Saturday, January 9, 2010
Imagine having an entire National Park all to yourself??? I can't believe this!!! We didn't realize that the park basically closes down for the Winter....you can't even get gas or groceries there, not even a loaf of bread. Good thing I had taken the time to prepare some meals at Steph's.
We drove from Nanton to Waterton...not the best drive, very windy and slow going. We arrived at the park about noon and checked in at the visitor information office and the people could not do enough for us. We asked them for some maps and started talking and the clerk asked where we were planning on staying and we said at Pass Creek, but it doesn't look like we can't get in there right now as there is too much snow...just a minute she said and picked up the phone and asked the plow guy to get in there and clear it out for us....then she asked why we were in the park and we said to do some cc skiing and some touring on our alpine gear....just a minute she said I will get the avalance expert on the phone for you. We went down to the next building to met Brent the avalanche expert who told us where to go touring for the day and very thoroughly explained the current conditions and showed us everything on a giant map. Then they told us it was free to camp there and that we could use the rec centre which was pretty much the only lodge and centre that was open for the Winter. It was $6.00 a day and we had a huge pool, hot tub, sauna, steam bath and extremely clean showers/washrooms which was a nice treat. Again we had the entire centre to ourselves unless you count the 10 deer that greet you at the door. We saw more wildlife there than people.
We went for a 3 hour tour the first day and it was so beautiful I can't even explain it. It was so peaceful and tranquil. The trees were so full of snow and the views just breath taking. It was like we were in our own personal paridise.
When the trees kind of ended and the moutain opened up in front of us, it was monstrous...we started our way accross the centre of it one at a time (good avalanche practice, I went first) and we made it across, but you could see where a slide had happened at one point because you could see the mounds of snow and the texture totally changed. It just kept getting steeper and steeper and Bill and I both decided at the same time that maybe we should just turn around and call it a day as we both thought we should respect this mountain and our inexperience at this point. Good idea....as it was a perfect day!
We decided that we wanted to spend another night here, so we had to get conservative with our gas/propane and battery as we were not plugged in, so we had to turn the heat in our trailer down to 5 degrees....how many pair of socks would you have to wear to bed Darlene? Brrrrr.....