Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Mountain Lifestyle Day 4 December 21

I know how pretty Emerald Lake can be in the winter and I had a strong desire to pay that place a visit on this mountain get-a-way.  When checking weather forecasts, today would be the best one to venture there.  The only reason I waffled about going there was the condition of the highway.  I love adventure, I play safe, I do take some chances because how else am I going to grow.  I did not want to arrive back in Calgary at the weeks end regretting that I did not at least try to drive to Emerald Lake.   I knew there would be options along the way to turn back if I just could not handle it.  Before getting onto the highway west, I checked out the views around town here first.

From here to the Banff/Yoho National Parks border was just OK, I would have preferred better.  But from there on it was dreadful.  I could see where cars went off the road.  There was no longer a divided highway, there were many of those large transport trucks in my vicinity, bare pavement was non-existent, passing lanes were not visible, I crawled but I was getting there.  My knuckles were white, my shoulders were tense, but I was getting there. I breathed a sigh of relief when I reached the Emerald Lake turnoff.  I came prepared to hike or snowshoe or X-C Ski.  When I saw the conditions there was no doubt my mode of travel, I clipped into my skis.  

I skied in the groomed track to the end of Emerald Lake.  At the end the track continued so I followed it.  It was so delightful. I was the first one there today.  It snowed last night so the track had new snow in it.  I like it like that.  This place was paradise.  It seemed to go on forever and I just hoped eventually it would circle back and it did.  I had no idea where I actually was but found out later that route is called the Alluvial Fan.  I had the entire Fan to myself.

After enjoying the Fan, I made my way back across Emerald Lake and back to my car. I geared down, fuelled up and then went for a hike along the river in a winter wonderland.  What a pretty peaceful paradise this place is!

Now it was time to face reality and hit that highway.  I prayed it would now be in somewhat better shape.  It was somewhat and I was happy about that.  As I went along I realized there was no traffic and was even happier about they.  I saw a truck up ahead on the side with a sign beside it.  As I very slowly passed I saw it was a Parks truck and the sign said Avalanche Control Ahead.  He waved me on and I went.  I minute or so later I looked in my rear view and saw the truck had red and blue flashing lights going and was now sideways on the road.  What the heck!  I became concerned! I was praying he radioed to someone that I was coming through.  I carried on and then came upon plumes of whatever, was it cloud, was it fog, was it snow?  I got through it came out the other side and then heard a thunder.  I put the pedal to the metal, I knew what that was all about.  I then saw a helicopter fly by. What an adventure!  All that seemed more scary then the drive in the morning. I enjoyed a few nice glasses of wine by the fire and was so happy, even given the drive to and from, that I got to experience Emerald Lake today.  It was a day with no regrets! 


  1. Wow - with scenery like that I'd say it was worth the scary drive.

  2. What a drive! I remember it well - without snow.
    Amazing beauty at Emerald Lake.


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