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Archive for the ‘autumn’ Category

Banff National Park Ski Resorts Open Early for 2012-2013 Ski Season

24 Oct

After many days of snowfall in the Canadian Rockies over the past week, the ski resorts in Banff National Park are opening early. Nakiska ski resort, which is located outside of Banff National Park, announced yesterday that they were opening this weekend. Just a few hours ago, Banff Mt. Norquay announced that they are opening tomorrow (Thursday, October 25 2012) at noon, just a couple of days before Nakiska’s scheduled early opening (and thus stealing Nakiska’s thunder) – way to go Banff Mount Norquay! This is the earliest ski resort opening in Canada’s history (to our knowledge).

The Lake Louise Ski Area and Sunshine Village are currently scheduled to open on November 9th 2012 for the 2012-2013 winter ski season.

Cheap lift passes are available through the U.K. website SkiHolidaysCanada.co.uk but you have to contact them direct for rates. Their early-bird deadline is December 15 2012 so you’d better get your skates, or should I say, skis on!!!

Have a great season and feel free to post comments – we love to hear from you!

 

Lake Louise Reflection (Banff National Park)

10 Oct

 

Banff Gondola – Autumn/Winter 2010

14 Oct

Please note that the Banff Gondola has started operating under the new autumn/winter hours:

October 11 – November 28 2010
8:30am – 4:30pm

November 29 – December 31 2010
10:00am – 4:00opm

Check out the live Banff live webcam from the top of Sulphur Mountain – it’s a beautiful autumn day today!

 

Rocky Mountaineer Record Departure

30 Sep

The Rocky Mountaineer train departing tomorrow from Vancouver, October 1st 2010, is the company’s largest departure in their history, and will set a record for the largest passenger rail train in North American history – a total of 1331 guests!

Rocky Mountaineer Record Departure

This will be one of the last Rocky Mountaineer train departures for 2010 but 2011 Rocky Mountaineer packages are now available for booking with early-bird savings of up to $1,400 per couple.

 

Bow Falls Photos, Banff

07 Apr

The Bow Falls in Banff are a must for a photo stop. They are located just below the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and can be easily found when you drive up on Spray Avenue towards the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. You turn left on Rundle Avenue at the traffic lights. Most group tours include the Bow Falls in their sights, but if you are driving yourself, you may want to use the Gypsy Guide for guidance.

I like stopping at the Bow Falls in Banff as they look so different at different times of the year. Here are a few pictures below to give you a idea of what to expect!

This photo was taken November 28 2006. This was a particularly cold start to the winter season so they almost froze over completely.Bow Falls, Banff - November 2006

The photo below was taken in June 2007 when a sudden increase in temperature caused a large amount of snowmelt to drain into the Bow River.

Bow Falls, Banff - June 2007 Flood

The photo below was taken on June 26 2006 when there was a lot of meltwater from the glaciers and snowmelt.

June 2006

This photo was taken on June 15 2008 for comparison. At this time of year, the Bow Falls always have a good volume of water.

Bow Falls, Banff, June 2008

This photo below was taken on November 26 2006. This was a very cold day and you can see the “steam” rising from the cold waters of the Bow River.

Bow Falls in Winter - December 2006

This is a typical photo in the fall / autumn time. With the colder nights, the glaciers start to release less meltwater causing the Bow River levels to be low.

Bow Falls in the summer, Banff

 

Bear safety in Banff National Park

06 Apr

Banff is in the wild and beautiful Banff National Park and so there may be a chance that you are lucky enough to see a bear.

There are two types of bears here: the black bear and the grizzly (or brown) bear. Don’t let the names fool you, you may see a brown or cinnamon coloured “black bear” like the cub with her mother photographed below:

Black Bear, Brown Cub photo

Black Bear

A Black Bear in Banff National Park

Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear in Banff National ParkThe grizzly bear can be identified by it’s distinctive hump on the back of it’s neck.

A grizzly bear is also larger than a black bear.

Each year, people get too close to wildlife especially bears. I personally have seen families stand in front of a bear cub on the side of the road to take pictures. This is not fair for the bear, especially the mother who is watching and may decide to protect her cub at anytime.

Please don’t put bears, or any other wildlife, in this position, it simply isn’t fair.

The bear safety information below has been sourced through Parks Canada:


What should I do if I see a BEAR?

If you are driving: stay in your car, and consider not stopping.

If you are not in a vehicle:

  • Stay calm. If a bear rears on its hind legs and waves its nose about, it is trying to identify you. Remain still and talk calmly so that it knows you are human and not a prey animal. Bears may also bluff charge: run toward you and turn away at the last moment. A scream or sudden movement may trigger an attack.
  • Pick up children, stay in a group.
  • Back away slowly, don’t run.
  • Leave the area. If this is impossible, wait until the bear leaves; make sure it has an escape route.

To reduce your risk of a surprise encounter:

  • Make noise. Clap, sing or yell to announce your presence, especially where a bear might not otherwise smell, hear or see you coming. (Bear bells are not very effective.)
  • Travel in groups, on established trails, and during daylight hours.
  • Minimize odours by proper storage of food, garbage and toiletries.
  • Leave the area if you see a bear or fresh tracks, droppings, diggings; or if you come across a large dead animal (a bear may be nearby).

If you surprise a bear and it defends itself:

Use bear spray if you have it. PLAY DEAD, let it know you are not a threat: lie on stomach with legs apart, cover back of head and neck with hands, keep pack on to protect your back.

If a bear stalks you and then attacks, or attacks at night:

Try to escape, use bear spray if you have it. FIGHT BACK, let it know that you are not easy prey. (This kind of predatory attack is very rare.)


After many on-foot bear encounters myself with both black and grizzly bears, the best form of defence is avoidance. If you make lots of noise by talking loudly to your hiking friends, you are very likely not going to see a bear. Be aware of bear presence (scat/faeces), damage to vegetation etc. and leave the area. If you are unable to leave the area, make lots of noise.

Guides are easily available so if you are not comfortable hiking in the wilderness then local experts can certainly take good care of you.

rocky-peak Holidays is a local company based in Canmore, just 5 minutes outside of Banff National Park and can help you find a suitable guide. There are also group hiking tours available.

Have you had a bear encounter you would like to share with us and our readers? Please post it below!

 

Banff Fall Photographs

08 Oct

This September has been a fantastic fall with above average temperatures and gentle winds allowing trees to show for longer!

Unfortunately, the pictures we originally posted have since been deleted. Here are some fall photographs I think you’ll enjoy: CLICK HERE

Today’s Weather: Snow! This is great news for Canada Ski Resorts some of which are scheduled to open early November!

 
 
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