For photography Canadian Rockies make for an epic, atmospheric backdrop. Where to go to capture memories of a lifetime.
The weather in late November and early December in the Canadian Rockies provides a range of different weather conditions. Hikes can vary between warm days that will work up a sweat and freezing conditions that will make my hands painfully numb as I hold my camera. It is definitely a time of year where considerate preparation should be made before setting off on an exploration of the landscapes.
Lake Louise is famous for its bright emerald blue waters and in the summer travellers come from around the world to enjoy the amazing view. As winter approaches the tones can slightly change but still can be nonetheless beautiful. I arrived at the lake during the sunrise hours wearing layers of warm and waterproof clothing so that I could sit on the snow-covered rocks at the banks of the lake to take in the view. The boat house with snow on its roof made for a very seasonal looking scene.
Hike to Lake Agnes
From Lake Louise there is a trail to Lake Agnes which is a 3.5km hike with a 400m elevation gain. I decided to attach my crampons to my boots and head up the mountain trail to visit the lake. When I arrived I could see that much of the lake was frozen over with snow on top of it. After just a short hike it was interesting to see the difference in weather conditions the altitude makes.
Sulphur mountain stands over the town of Banff and has sweeping views of the Bow Valley. It is famed for its hot springs which is home to the endangered Banff Springs Snail. To reach the top of the mountain visitors can either hike the 6km trail or, as I did, take the gondola to the top.
The temperature was much colder and I was surrounded by a much snowier scene at the top of the mountain. There is a meteorological observation station which was built in 1903, and travellers can look through a window to see the furnished interior.
A ten minute drive from the town of Banff is where I travelled to Johnson Lake. While the temperatures haven’t hit the extreme minuses yet this season, the lake was already frozen over and ready for people to walk over. We decided to take our ice-skates and hockey equipment to enjoy this natural ice rink.
A short journey up the road from Johnson Lake is Lake Minnewanka. This is a much larger manmade lake and for that reason it hasn’t yet frozen. I stood on the banks of the lake watching the sun rise from behind the mountains. As it did so it illuminated the mist rising up from the lake’s surface.
Later in the day I returned to Minnewanka to try and catch a sunset behind this lone tree which has grown in between some of the huge bolder rocks which form the embankment. The cloudy sky made for a nice backdrop for the tree.
Explore in the winter and you will be rewarded with amazing views – for photography Canadian Rockies offer endless opportunities.