Well we are back here in Banff! After what was a bit of a disappointing time in Jasper we made the decision to play around with our schedule a bit so we could spend another couple of days in Banff.
This meant taking the Icefields Parkway, the 230km back the same way, not that we were sorry to be doing that, there was plenty we didnt have time to see on the way up. Unfortunately the weather wasnt great this morning, it is now above freezing so the roads have become slushy and we had a very foggy to start to the day, luckily we'd had great weather on the way up to take in the mountain views, now there were a couple of specific things we wanted to see.
Our first stop was a place called Athabasca Falls, Olof had done some research last night on places to satisfy our waterfall fetish, albeit frozen waterfalls! The walk from the car wasnt far maybe only 5 minutes, as soon we opened the door we could hear the water. With each viewpoint over the canyon we were getting more excited! Finally crossing the bridge you could see the water thundering out from the frozen falls into the pool, you can see how amazingly deep the canyon is. We were very lucky as well as we had read there is always crowds, but we only had to share it with one other family!
The next waterfall on our hitlist was Sunwapta Falls, we had actually seen the sign for this before but the road had been closed so we had carried on, today we were prepared for the walk. There was no need though, in the few days we had been in Jasper the access road to the car park and facilites had been plowed so we could drive down. Again it wasnt far to walk how convenient! The falls here were just as impressive maybe more so because you can see the water behind the ice all the way down the falls. We nicknamed the place Barranco from Fuerteventura but a million times bigger! We spent time walking along the trail taking photographs and watching the water, why is it so fascinating?! The walking has got a little harder with the change in temperature, the snow has melted then frozen so it is icy in parts, solution go down the hills on my bum!
Back at the car it wasnt good to see on the sat nav we still had a three hour drive to do but going back was worth it.
Remember the walk we did a couple of days ago off the drive, that led to nowhere and we gave up and turned around, well that has all been plowed as well leaving mountains of snow either side of the road, we drove up for a little look and it's weird when a couple of days earlier we had been playing waist deep there! Still we got to the car park and decided to give it a miss, it was up to Bow Summit, we didnt think it would be done justice in the weather. It had been pretty miserable with snow and clouds, driving along the open areas at one point Olof had to stop we were completely blinded by the snow blowing.
We quite literally bumped into five mountain goats on the road, we stopped to watch them for around half hour, you could see the route they had taken down the mountain to get there and we wanted to see them go back up again, they didnt cooperate though and we left them there on the road.
On the way we had been looking for what is named the Weeping Wall, apparently a sheet of ice in the winter the size of a football field. It was meant to be just after the Big Bend, well we hadnt found it and were quite disappointed. Well look at the photographs of it when we saw it today, how on earth we missed it I dont know! There were two ice climbers there as well, jeez they were high!
So there are our highlights of the journey back to Banff, its good to be here and we have a day snowboarding tomorrow so looking forward to that!