Tuesday, August 17, 2010

SUN! and Whistlers

The weather changed dramatically overnight.  Saturday was clear and sunny and wonderful.  We had breakfast and immediately went to see the top of the world.

Jasper is surrounded by mountains.  One of those is Whistlers, named for the sounds made by the resident marmots.  Whistlers sits about 4000' above Jasper.  One can climb to the summit - for 4-6 hours (multiply by two for us old fudds) on a developed trail.  Or, more practically, one can go up most of the way on a tram and hike the remaining 700' of elevation.

Looking down to the Tram (left), the Trail to the Summit (center), and Jasper (far right)
For the old fudds, the hike of a mile or so to the summit is a challenge, but well worth it.  Views in all direction, views not accessible down below.  The valley to the northeast leading to Hinton and Edmonton, the Yellowhead Valley leading west into British Columbia, the Athabasca Valley leading south.  Edith in regal dress.
Looking South to Mt. Edith Cavell
Mt. Robson is a snow-covered pyramid glistening in the distance.  Mt. Robson is 12,972', and although the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, not the highest mountain in Canada, that honor belonging to mountains in the Coast Range.
Mt. Robson
Snow-capped mountain ranges behind the close-up ranges. The mountains of Jasper and Banff are three dimensional - not a single line of mountains like the Tetons, but an area filled with mountain ranges beyond mountain ranges beyond mountain ranges.
Joan on Top of Whistlers
Joan befriended Emma, a nine year-old who had visions of dying, or worse, before she got to the summit.  Of course, Emma got to the summit first.
Joan and Emma
We spent most of the day on top of Whistlers, drinking in God's abundance.  We found we could see south into the Athabasca Valley.
Athabasca Valley with the River and Route 93
We also found that we could see Wapiti Campground and almost see our campsite, even if the orange tent fly didn't show up.
Wapiti Campground between the Highway and the River - our Campsite is Right of the Clearing for RVs
We had a nibble at the Tram Station, went down on the Tram, and drove into Jasper, where we found that the Rocky Mountaineer, a luxury excursion train, had arrived.  And the train from Jasper to Prince Rupert was made up and ready to go.
Rocky Mountaineer
Train to Prince Rupert
That evening, we stopped by the Anglican Church in Jasper.  They were holding an art auction as a fund-raiser and had some fine pieces - Jasper attracts good artists.  The pieces were too large to fit into the Prius, so we enjoyed without bidding.