I frequently tell our visitors, "It's Spring time in Banff and Winter in Lake Louise" and they look at me really befuddled. You try and explain it to them, but they just don't get it. After all, it can be sunny and warm and-oh-so-spring-like in our fine little mountain town.
They need to see it, to understand it.
They arrive with a vengeance in their RV's, with their backpacks and tents, in their flip-flops and t-shirts and are eager to hike and to camp. In particular, they want to hike and camp at Lake Louise.
They ask: "Are there mosquitoes at the campground in Lake Louise?"
Heck, no. It's frequently below zero here in the Canadian Rockies. It's too damn cold for mosquitoes in May. "Can I canoe in Lake Louise?" Certainly, you can. Just not in May. "Why not?"
That's when I have to break it to them.
Why not? Well, that's because it's frozen. In May and well into June, Lake Louise is frozen. I repeat, it's frozen. The iconic turquoise waters of Lake Louise are frozen under ice about 8 1/2 months of the year.
Like I said, you need to see it, to get it.
Here's a picture of me on my run on Monday evening.
Aaaah. Sweetness. Warm spring air. Can't you just smell it? The smells of spring, moist and earthy everywhere.
Here's another picture of me on my run on Wednesday night:
WOW! Isn't it gorgeous? Clearly, it MUST be spring, yes?
You can understand why visitors don't believe me, when I break the bad news to them. How can it be spring in Banff and winter in Lake Louise?
Sadly, I'm sorry, it's true: Lake Louise is frozen. Solid. Icy. Yes. True. Sorry. Get it?
Here's a picture of me today, looking down on Lake Louise.
Aaaah. Beautiful. Crisp, cool and clear air. Fresh. White. Lovely.
But, different - yes?
Deep, Cold and Beautiful - Lake Louise, Alberta
Here's the pictures from today's run, I enjoyed an adventure in the heart of the Lake Louise area. It was a great day, complete with gale force winds off the glaciers, mountain goats and lots of post-holing. It's spring in the Rockies.
Although my photos may look winter-like, there were so many signs of spring to enjoy and take in. The plants emerging from the earth, the waterfalls flowing, the smaller lakes beginning to break up and the massive avalanche debris that finally, obstructed my journey. The mountain goats were working hard, digging in that hard frozen place - grazing and feeding.
As I descended back towards Lake Louise and back into the sub-alpine, I cruised by an avalanche chute that was alive with the signs of spring. Shrubs beginning to leaf, water flowing, grass emerging from the earth and jeeeeezus, what's that? A fuzzy little grizzly bear cub in the middle of it, not 20 metres off the trail. Crap. I stopped dead in my tracks, looking for Mama - but I didn't see a thing. No prints in the snow or earth, no signs anywhere, just a real live grizzly bear cub. I got out my bear spray, took off the safety and just kept running. Looking over my shoulder, of course.
When I reached the back of the lake, I got another nice surprise. Where the spring water was beginning to flow, from glacier, to snow, to stream, to lake - the ice had broken up. And Lake Louise revealed herself to me, with a glimpse of her turquoise waters.