Sunday, 13 September 2015

Dryland Ski Training & a Canyon walk

The weather on Saturday was great, sunny and high 20s, so we took the opportunity to have a trip out, in case this is the last warm Saturday of the year.
Lara had to attend the first session of her "dryland training" for her ski club at a park in Calgary in the morning, which was 90 minutes of various exercises designed to build up her strength and stamina, as well as helping to create bonds and friendships with the other "athletes" as the club refers to the children.
From there we headed out towards Banff, to a place called Johnston Canyon, between Banff and Lake Louise. I'd read in our "Walks in the Rockies with Children" book that this was a very popular place, and indeed it was. The car park was full, and there were dozens of cars parked along the roadside, but with a little bit of fortuitous timing, we ended up with a space very close to the start of the walk and the gift shop/cafe. The path goes alongside a stream, heading up through Johnston Canyon, where in places the path is a walkway attached directly to the canyon walls, and on a busy Saturday afternoon, there were times when the foot traffic came to a halt at narrow bits. If you walk the full route, you pass seven waterfalls, and it's a 5km round trip, but we just did the first half, as far as the first set of large falls, where we stopped to play by the stream, then we headed back for ice creams. It was a 2.5km round trip, but the kids didn't complain once, mainly because when the path wasn't a narrow walkway screwed to a vertical cliff, it ran through a lovely forest with lots of side trails to explore and trees to clamber over, under or around. It would be an amazing place to explore if there weren't 10,000 other people around, and it's open (almost) all year round, apart from a month from September 15th when they perform any maintenance on the path. So we'll head there in the dead of winter, when the falls will be frozen, and you can snowshoe along the path, with - hopefully - no-one else around.

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