Leaving Tofino, I caught a ride back to Nanaimo to catch a ferry back to Vancouver for the night through a very snowy and treacherous Roger's Pass which actually involved the car slipping out into a barrier. We gained control though, before nearly heading off a cliff - but I'm still here writing this blog, so after some very clever defensive driving, we rolled into Nanaimo a little shaken. I said by to my lift and I caught the ferry over to Horseshoe Bay before returning to the Samesun Hostel for the night when Mike was due to pick me up first thing in the morning to head to Banff. A 7am start and we hit the road, we busted out some tunes and headed through suburban Vancouver, onwards to Jasper. After an hour or two of driving, the scenery turned to snow very fast as we began to enter The Rockies. Mike and I chatted and listened to CDs, and everything that has gone on in our lives. There is nothing like a roadtrip to get to know someone very well.
After 6-7 hours, we made it to Jasper by nightfall and organised some accommodation at the HI, and also booked a tour to head through Maligne Canyon to see the frozen waterfalls first thing in the morning. Tired and in near -20 conditions, we were exhausted - we grabbed some quick Subway and slept early.
The night before, we tossed up the idea of leaving most of our gear in the car overnight however it was a wise choice to not do so, as everything froze over night when we arrived in the morning to the car, including all of our water bottles! We packed the car and headed on our tour early. We were lucky and we were the only ones on the tour! It was a beautiful walk through snow and ice!
We checked the weather conditions and decided we would take the Icefields Parkway to Banff and Lake Louise straight away to be in Banff before night fall. Snow was predicted but with all of the right gear and Mike's 4WD driving skills in snow, up our sleeves, we headed south to Banff. The drive through The Rockies is nothing short of incredible - I'll never forget watching the snow drift and twist across the road. We hit a few patches of deep snow, however, we soldiered on and we made it through to Lake Louise.
We stopped by to see a frozen over Lake Louise. Feeling weary and tired, we got going and pulled into the Samesun in Banff for some well earned rest, dinner and beer.