Calgary Expatriation

Episode 26

Sunday 14th October, 2006

Well all those beautiful autumn colours are coming to an end and snow is starting to cover the peaks. Let the winter sports begin!

Above & below: Whilst I was walking back from the Plain of Six Glaciers I came across this little fella.

Above: Lake Louise Chateau and ski resort in the background.

Below: Scroll right to view this panorama of Calgary and the Rockies.

Above: Snowboarding at Lake Louise resort. In the background is the township of Lake Louise and at the centre top is the frozen Lake Louise itself.

Below: With the 1984 Winter Olympics having been held in Calgary, there is a full size bobsleigh run to try out. It's probably more famous for being used in the John Candy movie Cool Runnings, but I just had to give it a go. There ain't too many bobsleigh opportunities in Australia!

Above: Over the 1500m track, the bobsleigh goes around many 90, 180 and in this case 270 degree turns. In this image, the sled is just exiting out of this corner where it reaches a 90 degree angle up the side wall and pulls 4.5g's! You can really feel your back being compressed at those forces. Oh, and did I mention that you're doing about 120kph at the time?

Below: Scroll right for a panorama of the 270° turn.

Above: The Olympic ski jump at Calgary Olympic Park. Atheletes descend 56m down the ramp before launching themselves off the end.

Below: And this is what you have to face when you get to the top of it. That's a 35° slope down. Surprising, the best ski jumpers will only reach a maximum altitude of 5.5m above the ground for a very brief moment. About 90% of their flight time is spent only 1-2m above the ground.

Above: Dawn strikes the Rockies with the Calgary Saddledome (home of the Calgary Flames ice hockey team) in the foreground.

Below: Snowshoeing in a white wilderness.

Above: My snowshoeing mates, Rob and Alice. The snow was quite deep and breaking the trail was hard work. Luckily Rob came along to do most of it for us!

Below: Yours truely, showing how it's done.

Above: If the pictures above didn't look cold enough then read that thermometer! Yup, it was -30°C! I had about 5 or 6 layers on and was quite snug. Surprisingly even my flask of coffee stayed hot for lunch, which was a welcome treat on such a bitterly cold day. At least there was no wind in all the trees.

Below: Fun in the snow (& cold). Rob is doing one of his abomable snowman impressions as he breaks the fresh snow.

Above: Rob bursting through the trees and copping a head full of snow.