Check this out: it’s called “Operation Unplugged” and it’s a TV show. I will be aired on February 2012.
The Travel + Escape teaser says:
“Join 8 plugged-in Canadians as they are taken into the wilderness to test themselves in a new and completely unplugged environment – Canada’s National Parks & Historic Sites. Premieres Tuesday, February 21 at 9pm ET/PT.”
The mountains that surround it are internationally renowned for their beauty, but avid walkers and hikers will quickly tell you that Lake Louise is the Hiking Capital of Canada. When you explore Lake O’Hara or the Plain of Six Glaciers you will discover trees and plants of the coastal rainforest as well as wildflowers, juniper, and the rare white bark pine. And you’ll probably encounter fascinating animals such as pikas, marmots, pine martens, and mountain goats. Glaciers shine in the sun, and sedimentary rocks glisten in a rainbow of colours. Breathe in the clean alpine air. Go for a physically demanding day, or a simple stroll around the lake. But go, and experience the gorgeous Lake Louise.
Two canoes reflected on glassy, turquoise waters, Lake Louise. Photo submitted by Jonathan Zabloski, Canmore, Alberta, on July 29, 2010.
The Birth of an Adventurer
At the age of 13, the Mountain Parks changed my life. Growing up in southern Ontario, my first visit to the Rockies came in the summer of Grade 8, when Dad attended a conference in Victoria. We tagged along; Mom and three impatient kids. After the meetings, the family and our camping gear were packed into a Rent-a-Wreck car, and we hit the road, exploring the beaches of Pacific Rim National Park before boarding the ferry and heading inland.
After a week of water slides and beaches of Penticton, Dad decided to press on, towards the turquoise waters of Lake Louise. He had never forgotten his first visit to the mountains as a young exchange student from Britain, decades earlier. Amongst the kids, the prospect of more camping and hiking was met with resistance. The waterslide was all we wanted, but Dad insisted. The next day our heavily-loaded car crawled over Roger’s Pass, under dark clouds and pouring rain. Barely able to see beyond the windshield, we inched towards Yoho National Park. The weather grew continually worse.
Roger’s Pass and surrounding mountains
Finally Mom suggested a motel. The kids heartily concurred. Despite a 4-to-1 vote, Dad invoked veto power, and as dusk settled, we set up tents in drenching showers, cooking a quick meal on the Coleman, and diving into damp sleeping bags. The mood was low. This was a pathetic vacation.
The next morning, I woke early. It was silent. Crawling over Dad to unzip the door of our sodden pup tent, the scene outside caused me to gasp. Beyond our camp, snowy, glaciated peaks soared about forested ridges. I could hardly believe my eyes. It looked like something from the movies. We spent the next week exploring the mountain parks; transfixed, never complaining, always wanting to go further, higher, farther – exhausting our parents. From that day on, I knew where I wanted to spend my life.
~By Bruce Kirkby
Bruce Kirkby now resides in Kimberley, BC, when he isn’t leading trips in remote and exotic locations around the world. Bruce is a regular columnist for the Globe and Mail, his stories and photos have been featured in magazines like Canadian Geographic, Unlimited magazine, Explore magazine, National Post, Outpost magazine, or UP!
To know more about Bruce, please surf up his website, or go here for a full bio!
Welcome,… to the mountain national parks of Canada, a rugged wilderness of magnificent peaks, massive glaciers and broad sweeping valleys. This is a special place, which represents the power of Canada’s landscape and the vitality of its culture.
The mountain national parks are comprised of Banff, Glacier, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke, Waterton Lakes and Yoho. We at Parks Canada invite you to discover their unique nature. We also invite you to explore our cultural history at national historic sites such as the Banff Park Museum, the Bar U Ranch, the Cave and Basin, Fort St. James, the Jasper Information Centre, Rocky Mountain House and Roger’s Pass. After all that exploring, you will need time to soak and relax. Visit our three mountain hot springs in Radium, Miette or Banff.
The idea of a Canada-wide system of protected areas took root in the Rockies when Banff National Park was established more than a century ago. Today this system of protected areas continues to expand as we strive to represent the natural regions of this country and commemorate the people, places and events that define Canada. The Canadian Rockies are blessed with two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho national parks together with Hamber, Mount Assiniboine and Mount Robson provincial parks constitute the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site – one of the largest protected areas in the world. Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park, in the United States, comprise the Waterton Glacier International Peace Park.
Parks Canada, in partnership with First Nations and Metis communities, the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, local municipalities and the tourism industry, is committed to offering world-class heritage experiences and quality services. Your Parks Canada entry fee supports programs and services that help you travel safely and get the most out of your stay. This includes; the production of visitor guides, brochures, the maintenance of bridges, trails and picnic areas as well as search and rescue operations.
Parks Canada is proud of its leadership role in preserving and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage. You can do your part too – by respecting the land and celebrating our traditions. It is up to all of us to make sure our parks and our past will always have a future.
Precious, unique and awe-inspiring, we at Parks Canada hope you enjoy an experience of a lifetime in Canada’s mountain national parks.
Parks Canada director general for western and northern Canada
Are you ready to embark on a new experience? Discover or re-discover Lake Louise and Banff through a virtual tour.
Here we go: Château Lake Louise and Banff Springs Hotel!