Wow. If you recall, it was Monday August 27th when I flew to Calgary to meet Rick and then be zipped by Brewster Travel to Banff so that we could begin our Big Mountain Challenge. Just over a week later I am exhausted physically, but completely energized at the same time. This challenge was exactly what I needed: the perfect mix of activity, adventure, and relaxation.
Thanks Banff and Lake Louise!
For those keeping score, The Big Mountain Challenge was to include three major hikes: Cascade Mountain, Mount Temple, and Sulphur Mountain. Sadly, because of bears and then because of the weather, Mount Temple was not to be. Did we fret about this? Hells no. Instead, we climbed three other mountains, added a teahouse challenge, went canoeing, and pretty much worked ourselves to the point of physical exhaustion. Because that’s what Rick and I do.
Simply put – the challenge was AWESOME.
The official list of hikes and other activities are as follows:
Monday: Arrive in Banff
- Tuesday: Cascade Mountain (~19.00 km)
- Wednesday: Spa day
- Thursday: Leave Banff, Arrive in Lake Louise, Canoeing on Lake Louise (~4.00 km)
- Friday: Mount Fairview & Saddleback Mountain (~10.00 km)
- Saturday: The Lake Louise Highline Teahouse Challenge (~15.00 km)
- Sunday: Larch Valley, Sentinel Pass & Mount Eiffel, Leave Lake Louise, Arrive in Banff (~15.00 km)
- Monday: Sulphur Mountain & Spa day (~5.50 km)
- Tuesday: Leave Banff
This means we managed to hike/paddle almost 70 km while successfully climbing 5 different mountains and collecting a two-piece Teahouse Challenge magnet. Not too bad for a week’s work. And definitely not too bad considering we were pampered by the Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotels.
I can honestly say that waking up this morning – back in my own bed – knowing that I’d have to make my own breakfast, make my own bed, pour my own coffee, and pretty much do everything for myself (like a sucker) made getting out of bed difficult. Very difficult.
I know, I know – whoa is me.
But seriously – we were treated so well by Fairmont that now my regular life seems, well, regular.
I think what I need to do is begin planning another adventure. Because nothing cures wanderlust like a new adventure. It also doesn’t hurt to look back at the photos and relive the experience while it’s so fresh in my memory. So that is what I’m going to do – plan some new adventures (more to come on that), and review my photos.
And because I can, I’m going to share my favourite photos with you (in no particular order).
- Grizzlies – Smarter Than Your Average Bear (consumedbywanderlust.wordpress.com)
- I Can’t Freaking Wait (consumedbywanderlust.wordpress.com)
- Thank You Thank You Thank You (consumedbywanderlust.wordpress.com)
- Guess What I’m Doing Right Now? (consumedbywanderlust.wordpress.com)
- What’s Another Half Kilometre? (consumedbywanderlust.wordpress.com)
- Big Mountain Challenge – Complete! (consumedbywanderlust.wordpress.com)
- The Conquering Of Cascade Mountain (consumedbywanderlust.wordpress.com)
- Unfreaking Believable (consumedbywanderlust.wordpress.com)
- Banff National Park’s $25,000 Big Mountain Challenge Winner Passes Torch to Runner-Up (sacbee.com)