It was a short 30 min drive from Johnston Canyon to Lake Louise. I cannot complain, it was a scenic ride. The parking lot at Lake Louise was full despite the cold windy winter afternoon. The parking lot was covered by snow and we kind of suspected that we left the car in a no-parking zone. However, I do not think we were the only ones parked like that, judging by a chaotic arrangement of cars around us.
Meeting Lake Louise
Lake Louise is a popular Rocky Mountain tourist destination. The mountain lake looks idyllic in the summer, but in winter you cannot even make out that it is a lake. It is completely frozen over and snow covered. How about walking on the water, snowshoeing that is, instead of swimming?
The lake is large without any specially groomed trails for snowshoeing on the south side. The rule of the day was: you make your own trail, so we did. We ventured out along a mountainous shore. We may have made about 500 meters when our snowshoes started to wade through slushy ice. The lake surface wasn’t hard and we started to sink into layers of ice-water slush. Andi wasn’t thrilled about the turn of events and got a little distraught. After a few extra meters we decided to turn back and head towards safer grounds.
The lure of white awe
We made it back the same way, along the shore, but somewhere half way through we got excited by a possibility of messing up untouched vastness of snow across the lake. There wasn’t a single track crossing the lake so we took the challenge to be the first. We crossed the lake from south to north sinking our snowshoes into 30, maybe 40cm of virgin snow.
Suddenly winter turned into summer, or at least it felt that way. For a moment I thought I need to turn on the air conditioner as I started to sweat under my snowsuit. 20 calories, 30 calories, yep… I kept on counting my steps hoping to melt that extra cellulite of my half century-old hips. Andi couldn’t care less (his hips are well proportioned) making snow angels and trying to lure unsuspecting aircraft to a mysterious word “Uthing” freshly imprinted by his snowshoes in the middle of Lake Louise.
It may be boring in winter
After more sittercise in the car then exercise, we welcomed the struggles of physical rigor and arrived at the north shore. It was much more tourist friendly: specially groomed paths for horse-and-buggies, for skiers, and separate for hikers. It was nice. We took our snowshoes off and walked along with others. On our way back to the parking lot, we stopped to watch a crew shaping ice blocks to build an ice castle.
Although it was fun to snowshoe, Lake Louise did not impress us. Maybe Lake Louise is a great summer attraction, but in winter, unless you are looking forward to physical fun, it may be boring.
We better head out. It was close to 4 pm and we had to drive to Revelstoke yet. Revelstoke is located some 231 km west of Lake Louise and in winter condition that could easily mean 3 hr of driving, some of it in darkness. Thank God Andi is a good driver. I will just stick to navigation, I’d rather be in charge of directions than operations.
To be continued…
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