Saturday, January 17, 2009

Double-Cross Turned Triple

Our adventure to the Ink Pots just west of Banff was to be a two in one activity day! Just to make it a little more exciting, we veered away from the original plan and threw a third sport into the mix! This made for quite a day of cross-training!

Twelve of us hit the trail around 11:00. This trail required our stabilizers for sure footing along the suspended walk-way that followed Johnston Canyon. You can see the lay out of the land, the purple being the route we followed. My Garmin 60CSX worked perfectly today, this is the report it turned in at the end. The maximum elevation we reached was 1756 meters and the total distance for the day was 12.7 kms, all this over 4 hours and 46 minutes.

The water falls were amazing! Some were partially frozen and you could see the water falling underneath the ice. The ice climbers were amazing too! At the Lower Falls we climbed into the cave to get an up close and personal view of the falls and pool of water right before our eyes.

At the junction, we stopped to de-layer because we had a climb ahead of us and that's when you warm up really quick. The trail was sheltered and tree-lined and as white as could be! The stabilizers were working well on the hard packed trail.

Finally, we arrived at the Ink Pots! Here is the story! If you click on the photo you can find out all about them.
This was our dining destination, sitting in pure sunshine for 40 minutes in just a base layer on top, sunglasses, bare hands and savouring lunch and the scenery.

The ink pots were so pretty! Each of the seven being unique in their own way. I really like the ice flowers on the partially frozen pot. On to the next mission! Time to ditch the stabilizers and strap on the snowshoes to carry on to the junction where we could detour to Moose Meadows. The junction was 3 kms away, and it was up and down to get to it. The uphill always feels easier on a happy full belly that adds the energy needed.

Once we reached the junction and carried on towards the Meadows for a short bit, was when the loop was thrown into the original plan. Three of us had GPS systems so we knew we could safely veer off track and not get lost. A quick left, and we were off to the left, bushwacking! This was my first time for bushwacking and I loved it! It was new untouched powder snow a couple of feet deep. Good thing it was downhill bushwacking. We were able to cut off 2 kms from our trip and have so much more fun. I'm in the bush here somewhere! We came to an opening and had to maneuver our way down a big hill to the roadside. As it turns out, we came out onto the Bow Valley Parkway and had about a km to walk back to the start.
For this kind of terrain back to the parking lot, the snowshoes got strapped to the backpacks again and on with the sure-footing stabilizers. The sun was setting as we tackled that last kilometer, it was a slow go with heavy feet and tired legs by now. We got in under the wire and didn't need our insurance headlights. After dinner and a drink in Canmore, we were back in the city by 8:00 and before long, I will be in bed wondering if I will even be able to move tomorrow!


  1. That is spectacular. And I love that rockin garmie elevation/distance chart. Amazing pics. Wish I was there.

  2. That must have been an awesome day! Scary walk along the canyon - not to mention watching those ice climbers! I wouldn't know what a stabilizer is if it hit me on the head, but it sounds like fun anyway!


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