Sunlit mountain peaks around Lake Louise

Lake Louise: Walking on Water

Lake Louise: walking on water

Part 1: Christmas in Calgary

Part 2: Canmore: a winter wonderland

Ice crystals in the sub zero temperatures

Ice crystals in the sub zero temperatures

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.

Lake Louise

Lake Louise looking away from the hotel

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.

Hotel at Lake Louise viewed from the far side of the lake.

Hotel at Lake Louise viewed from the far side of the lake.

 

Baby on sledge

Baby on sledge

 

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.

People skate on the ice in front of the hotel

People skate on the ice in front of the hotel

 

Children take any opportunity to practise their hockey skills

Children take any opportunity to practise their hockey skills

 

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.

Glacier at end of lake

Glacier at end of lake

Half way up

Half way up

Made it

Made it

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.

The river joining the lake at the far end

The river joining the lake at the far end

People in the mist

People in the mist

Hut in the mist

Hut in the mist

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.

 

Maple toffee.JPG
Maple toffee”  The original uploader was SimonP at English Wikipedia

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”.

 

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19 thoughts on “Lake Louise: Walking on Water

  1. it is a truly magical experience isn’t it Annette, I broke a train crossing to stay at Jasper, north of where you were, there is another large lake near there can’t remember the name of it, I also saw an ad to go gorge walking on a frozen river, I did it was magic, you could go behind some of the frozen waterfalls, the ice was blue, I never tried ice skating, lots of nice memories for us both, I am enjoying these winter Canada posts thanks for sharing, Frances

    • Glad you are enjoying them Frances. It sounds as if you had a wonderful time when you were there. I wonder if I should be posting about warmer climates though at this time of the year? Our heating has just broken down and we have to wait until tomorrow to get someone out. I am glad of my Canadian thermals I can tell you! By the way what did you mean you broke a train crossing?

      • Annette, I meant instead of going straight across I decided to stop in Jasper for a few days, I’m glad I did, sorry to hear about your heating, do you have any other form of heating? I have a calor gas fire I keep for power cuts but when I had a problem with my heating last autumn it came in very handy, I hope you are not getting this cold wind, Frances

        • Oh you meant you took a break rather than you drove into a barrier and broke it!!! It must be the cold getting to me! Yes we have an electric heater, so one room can be warm. We also have a real fire which we can light and an electric blanket for the bed. So I think we will survive. It is very cold though and yes quite windy, but not gale force.

  2. Wow…I feel chilly just looking at the pictures. Such stunning beauty and the darling little rosy cheeked baby photo is charming!

  3. What an exciting day out in the cold, nice to see people enjoying it rather than whining about it…. I suppose when it’s such a big part of your year you really need to make the best of it. I think the pictures are perfect, no half-closed eyes necessary 🙂

  4. I always thought you must have special qualities Annette, walking on water!
    Wonderful pictures, blogging helps us see the whole world from the comfort of a warm home, I hope your heating is ok now.

    • It did feel rather special, Brian and not as scary as I had anticipated. I think the ice was pretty thick. The engineer is working on the heating at this moment so hopefully back to normal by lunch time – it is a little cumbersome going round wrapped in blankets!

  5. Pingback: Nakiska – more frozen water | My Aberdeen Garden

  6. Pingback: Back to Calgary and meeting new friends | My Aberdeen Garden

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