Completing my blog posts about the summer in the Greek islands I wrote about Kalymnos that it was: “only a short stay but a good way to round off the summer and pause for thought before heading for the Canadian Rockies and a starkly contrasting climate and mountain experience”. The contrast is indeed stark.
Also contrasting is the weather back in the UK which, according to the Met Office forecasts, continues to be grey, wet and dismal with humidity stuck at over 90% and temperatures about 6-10 degrees.
This blog post tries to show in pictures just how different things are here in Banff and the surrounding mountains. Temperatures in the mornings are typically minus 15 to minus 25, occasionally dropping to below minus 30 with added wind-chill going down to below minus 40 making it necessary to cover up every inch of skin before venturing out of the ski lodge. Afternoon temperatures can soar to a toasty minus 5 ….. occasionally. Some hardy locals still go around in shorts but not me. I wear sandals in the hotel but haven’t yet ventured the 50 yards along the street to the brew pub in them.
There is snow cover everywhere. Side streets in the town are thick with compacted snow and ice. All rooftops are snow-covered. Branches of the millions of Lodgepole Pines along the Trans Canada Highway (the longest paved road in the world) hang down under heavy snow accumulations. Where it has been blown off by wind they gleam with hoar frost in the bright sunlight.
This is proper winter. Love it!!
At the end of the afternoon, cloud formations indicate the pending arrival of the Chinook and a rise in temperature the next day.