20161028: Tourist Weekend in Banff: film, food, snow!

Here comes shoulder season in our Rockies! It’s the quiet transition between summer and winter tourist seasons. When the sun’s out, making fresh snow sparkle, it’s spectacular.

Friday: After work D and I treated ourselves to the lobster and steak buffet at Stoney Nakoda casino. Prime Rib! Seafood galore! Gingerbread sticky toffee pudding? Delicious. And $29 includes a drink. So after that we decided not to do our night hike and just drove into Banff for a relaxing night.

Saturday: lazy morning and a yummy acai bowl and crepes at Skoki crepes and froyo house on the main strip. Quick hike up the front of Sulfur Mountain, and onto the south ridge for views of the Banff townsite and Sundance Range. What a special solitude in the clouds. We took the gondola down, toured Cave & Basin historic site and the Sulfur springs boardwalk before meeting up with friends at Block Restaurant for their Taste of Adventure Banff Food Festival feature. Finished the incredible night with the Banff Book and Film Festival opening night, an event I attend every year. Adventure and inspiration make my heart sing! The 6 of us and 1 dog stayed overnight at Hidden Ridge Resort under the stars and the mountains.

Sunday: awoke to the sounds and smells of M and N cooking up a storm. Another lazy morning with friends and then D and I headed to Lake Louise for a quick run of Saddleback Mountain. We’ve both been here so many times but never get tired of it. Whee, knee deep powder and another blue sky day! A stop at Laggan’s Bakery for hazelnut pastry, treats, and jasmine tea, and then a meet up with W and K at Saltlik for another great meal and more film fest. Tonight’s showing was amazing-Florian Shultz did a presentation, and Greg Mortensen was also in the room to view with us the premiere of 3000 Cups of Tea and comment on the controversy. Thank you to Yamnuska Mountain Adventures for the tickets and to The Banff Centre for putting on this world class film fest every year. Thank you to my favorite travel agent World Expeditions for their sponsorship of the event, too. I’m coming back next weekend for  the festival closing and awards!

Panos of Sulfur Mtn and Saddleback Mtn. They take 3-5 hrs each with simple approaches. Quick n easy effort for grand views! Go do them! (Snowshoes might have been good but we didn’t feel like carrying them. We scrambled Sulfur but there looked to be an easier way up if you choose not to.)


Looking into Paradise Valley of the Continental Divide. Saddleback summit.image
Lake Louise








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