A couple winters ago good buddy Leighton Poidevin from Canmore and myself road 205 km of the Icefields parkway from just north of Lake Louise to Jasper in prepertion for a big year of 24hr racing. This is arguably the most scenic highway in Canada as it runs over high mountain passes through the heart of the Rockies via Jasper and Banff National Parks. That year we lucked out with some warm weather around -8 degrees but 8 inches of snow at the start which made the journey into a 13 hr slog. This year we had an urge to revisit the ride but were having a hard time finding the right weather opening to make it happen.
The mission is pretty solid in the winter and takes a lot of convincing to get the mind on board. After some humming and hawing I finally convinced it this was a good idea and gave Leighton a call. He’s a real trooper and up for anything pretty much. We made a little plan and soon I was piling some stuff in a pack, hopping into the truck and leaving Jasper in the late afternoon. After driving 140 km south to Rampart creek hostel, I ditched the truck and set off at dusk for a 60 km ride south to Mosquito creek hostel, just north of Lake Louise. The short(ish) ride turned into a nippy one as the temperature dipped from -17 to -24, requiring numerous stops to adjust the clothing. The body was holding up pretty good except for my legs, which were getting frostbitten as just my bike shorts and gore tex pants weren’t meeting the insulation requirements. It was a bugger stopping in the middle of the highway, stripping down and putting on long underwear and redressing, but it was needed and after that the ride improved. Traveling through the dark was a crazy sensation as I had no idea where I was but after 4 hours I finally checked into Mosquito creek hostel for the night. I ate a huge a quinoa dinner and had short visit with some ice climbers from Victoria, then it was off to bed for some shut eye before meeting Leighton at 7:30in the morning for the 205 km back to Jasper. I hoped it would be warmer in the morning. More Here