At the Peyto Lake trailhead I find a six-foot snow-pack, far more than expected, and I layer up on a crisp, calm and clear day. The trail is buried under several feet of snow so I head directly towards Bow Summit on crusty snow which is predominantly load-bearing. The day is warming up and as I gain elevation I enter avalanche terrain. Hiking solo, I will avoid this risk, so I settle for great views of frozen Peyto Lake named after Ebenezer William (Bill) Peyto, famous guide, outfitter and early park warden, before heading back down. I chat in the trail-head parking lot with a young couple from Austria, where their ski season has been a disaster due to lack of snow. Apparently it is all here.
Views across the mirror surface of Herbert Lake, on the west side of the Icefield Parkway just south of Hector Lake and north of Hwy 1, are stunning.
I stop into Lake Louise for lunch and an excellent view of the Plain of Six Glaciers.
Castle Mountain is grand as the sun swings around.
At Cave and Basin near the Town of Banff, I decide to hike the Sundance Canyon loop. It is an easy 8 KM hike and the canyon is free of ice encountered on my earlier visit. Water flow is high. It’s a very pretty and easy hike with wooden bridge crossings over the creek.
Driving home from a long, varied and grand day, I use the car’s air-conditioning for the first time this season.