Finally Seeing the Fictitious Rockies

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve flown over the Canadian Rockies.  And I almost stopped believing they existed.

Because for the past 20 years, whenever I flew over them, this is typically what I’d see.

IMG_0935- CLouds

Every.   Freaking.   Time.

But FINALLY,  on my recent ski trip last month, the skies were clear and I got to see these elusive peaks.

Flying west from Calgary, the change from rolling prairie/foothills to jagged peaks is quite abrupt.

IMG_0896-S Approaching Rockies




We flew right over the town of Canmore, which is the gateway to Banff.

IMG_0901 Canmore


And of course the clouds started again, but I still caught a few good glimpses of some peaks.



Flying back,  I lucked out again, and got to see the mountains from the plane for the 2nd time in almost two decades.

This shot is from Interior BC.   The white zebra-stripes are all previous avalanches.


Which gives you an idea of why you hear about many fatalities when people go into the back-country.

Our flight path took us right over southern BC back towards Calgary, through some ice fields.



IMG_1410-b (1)








I believe this is Rogers Pass.


When compared to a screen shot from Google Map, it seems to agree.

Rogers Pass 2

Rogers Pass looks so tame from the air.   But at ground level, it’s not so easy.


Last year I drove through it in late March, and talk about a white-knuckle drive.

Single lane,  slush and snow, black ice and rocks literally falling on the road right in front of me.

Not to mention a truck accident that had closed the highway for hours.


Though it gave Junior Bear a chance to stretch his legs.


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3 Comments on “Finally Seeing the Fictitious Rockies”

  1. Mike Says:

    I actually recognized the location of one of the photos from having driven the area several times over a couple of weeks in 2012. We stayed in Canmore twice on the same trip. We’ve only flown over the Canadian Rockies once and that was a night.

  2. Kat Says:

    So many gorgeous images in there, Friar. It sounds like a terrible experience on the road! Especially to someone from a nice, level terrain. :p

  3. Friar Says:

    Did you drive the Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Banff? To me, that is one of the most spectacular highways in North America.

    I drove Rogers pass once in the winter. And if I can help it, never again!. Next time I want to ski at Revelstoke, I’ll fly further west and back-track East. :)

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