Banff Aspen Lodge Meeting and Conference Facilities
Corporate retreat, meeting and conference facilities at the Banff Aspen Lodge in the Canadian Rockies

The Banff Aspen Lodge Hotel - Canadian Rockies Lodge

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Stanley Glacier

Stanley Glacier is a popular hike in the area that I have been wanting to do forever! I finally had the chance this past week and it did not disappoint. To get there you drive from Banff towards Lake Louise and exit at Highway 93 (Castle Junction). The trail head is around 10-15 minutes down the highway, located on your left hand side (if coming from Banff).

This is a moderate hike without too much elevation gain (4.2km one way with 395metres in elevation gain). The trail starts with a few switchbacks and you walk through a burn area that was struck by lightning in 1968. I loved seeing how the forest has grown back since the fire; there were so many gorgeous wild flowers! The trail eventually opens up into a valley where you can see a bit of Stanley Glacier; it has receded quite a lot. This photo was taken looking back to where we had just hiked; it had just stopped raining and the clouds were gorgeous:


Once the actual trail ends, you have the option to explore the surrounding area. We went up to a waterfall that was coming off one of the Mountains; it was incredible! There are no set trails and it was a bit of a scramble to get to the waterfall; so I only recommend if you are an advanced hiker. You are also able to go a bit further to see the bottom of Stanley Glacier.


Remember to check hiking conditions with Parks Canada before heading out and bring water and a snack for when you get to Stanley Glacier; there are lots of rocks to sit on to enjoy some food before heading back. This hike is not recommended when it is windy, so please ensure you choose a non-windy day to do it :)

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Snowball Fight in August?

So although I am clearly enjoying the summer; I am starting to get the "skiers itch" and can't wait to get back on the mountain to ski this winter. I was able to get my snow fix this past week when I walked into a snowball fight in front of the hotel....

The weather in Banff can be a bit bizarre but I've never been able to have an actual snowball fight in the middle of August...who would have thought?

In celebration of this coming winter season, the Banff Aspen Lodge is offering FREE passes to the Banff Upper Hot Springs for those people who stay at the hotel from November 1st - December 15th, 2010. Reservations must be booked by September 30th,2010 to qualify for this offer and is valid on full rate or packaged bookings.

Just imagine relaxing under a sparkling night sky, surrounded by snow-capped mountains...sounds pretty ideal to me :) Call 1-800-661-0227 to book your room now!

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2010 Banff Dragon Boat Festival

This past weekend was the third annual Banff Dragon Boat Festival at Lake Minnewanka and it was Incredible!!! I was apart of "Dragon the Line"; the Banff Lake Louise Tourism Team. We practised four times (once a week over the past month) to get our "sea legs" and learn how to function as a team in the boat.

Dragon Boating is SO different from Canoeing...so much of our training was learning not to "J-Stroke" (aka canoeing) and do an "A-Stroke". Basically, the stroke is you twisting the core of your body and not using your arms. We also really had to work on paddling in-sync and at a slower pace...as it doesn't matter how fast you paddle...it's the strength of the stroke!

We had two races on Saturday and came fourth in each one...out of four boats. We were racing against mostly professional teams who have been training since May and as well, some local teams. Sunday's first race felt awesome for our team; we slowed down our "stroke rate" and were really working well as a team. We came in third...just .03seconds from the second place boat. Our last race was the "G Division Championship" and going into it we were all SO pumped. It was an intense race that involved us almost getting hit by another dragon boat...but we didn't let that distract us, kept on paddling and won the Championship!!!



The weekend was so awesome! I was able to enjoy two gorgeous days at Lake Minnwanka, meet some new people and come out of it a Champion :) Huge thanks to Tulene, our Team Caption and the volunteers who provided us with awesome food and drinks. I am So excited for next year's race and look forward to winning the "F Division Championship" ...

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bourgeau Lake Hike

On my last day-off I hiked to Bourgeau Lake and it was awesome! The trailhead begins off the TransCanada Highway; around 15 minutes west of Banff. It is definitely a more moderate hike that can take up to six hours return; 7.5km one way with around 710 metres in elevation gain (which is what makes the hike a bit more difficult). You start out with a gradual increase in elevation and then come to these gorgeous waterfalls;


Once you cross the creek there is some intense elevation gain for the next couple of kilometres...luckily there are a few stumps/rocks to rest on at some of the switchbacks :)

When you reach Bourgeau Lake it is gorgeous! There are large boulders to sit on to enjoy your well deserved picnic and as well, SO many ground squirrels to watch scurrying around. I've been told that this hike should be done in the late summer, as snow is usually still on the trail until then.



Please remember to always check out trail conditions at http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/tcond/cond_e.asp?oPark=100092 before starting on a hike!

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Corporate retreat, meeting and conference facilities at the Banff Aspen Lodge in the Canadian Rockies
 
  Email - info@banffaspenlodge.com
Reservations - 877-886-8857
Fax - (403) 762-5905
Banff Hotels
  401 Banff Avenue
P.O. Box 1017
Banff, Alberta
Canada T1L 1A9
  Canada Select