11/24/12

Summiting The Easy Way


If I had my way, I would have preferred the hard way. But with parents in tow, there's no way I could push them to their limits. Walking up a mountain is certainly out of the question for them. So I'm ditching hiking boots for sneakers. We're taking a gondola ride instead.


We were on our last day in Banff, in this salubrious retreat town surrounded with hike-worthy peaks. Poking out like a huge hump directly above Banff Avenue was Sulphur Mountain. We drove to the base of this mountain where the hikes and gondola rides start form.

Banff Gondola, as it's called, cost $29.95+ per adult (child $14.95+). Thanks to my sis-in-law who had connections in town, our tickets were comped. The queue at the gondola terminal was long which just shows how popular this ride is.


It took 8 minutes for the 4-seater gondola to haul us up to the summit at 7,486 feet above sea level. While we sat in comfort, hikers below us negotiated the switchbacks leading to the summit. From the upper terminal, we emerged into walkways going to many viewpoints. The views were already spectacular.

But there's more. Right along the mountain's summit ridge is the 1-km Banff Skywalk. This elevated walkway leads to the Cosmic Ray Station National Historic Site of Canada as well as Sanson's Peak Meteorological Station. We walked up and down steps, chilled by the winds, thrilled by the views.


From such vantage point, sweeping vistas of surrounding mountains as well as the entire town of Banff itself unfolded before us. My parents were so happy. They wouldn't have cared if we stayed longer. Me either. But my brother was waiting. We still got 4 hours to drive - to Edmonton where he lives.

14 comments:

  1. I'd go for the gondola ride, too. I remember our mini trek in Kashmir valley, since there's no gondola/cable car, we rode the mountain horses.

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    1. oh, I'm envious...Kashmir is one on my Indian bucket list!

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  2. i was smiling when i was reading this post. breathtaking views with most special moments with your love ones. that's beyond perfection, dennis! glad you rode the gondola with them!

    can't wait for me to read your trip to edmonton.
    bring it on! :)

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    1. I didn't even get to see Edmonton, would you believe that?? We got there late in the afternoon, we were all so tired and I had a flight early the next day.

      This calls for another visit :)

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  3. For sure, I'll go for the gondola ride :) the view is like kissing the top of the world but seriously everything is cinematic!

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    1. How apt is the 'cinematic' description - just the kind of word I would have employed myself. Because it truly is, and if I may add, IMAX format hehe!

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  4. Given a choice, I'll settle for the easy way, unless I need to punish myself physically for some transgression, real or imagined LOL.

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    1. hahaha! Some folks say it's not really a punishing hike up Sulphur mountain. I would do it if I go back there again :)

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  5. what gorgeous landscape. did you go during the canadian thanksgiving weekend?

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    1. No, this trip took place during Labor Day in the US :)

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  6. wow amazing view :) photos are great...

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  7. Views are breathtaking! Especially the first photo. The beauty of the place want me to teleport myself there right this very moment.

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    1. It'd be most likely snowy there right now, which is still a great sight to see :)

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