Some random photos from my holiday to Canada in Feb 2005.
The grand plan was to start in Toronto then take the sleeper train
right across the continent to Vancouver then go into the British
Columbia mountains behind whistler and do some climbing.
The first day in Toronto was cold, I have not been anywhere that cold since a frosty job
several years ago. We wandered around a bit looking at the frozen
harbor, the view from the CN tower and generally getting chilly.
The streets were oddly empty, we found out why when we discovered
the hidden underground city called PATH.
Clearly anyone with the slightest sense avoided the approaching
glaciers (only a slight exageration) and stayed underground all winter.
Navigation in the undercity is tough, we had a map and there are
'you are here' signs dotted around but it was always a fluke if we
managed to get from A-B without a few random detours.
Toronto - the view from the CN tower
The trip from Toronto to Vancouver was by train on a service called The Canadian.
It was the middle of winter so we were going through an endless
landscape of fir and birch trees with frozen lakes and rivers.
Whistler is not a friendly place for anyone without skis, there seems
to be no legitimate way to get to the top of the Musical Bumps ridge by
foot or lift unless you are wearing skis. I eventually had to
walk up the ski run because the man at the ski lift said that it is
impossible to get off at the top without skis. When I eventually
got to the top it was obvious that it would be trivial - probably
easier to walk off than to ski.
Once the irritation and crowds of Whistler was behind us we could head
out into the mountains, the scenery was stunning but we were hours
behind schedule ( and already tired ) so we were going to be forced to
spend the night out on the mountain. I had not put a tent up in
deep snow for years but it was amazing just how familiar it felt to be
stamping the snow to make a good hard site then melting snow for water.
Due to my crippling lack of skiing ability (which I am working on fixing) I was trying snowshoes for
the first time in my life. They are not as bad as you might
think, they require a slightly odd walking style but in general I
managed to keep up with Adrian on his telemarks. The only
unnerving bit is that there are mini crampon style teeth for hard bits
surrounded by a wide flat area for soft snow, this works fine unless
the surface is hard and lumpy which can cause the teeth to dangle in
air as you skid downhill until they engage.
As an alternative to these winter photos look here
for some photos of the same area taken in summer a couple of years
earlier. I had never even noticed the runoff stream from the lake
by the hut but I must have walked over it many times.
The view from somwhere along the musical bumps
Me with a HEAVY pack slogging through some scenery
The first night we camped in a pass below Flute
Matt below Whirlwind (behind) and Fissile (up the slope)
Adrian near the top of Whirlwind
Matt on the top of Whirlwind just before the weather went bad
Adrian on Whirlwind
Russet Hut below Fissile
Inside Russet Hut
Birds really do sit on ski poles