Natalia and I decided to spend our Labour Day long weekend in the mountains. Specifically,
in Lake Louise, little Yoho Valley, Emerald Lake, and Golden. Here are some of our
photos and video from the weekend.

Going to Teahouse in Lake Louse


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After a bit of a slower Friday night, we had an early start from Calgary and made it to Lake Louise before
a lot of the crowds did. Here is Natalia in front of an absolutely sparkling Lake Louise.


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Natalia looking back at the Chateau as we walk around the lake.


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Natalia walking up the trail enroute to the teahouse.


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I really like this photo of Natalia from the Teahouse trail looking back at the Chateau.


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We heard that the teahouse served chocolate cake and Natalia's pace quickened dramatically. This
is the Teahouse at the Plains of the 6 Glaciers - 2090m.


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I didn't mind the chocolate cake with rich icing one bit!


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Natalia only ever has smiles this big at our wedding and while eating food.

Video of Natalia eating chocolate cake



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Nati and I taking a self portrait. I'm smiling like my friend Matt's son Evan.


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I thought the prayer flags here were a little funny seeing as we're half a world from Tibet, but
different strokes I suppose.


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Natalia and the Victoria Glacier under Mount Victoria.

Video of the view from the Lake Louise teahouse



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We saw this guy on the way up to the teahouse and I had to take a shot of his shirt.


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Cool light on the Lake Louise skihill and the lake itself.


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Natalia and I and the Victoria Glacier.


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A little blurry shot of Nati and I and the Victoria Glacier. Why is it that all pictures you ask
someone else to take seldom show up? Of course, the caveat to this is that the pictures I take for
people are the best photos they ever have.


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I think this is where you ski out of Surprise Pass, but I'll have to wait for next season to find out.


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Look at the colour of the water. It's just unreal. This was actually the first Emerald Lake in the
Canadian Rockies - before the lake was renamed for royalty.


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Natalia is looking up at the Big Beehive as we go up to our 2nd teahouse of the day. I thought the
rock looked pretty neat here.


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Up at Lake Agnes, there were a boatload of people, but also a gorgeous view looking at the amphitheatre
between Mt Whyte and Mt Niblock. The Devil's Thumb is on the left.


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Some of the madhouse at Lake Agnes Teahouse.


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The teapots and the gnome made me laugh - and made me realize I had forgotten Randall.


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Lake Agnes gets the Paul Perrault stamp of approval.


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Ever since Lake O'Hara, Natalia has always been wary of birds stealing her food.


Backpacking into Yoho Valley


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After we hiked out of Lake Louise, we picked up our backcountry pass, and headed into the little Yoho
Valley. We planned to camp at Laughing Falls, but that was still a 4 km walk from the car. Total mileage
for the day was 17 km and roughly 500m elevation gain. This small falls is called the Point Lace falls and
it's on the trail into our campground.


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The whole Yoho valley is filled with any number of beautiful water falls. Here's another short one
on the trail to our campsite.


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The falls for which our campground was named - Laughing Falls. I didn't hear them laughing, but we did hear
them as we went to sleep, which was fine since it masks other people's snoring.


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One of the best pieces of camping gear Natalia and I have is a set of zip-together sleeping bags.
Courtesy of my groomsmen Earl (and Amie) and Erik, we absolutely love the warmth of camping like this.
On cold mornings (it hit ~-4 deg C), Natalia doesn't really like to leave her sleeping bag, as seen here.


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Frost on my trusty old Tarn 3. The good folks at MEC continue to make this tent, but I haven't had the need
for another one yet.


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Generally speaking, Natalia steals all of my warm clothes when we camp. Translation - Paul brings warm clothes
for Natalia since she mostly forgets. That's my down jacket, my fleece pants, but her hat.


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Oatmeal for breakfast is never better than it is when you're camping. Eating in sunshine is a rare pleasure.
On this morning, we met an older couple where the man had made his own stoves from pop cans. Very cool.


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A look up the Yoho river to the Yoho glacier. Not a bad morning.


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Natalia and the Laughing Falls.


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Our first view of the President and Vice President, looking up the little Yoho river.


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Natalia and the Vice President.


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Since the summer was especially late, as well as quite wet, even though it's September on the calendar,
it felt like spring in little Yoho valley. These little fluffy plants I thought looked really cool.


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Part of the purpose of this trip was to check out the Stanley Mitchell hut for future ski forays.
While it's a long trudge to get into the hut in the winter, I'd now say it's not that tough - just long.
Add the 13km road in the winter though...


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Someone got creative with a chainsaw at the hut.


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The view looking up to the President from the meadows in front of the Stanley Mitchell hut.


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We saw no shortage of gophers in and around the hut. Pretty tame actually.

The view around the Stanley Mitchell Hut



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Natalia looking back at Mts Pollinger and McArthur I think.


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I think this might be the Kiwetinok Peak and the pass of the same name.


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This is me at Mt McArthur with the Glacier des Poilus visible. This is one of the exits from the
Wapta Icefields I believe.


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Natalia is hiking with a view out to the Continental Divide.


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A nice panoramic view looking back at the little Yoho Valley.


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A nice panoramic looking at Isolated Peak.

360 degree view from Iceline Trail



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I asked Natalia to look like she was skiing with the Vice President's glacier behind her. Natalia
is worried that it looks like she's taking a #2.


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I like this photo with one of the glacial tarns on the Iceline trail.


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Another beautiful lake, another photo of Natalia with a backpack.


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Summer has come late in the Yoho Valley for sure. This is snow still on the talus fields in September
at ~2200m.


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Natalia and the Daly Glacier with the ice fall showing, taken from the Iceline Summit at 2230m.


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Natalia and I and the Waputik Icefield, from the Iceline Summit.


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Here is the view looking out at Cathedral Mountain and the rest of the Lake O'Hara group.


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I thought this glacier looked neat.


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Natalia and the Takakkaw Falls - the 3rd highest waterfall in Canada at 255m high.


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The Falls actually had a rainbow on them so I took a grainy photo of them.


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I thought the look back at the Iceline Trail was really neat, given the desolation and the weird
shapes of the rock formations.


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A better photo of Takakkaw Falls, taken from near the trailhead, which my wife reminds me, "could
not have come any sooner!" It was a bit of a longish day of hiking with pack weight on.


Emerald Lake Lodge


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So, the next stop on our whirlwind adventure of fun was the very classy Emerald Lake Lodge. It's been
on my to-do list to see Emerald Lake for awhile, but we just hadn't taken the opportunity. Here is the
view of the lake from the balcony of our cabin.


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Our room also had a wood fireplace, which we used to full advantage for making smores! The restaurant
didn't even blink when I asked for a bottle of wine and a few marshmallows. They put together a
Smore Basket even!


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Here is Natalia enjoying her smore immensely.


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Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park, BC. Again, with the late summer, there were still a whole lot
of wildflowers in bloom, even though it was freezing at night.


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The view from the breakfast restaurant.


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Natalia has a bath robe on as we're walking to go enjoy the hot tub. I took this photo for my mom
since she loves daisies. We're heading to the hot tub to calm our sore muscles from hiking 33km in
2 days.


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Look at the reflection in the lake. It's almost optically perfect. Not a breath of wind.


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Ok, the Chateau Lake Louise is nice, but the Emerald Lake Lodge might be winning our money here. A great
outdoor hot tub, wood fireplace, smore baskets, and gorgeous views without the people. Sounds like a recipe
for a great lodging.


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I made another fire in the morning to use the last of our smore supplies. Yes, Natalia got to have
smores for breakfast dessert.


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Natalia with Emerald Lake behind her and Michael Peak behind the lake.


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We had a little spare time, so we decided to go for a canoe ride on the lake. $35 an hour is pricey,
but not quite as extortionate as Lake Louise.


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Again, look at the colour here. Just incredible. One of the brochures called the colour jade-au-lait.


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Nati with possible Mount Marpole above her.


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After last weekend's drinking ticket, I even have my life jacket on! Tough one Mr Gibb.


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Here, I'm trying to be Pierre Trudeau in my canoe.

Natalia's first video - of Emerald Lake



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I think this is looking all the way back at Mount Vaux in the Ottertail Range.


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Another shout-out to Kurt Gibb is that Natalia put our canoe into 'party mode' by flipping around in
the front of the canoe. She actually canoed backwards so that we could hang out and party it up.
This is similar to taking off the head rest on the passenger seat of your car so that the passenger
can relax with the back seat too.


Paragliding on Mount 7


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So, Natalia made a comment a few weeks ago that she thought paragliding would be fun. So, I booked it.
She was surprised to find out that this was the last addition to our adventuring fun weekend. Natalia
is pointing to the top of Mount 7 - which will be our jump-off point.


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It's hard to show perspective, but the top of Mount 7 biking area drops pretty aggressively down this
shale slope. The 'Bike Route' sign makes it seem like you could take a tandem bike down this thing.

Video of the view from the top of Mt 7



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The view towards Rogers Pass. There's a paraglider getting his kit together in the foreground.


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Natalia is taking instruction from one of our guides - Scott.


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Here is Natalia with her paraglider. She's only slightly nervous, although the feeling in her stomach
she claims was more from the drive up the mountain.


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Natalia is getting ready to run off the mountain side.

Video of Natalia jumping off a mountain


Video of mountain biker dropping Mt 7



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Natalia in a paraglider.


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Natalia in a paraglider.


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A close-up of Natalia in a tandem paraglider.


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Me, looking down at my feet as we're flying a few hundred feet above the tree tops.


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Natalia and Scott flying past us.

A few pro shots of Natalia from Scott the guide


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Natalia paragliding.


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Natalia looking way DOWN!


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Natalia and Scott. You can just pick me out along with Hugo behind their paraglider.


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That's us behind Natalia and Scott again.


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Natalia is actually operating her own paraglider!


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A view of the landing site where Natalia and Scott are heading.


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Coming in for a landing.

Some videos from paragliding

Video shortly after taking off on a paraglider


Me enjoying the view in the paraglider


Me looking out from my paraglider


Natalia's reaction after paragliding


Natalia crossing the Columbia River Valley in a tandem paraglider


Natalia pulling a few g's in the paraglider


Natalia flying the paraglider


Video of me and Hugo landing


A big thanks to Scott and to Hugo at Altitude Adventures for
taking us up Mount 7 to try out tandem paragliding. If you're in Golden and you're itching to try this,
give the guys a call and do it!

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