There’s a lot of ways to describe the Rocky Mountains, but the one that seems to come the most naturally, and the most frequently, is majestic. We’ve lived in the Alps for years, but there really is something about these mountains that is truly unique. Our family has been incredibly fortunate to get a few camping trips out into the mountains over the last little while.

Our first trip proved how fickle the weather is in the mountains, and despite it being July, we were hit with freezing cold weather and smacked with a thundering hailstorm. Camping up by Jasper we tried to get some hikes in but kept getting rained out. The kids did get a nice paddle in down a creek that connected several lakes. We did at one point have to meet the kids at a bridge and have them pull the boats out so we could throw Matea in the car and rush her to Hinton where a friend of a friend allowed her to borrow a desk and internet so she could write her last final exam. Not likely the most ideal situation for scholarly work, but our kids have learned few things more than flexibility and working in sub-optimum conditions.

This week we headed south to Kananaskis, closer to Banff. We got some nice hikes in, saw some amazing scenerey and had a great time overall.

It was a full-mountain experience including waking up to a grizzly bear a few meters from our tent the first morning. A conservation officer came to shoo it away, then a mother and her cub showed up and walked through the campground. So quite a bit of authentic mountain experience before breakfast!


We went on hikes three days in a row, totaling about 40km. It was quite a bit – especially if you are an 8 year old! However, it was all easily worth it in her mind, because SHE SAW SNOW. This was a pretty big deal for Alma. She started asking as soon as she found out we were going to the mountains, and whenever she saw snow up on the peaks asked if we could hike up there.

Why yes, yes I DO want to build a snowman.

One ‘little hiccup” on our third day hiking was a broken fibula, which Nicole had to walk the 5km back down the mountain on. So – that was kind of a rough ending to a great weekend

An amazing time in the




Rocky Mountains*

*you’re supposed to read that last bit like Roman Mars from the podcast 99 Percent Invisible. If you don’t know what that should sound like – you really ought to give it a listen. One of my favourite podcasts of all time.