto headed up together following the trails right towards the source of the springs. If you couldn't see it then you could smell it. If you don't like eggs you would heave. Anyway, took a few photos and headed on up a little further and it was another pleasant trail, after a while we met up with Delia and Erik who were on the way back, so we turned round and headed down straight for the springs. Needless to say the springs were absolutely devine. Two large pools and 2 smaller cold pools. Highlights included the woman who took her umbrella into the pool because it was raining, going into the cold pools and having your are froze which was followed by a small contest who could stay in the cold pool the longest. Never again, it took most of us over 5 minutes to regain feeling in our bodies. Anyway a fun night.
Next day was going to be walking day. 3 of the group set off up Whistler early morning while the rest of us went into Jasper to do some much needed laundry, internet catch up and for decent coffee which took most of the morning. The laundry crew then walked bck to the campsite and headed towards Whistler Mountain. I knew by this point I'd never make it up as it was midday and this mountain was huge, so I would cheat, take the Gondola up and then walk the remaining distance to the top once up there. On the way up Verena decided to join me, so we waved off Antje, Erik and Delia and we took up the Gondola. Once up there, we saw the other 3 just arriving at the Gondola station and they told us about loosing the trail in the snow. Verena and I had planned to walk down the mountain, that idea was cancelled and then we both along with Kai took the path to the top. Views were spectacular all the way up to the top even though I felt a bit guilty by taking up the Gondola but it was worth it. After delaying the decision to go back to camp as we were waiting for the other 3 to come, Verena and I took the Gondola down and went back to camp and shortly after the others arrived after turning back due to the snow. Felt so sorry for them. After dinner we were taken for a drive to go animal spotting. Thanks to Clayton's eyes spotting all things wild, we tallied up more bears, elk and a rare sighting of a moose. Forgot to mention we spotted a Coyote the day before which we sort of chased or followed down the road to the campsite. So that was Jasper. Next day onwards to Banff via the Icefields Parkway.