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Saturday, 19 July 2014

Beautiful British Columbia Mountains

Supernatural British Columbia Mountains

That is this Canadian province's cliché tourism slogan but where else can you enjoy the great outdoors as well as have one of the most multicultural experiences anywhere on the planet. To me British Columbia is about magnificent Mountains and surging Seas.  This post is about BC Mountains, BC's huge expanse of wilderness
As we are about to fly to Vancouver for a summer vacation, we thought we would share some old photos from when we lived in nearby (for Canadian standards) Alberta.  This was our backyard and we have hiked and driven all over.  The Turkey Blog will continue after we return home.   

See also related post Jasper to Mt Robson Must See Sights
Lake O'Hara
Lake O'Hara OMG
Imagine pushing one end of a flat piece of tissue paper towards the other fixed end. What you get is a multitude of ridges. 
Except in real life those are a series of mountain ranges from the coastal range along the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains on the border with the province of Alberta 780 km away. 
British Columbia (BC for short) is the same area as France and Italy combined or 20% larger than Turkey! France and Italy combined have a population of over 125 million and Turkey has over 76 million. Now imagine that BC only has 4.6 million people in an even larger land area.  

Yoho National Park


Lake O'Hara

Needless to say there is plenty of wildlife, scenery, hiking, trees, turquoise lakes, glaciers and rugged mountains to enjoy.  One of the most spectacular turquoise gems is Lake O'Hara in Yoho National Park
Emerald Lake in Summer
Emerald Lake truly is a gem
What makes it special is that there are no cars allowed.  You have to arrange transport to the Lake O'Hara Lodge and then start any one of a number of hikes. 

Emerald Lake

Another drop dead gorgeous gem is Emerald Lake – and you can drive right there.  In summer we walked high up around that mountain, river crossings included.  The tiny streams were engorged with spring run-off and we had to help my sister and brother-in-law cross over the raging rocks or turn around, which would have taken much longer as we were nearly at the end.  There was a huge drop-off not too far downstream. A very long trail also travels along the edge of this large lake ending at the lodge cabins below.   
Skiing around Emerald Lake

Oh yes, there is lots of snow and skiing in the winter.   One tip we can pass on is to ski downhill during weekdays then ski cross-country on weekends.  We skied all around Emerald Lake – it was more like hiking on skis surrounded by snow-covered mountains.   
Radium Hot Springs
Radium Hot Springs Bliss



Radium Hot Springs


Après ski you can enjoy a giant hot tub (at 37-40°C) with some friends in Radium Hot Springs.   The picture does not look like it is the middle of winter.  There is so much steam coming off the hot springs, it was quite comfy sitting in the pool. 


Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park: Illecillewaet Glacier
Abbott Ridge Looking East to Illecillewaet Glacier
One of our favourite national parks is Glacier National Park, which actually does have glaciers.  But the best part is that you can climb to the top of Abbot Ridge - no climbing gear required, just hiking boots.  But at the top you have an unparalleled 360° view – now that's mountain climbing! 
You are looking down on Illecillewaet Glacier. We brought a Swiss friend from our 3-year Round-The-World trip here and a guy from New Jersey asked if he could join us.  He enjoyed teasing her that the Rocky Mountains were way better than the tame Swiss Alps.  She thought the Alps were the best. 
Glacier National Park: Abbott Ridge View North
Glacier National Park: Abbott Ridge View North
He made a point of saying he has hiked all over the world, including the Himalayas, but now every year he comes to Western Canada for his vacation. 
As he stated so well, in the Alps when you get to the top you see flat plains, cities and lots of people.  In the Rockies all you can see is range after range of mountains and you can count the number of people on one hand.  It was an accurate observation except that we were not in the Rocky Mountains – we were in the Selkirk Mountains. 

Last  Post: Dalyan Lycian Tombs (Day 13 PM)
Next Post: British Columbia by the Supernatural Sea 

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