I’ve been in Canada for a couple of years now. I’ve seen it’s peaceful lakes, rolling plains, dramatic skylines, but no scene has captured my imagination, and held my gaze quite like the Canadian Rockies. I’ve seen other mountains before, mostly while in Whistler, but these are on a whole different level.
It’s difficult to put my finger on exactly why they transfix me on a daily basis, but I think it comes down to two things: the scale and the sheer amount of exposed rock.
The Canadian rockies are notably more “rocky” than their American counterparts because of their combination of rock type, and the increased glacial erosion they’ve experienced since their creation. The results are vast towering cliffs and serrated peaks covered in cracks and fractures that draw my eye and cause me examine every detail, unaware of the passage of time around me. It’s difficult to relay exactly what that feels like, perhaps like reading a perfectly written book that you struggle to put down, or bingeing on Planet Earth DVDs. The scale is also difficult to grasp. The mountains only grow larger as you approach them, 50 foot high pine trees look like carpet fibers wrapped around the base of peaks that are a 1000m+ climb from the highway to the summit. Castle Mountain appears like a battleship next to the highway, and seems to steam by as you drive along.
Staring into the distance only deepens the awe as your brain tries to grasps just how far you’re looking.
When looking out from the Calgary tower Tim described the view as “looking out over continents”, and we spent a fair bit of time guessing how far away the furthest peak we could see was.
It’s easy to see why people turn up here and end up staying for years and years, and if it wasn’t for my particular personal circumstances, I’m sure I could have lived amounst these vast wonders for many years. If you have the opportunity to come here, take it. If you can move heaven and earth to get here, do it. Whatever time of the year, for however long, you won’t regret it.