The drive from Jasper to our next stay at Canmore turned out to be quite eventful. Half the group trotted off early in the morning to take a helicopter tour of the Colombia ice field, while the others opted to sleep in and meander down some side roads on the hunt for more animal sightings. Many many Candadian kilometres later the two groups meet up to trade tales. As expected, the wildlife team came up with zip, while the helicopter team spotted brother black bears frolicking as well as experiencing a magical heli ride above the ice field. A mudslide led to a most unwelcome delay while trying to get to Canmore, leading to some very tired, frustrated and hungry people dragging into camp late that night
The following day we toured Kananaskis Country Provincial Park in search of the elusive Grizzly and also a peculiar pidgeon called a Ptarmigan that spends all year in the alpine regions and changes its feathers depending on the season. Our goal was Ptarmigan Cirque where we had been told many griz reside. There must have been some truth to this rumor but we were unable to verify it because the area was closed due to Grizzly activity. Grrrrr. It still turned into an enjoyable day as we checked out a local fishing/picnic spot, got really close to a cow and calf moose (they look even weirder without the antlers) and took some backroads to return to Canmore.
Our final expedition in the area was to hike the trail past the Fairmont Chateau on Lake Louise up to a tea hut in a valley called 'Six Glaciers'. Over lunch it took a few rumbles for us to realize that when one hears the sound of a glacier calving, there is no point in running out of the tea hut to see it because it hit the ground long before the sound got to our ears. We were fortunate that there was plenty of calving activity that day due to the unseasonable warmth. Really spectacular to see what looked like small amounts of snow break off and cascade down the cliff face and seconds later hear the loud thunder-like rumbling of that 'little' amount of snow hit the ground. We also witnessed another mudslide as we walked back down the trail, thankfully well off the trail