Diane, Bobbie, me
When I was in Tennessee back in May, I was in a car park near to the bouldering area I was going to, when the lady parked next to me started to chat. She remarked on my BC plates and said I was a long way from home. The conversation progressed and we exchanged short snippets of information and names. Diane told me that she would be in Banff in July for some hiking and I would be very welcome should my plans allow. Email addresses were written and we parted company.
On my return to BC from the States, it was easier for me to see what my plans etc would be and it turned out that the dates that Diane and her friends would be in Banff fitted well into my plans.
I wanted to stay in Squamish for the weekend of the Mountain Festival. I bought myself some tickets to see a photographic slide show presentation/competition by some of the top outdoor photographers, presentations by Royal Robbins and Tommy Caldwell and last but not least a ticket to the Party.
The photographers slide shows were amazing and inspiring with photos from around the world as well as locally. It was great motivation for me to learn much more about outdoor photography. The presentation by Royal Robbins, a big wall climbing legend was funny and very interesting. Tommy Caldwell on the other hand was extremely disappointing, but I suppose not all climbers are slide show/talk specialists. Partying in Squamish was much fun though, lots of drinking, dancing and fun.
I left a day to recover before I hit the road for my 12 hour drive to Banff, Alberta, to meet up with Diane. The drive was good and it was great to be welcomed by Diane and Bobbie in a comfy condo with a shower and lovely food.
I spent the next 5 days hiking some of the most scenic trails I have ever been on. Diane and Bobbie were amazing to hike with and I am extremely grateful to their outstanding generosity and kindness. These ladies have a passion for hiking and would put most people half their age to shame with their endless energy. I would also like to thank Bobbie for taking more photos of me in 5 days than I have collectively over the last year.
Banff National Park did not disappoint and I would suggest that you visit if you like uncomplicated hiking with fantastic mountain scenery.
I am now back in Squamish trying to get in some climbing with my wonderful Canadian climbing buddies before leaving to come home. Just over 3 weeks away now.
How time flies.