Mountain Peaks

My first day in Jasper National Park and I had plans for two different hikes: Sulphur Skyline and Whistler's Mountain. The Angel Glacier hike the day before was a tiny warm-up; this was expected to be a bit tougher. This would also be first calibration of how long I would need for hikes versus what the guide book recommended.

The weather was cooperating too. Blue skies with barely any clouds. The lack of clouds would turn out to have a downside because the sun was intense and trails at higher elevation have nowhere to hide. I packed lots of water though, so at least I was prepared that way.

Day 4 — Sulphur Skyline & Whistler's Mountain

  • Morning on Athabasca River

    Athabasca River, Jasper National Park The next day in Jasper, taking in the morning sights of Mt. Edith Cavell before heading to the Sulphur Skyline trail. The Athabasca River flows in front, with its colours from the glacial silt.

Sulphur Skyline

  • Past the Tree Line

    Sulphur Skyline, Jasper National Park First time passing the tree line. The trees suddenly grow shorter and then just stop altogether. This trail was already pretty exposed on the way here, but completely no cover from this point on.

  • Upwards to Skyline & Strata

    Sulphur Skyline, Jasper National Park Ascending the final climb towards the summit of the Sulphur Skyline hike. The views are getting better and better as I go up, including all of the strata on the surrounding mountains. The way up was steep and slippery though, as you can see the type of surface on the slope.

  • River Carving

    Sulphur Skyline, Jasper National Park On top of the summit, one angle of view follows the carvings of a river off into the distance.

  • Ready Chipmunk

    Sulphur Skyline, Jasper National Park These are familiar critters! But these chipmunks are definitely hardier to be looking for food on top of the summit.

  • Sulphur Skyline Panorama

    Sulphur Skyline, Jasper National Park The view in one direction around on the Sulphur Skyline summit. Hot as it was, I spent some time just taking in the view since it was the first summit of the trip.

  • Sulphur Skyline Parking Lot Wildlife

    Sulphur Skyline, Jasper National Park In the Sulphur Skyline trail head parking lot, these goats (I think?) are just wandering around looking for food. I saw some poking their head into BBQ pits and some trucks.

Whistler's Mountain

  • The Easy Way Up

    Whistlers Mountain, Jasper National Park Later that afternoon, I paid a visit to Whistler's Mountain. I opted to take the cable car up most of the mountain - it would've been a long and not particularly climb otherwise and I had things to see!

  • Whistlers Mountain Trail

    Whistlers Mountain, Jasper National Park The trail from a little bit from the cable car station. The mountain is quite barren at the top, although it's not lifeless as I'll find out.

  • Valley View

    Whistlers Mountain, Jasper National Park Whistlers Mountain affords fantastic views of the area surrounding Jasper. Here we see a vast valley with its complex of rolling hills in between the mountain peaks.

  • Snowy Mountains

    Whistlers Mountain, Jasper National Park A different view from on top Whistlers Mountain. Our old friend Mt. Edith Cavell is visibl again in the distance, with some snowy mountains in the foreground.

  • High-Altitude Bee

    Whistlers Mountain, Jasper National Park Wildlife at the top of Whistlers Mountain. Not only were there plants, albeit not very tall, I found this bee looking for nectar. The alpine environment of a summit is apparently no barrier to the plants and bee.

  • Whistlers Mountain Summit

    Whistlers Mountain, Jasper National Park An impressive accumulation of rocks mark the summit.

  • Mountain Peaks

    Whistlers Mountain, Jasper National Park One of my favourite shots from Whistlers Mountain. Mt. Edith Cavell in the background and some other peaks of the surrounding area beneath an almost-clear blue sky.

  • Jasper's Surroundings

    Whistlers Mountain, Jasper National Park The view of Jasper from on top shows its place amongst the mountains and valley. The train tracks that took me into Jasper are also visible, as is the Icefields Parkway (down to the right), which would lead me to the next part of my trip.

The feeling of completing the first day is hard to describe. The hikes, mountains, and views - it was even better than I could've imagined. Energized, I was really looking forward to the upcoming trails I picked.

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