Canada West Day 9 - Mount Revelstoke, Not Glacier NP!

Monday, 15 May 2023 03:12

I like to plan but no plan works without sufficent research. It turns out national parks are not really open all year round. In fact Glacier Park will not open until next weekend and then not all trails. A chat with the rangers in the visitor centre and one later explained. They are not fully resourced so manage to anticipated conditions and staff to meet that. Although the snow has gone early from much of Glacier’s trails they will not open until Victoria Day weekend, that is next weekend. The ranger was very helpful marking up maps for the best that can be done in Mount Revelstoke, which was tomorrow’s destination and some other accessible outdoor locations which will now be tomorrow’s feast. The other ranger I mentioned was in Revelstoke and had only started last week for the summer and was part of the team checking the meadow in the sky road which leads to the summit of the mountain. Although snow is not an issue they will be busy this week clearing some fallen trees. I met Mike at the locked gate at the bottom of the road after driving there to walk up to the inspiration woodland. He kindly drove me up the 1km to the trailhead and gave me advice on the trail. Nice people around here. The net effect was not a wasted day with a hike up Nels Nelsen’s ski jump, a killer, and the aforementioned Inspiration woodland. Before these I had already made the journey to Roger’s Pass to the ranger station where I got the bad news and lots of help. Rogers Pass was worth the 45 minute drive as you can see above. Essentially you cross the Selkirks to enter the Rockies but that is really semantics. Of course the parking lot was closed meaning I had to risk death crossing the Trans Canada Highway 1. That is me parked on the other side. A truck pulled in behind me and then headed off ensuring a proper dusting. Mr Nelsen was a Swedish construction worker with a passion for ski jumping and had the facility set up here and it was the site where many ski jumping records were set. It is a good 140m or so near vertical climb, zig-zaging some of the way and a bit of a lung buster. At the top you can lean into a metal structure to experience the view as a ski jumper. A helpful lady, one of very few other visitors, provided an ideal model. You are high above the town of Revelstoke along the Columbia River. It was very enjoyable with plenty of interesting interpretation along the way. The other walk was not as strenuous, partly thanks to Mike the ranger. I did iniitally take the wrong road which took me to a couple of interesting old buildings and a chat with a lady involved in the protection effort for the southern caribou, currently endangered, and she told me about this vestige of inland temperate rainforest. The actual walk is through dense forest with an occasional waterfall. The surrounding snow capped mountains peak through the trees reminding you that you are in the high country. It was seriously hot today reaching the low 30s encouraging a hot and dry boy to drop into a pub in town just as one of the mile long Canadian Pacific trains trundled through.