Lake Louise: walking on water
OK you guessed it, the water was just a bit frozen.
The day we went out to Lake Louise was one of the coldest days at -20°C. The lake itself was in the shadow of high mountains, but the sun was shining on the mountain peaks enclosing it.
It was impossible for us to capture the beauty of this place with such challenging lighting, so you need to use your imagination and maybe view the photos with eyes half closed.
Imagine if you will a large lake, surrounded on all sides by steep snow-covered mountains whose lower slopes are covered in pine trees weighed down with snow. On the west side is a large, majestic hotel.
Now imagine the lake is solid ice and covered in thick snow; paths have been created so you can walk right across the lake in whichever direction you choose. People are warmly dressed from head to toe with furry hats and boots, yet with sunglasses against the glare. Older couples are walking slowly, arms linked, enveloped in full length coats, while young parents are pulling babies along on sledges wrapped snugly in blankets.
The atmosphere is not unlike that of Russia in the 1920s – think Dr Zhivago. There are even horse drawn sledges full of people wrapped in red blankets taking trips around the edge of the lake.
Near the hotel is more activity. The ice has been prepared to make a skating rink, in the middle of which is an ice sculptured castle, nearby children are playing ice hockey trying to get a puck into a makeshift goal.
At the far end of the lake is a glacier and one of our party (no names mentioned, Jonathan!) felt the incomprehensible urge to climb the steep snowy slope.
Others of us took took even greater risks to life and limb by donning ice skates for the first time in about 20 years. The surface was not exactly smooth so progress was slow, but I managed to do a few tours of the rink without causing too much damage to myself or others.
A little later a frozen mist appeared hovering above the lake, giving it a surreal atmosphere.
We couldn’t stay out long before suffering from hypothermia, so soon headed back into the hotel, passing as we did a stall selling maple taffy on snow. I really wish we had tried some.
As it was we had a wonderful lunch of chicken wings and chips before it was time to head back to Canmore to absorb all the wonderful sights and experiences of the day.
Coming next “More frozen Water”.