Perfection In Paradise Valley


By Richard Townell

On behalf of Hang and Hov; Arlene; Dave Allen; Marilyn; Debbie; Sue and Richard; Karen; Dianne; Trudy;  Lorna and Richard.

If you want guaranteed good weather and gourmet food, go with Marilyn!  Twelve of us did on that weekend and enjoyed a beautiful ski on fresh snow in warm weather into Paradise Valley.  We started at the Morraine Lake Road parking lot and followed a gradually rising trackset trail up the Morraine Lake Road to the Fairview Loop turn off.  A little way up the Fairview Loop we left the beaten track and ascended through the trees to the first bridge in Paradise Valley.  Such snow – white and fresh and as much as we have seen there!  It is a great route for a beginner to get a sense of the backcountry with minimal risk.  We skied pristine meadows to the second bridge and looked around at the mountains, capped with clouds to add a little bit of drama to the landscape.  Temple on the left was not visible behind the clouds but the mountains on the right were dramatic.  The second bridge was our turnaround point, though the trail goes further, across avalanche slopes, a risk we did not want to take.

So we skied back towards the Fairview Loop again (One of us buried his nose in the snow on the downward path through the trees to show once again that he still has to master the downhill aspect of skiing) and, instead of retracing our path, turned left to complete the Fairview Loop, stopping at Lake Louise, bathed in sunshine, (The sunshine gave us some waxing problems on the trail, causing the snow to stick to our skies and making us much taller at times) to inspect the ice sculptures (Strangely, there was a disproportionate number of amply endowed female forms represented in the sculptures, the theme of which was something to do with mythology I think).  They were beautifully carved.  A quick visit to the hotel shops by a couple and then we were on our way back down the Tram Line to the parking lot.

The highlight of the trip: Asian Cuisine.  Salad rolls, made on the spot by experts, set the incredible standard but there were all sorts of wonderful dishes in the theme: soup, stir-fries, exotic fruits, cakes etc.  We and everyone else staying at Castle Hostel enjoyed a superb meal.

To pay for it, the next day we all set off with the sun on our backs along the Great Divide Trail, a 15km there and back route, track set and fairly level; and those who had eaten the most paid the most by skiing all the way to the Lake O’Hara access road before turning back to the lunch spot which most of the others had left by then to go back.  It was another day of great weather and a good workout.  We were back on the road home by about 2.30 and very happy with ourselves.