Sudden weather change is an extraordinary aspect of life in Alberta. Winter is dragging on, long and dark. Then all of a sudden the sunshine carries enough warmth to invite access to the world of white all around. And winter becomes beautiful.
We had read our novels by the fire until late the night before, so our day began later than usual. However, when we realized the thermometer had jumped from yesterday’s minus 25 F daytime temperature to plus 23, we dashed off to Lake Louise. Traveling west on the Trans Canada (Highway 1) from Canmore, the evergreens were heavily laden with big clumps of snow.
The fence posts wore round caps, often double their width, which suggests a pattern of freeze and thaw during a period of low wind.
Lunch at Chateau Lake Louise
We arrived in time for lunch at Chateau Lake Louise. The sandwiches were just okay, not really worth the big price. But we were seated at a huge arched window that directly overlooked the frozen lake with the famous surrounding mountains, which was definitely worth the price.
Two rinks on the lakes edge were visible, one for the skaters and one for little hockey player wannabes with their sticks and pucks. The resort also sported a small-size Zamboni-type ice-smoother, a tiny tractor pulling a tank on a wagon that sprayed a quick-freezing solution on the ice.
Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise
The ice sculptures from the 2019 international competition, Ice Magic Festival, glistened across the front expanse of Chateau Lake Louise. After lunch, we eagerly explored the ice castle and viewed the other fantastic figures close up. Our visit on Feb 27th, a month after the Festival ended, found a couple of the sculptures vandalized, but the rest were still elegant. They have photographs of the winners in pristine condition, of course, on the festival website.
Little signs carried the sculptor’s names, their countries of citizenship, and the names of the sculptures. The 2020 Ice Magic Festival competition will be held from January 15 to 26.
The lovely drive from Lake Louise back to Canmore involved this beautiful line-up of Rocky Mountains!