While away win­ter with Louise

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Travel - By CLAIRE OTTAVIANO

THE view from ev­ery win­dow in Lake Louise is wor­thy of be­ing cap­tured, framed and hung as a mas­ter­piece.

Fa­mous for its iconic glacier-fed lake glis­ten­ing bright hues of blue in the sum­mer, Lake Louise be­comes a se­cluded par­adise for all types of trav­ellers in win­ter.

A short dis­tance out of Cal­gary you will find your­self sur­rounded by the snow-capped forests of Banff Na­tional Park, Canada’s first na­tional park, and the seem­ingly nev­erend­ing Cana­dian Rock­ies.

The hum­ble vil­lage has a mar­ket, ren­tal store, vis­i­tor’s cen­tre, cafe, bar and bak­ery for its pop­u­la­tion of 1000.

The main road winds up­hill to fin­ish at the pin­na­cle of this tourist at­trac­tion, Lake Louise, a pure win­ter won­der­land com­plete with ice cas­tle and pos­si­bly the most scenic ice rink in the world.

The area of­fers end­less ac­tiv­i­ties from ice skat­ing and hockey to cross coun­try ski­ing, sleigh rides, to­bog­gan­ing and hik­ing; a sim­ple walk across the lake brings you to tow­er­ing wa­ter­falls frozen in time.

The nearby Mo­raine, Bow, Hec­tor and Peyto lakes are the lesser known glacier lakes in Banff Na­tional Park but de­bat­ably just as spec­tac­u­lar amongst mighty moun­tain peaks.

Johnston Canyon is an­other must see, only 30 min­utes away; hike through sheer canyon walls and view stun­ning frozen wa­ter­falls, tun­nels, and pools.

Most come for Lake Louise Ski Re­sort, voted Canada’s Best Ski Re­sort for three years run­ning and at­tract­ing ath­letes from around the world for the an­nual Lake Louise Alpine World Cup.

The ski hill is not just for snow­board­ers and skiers. A trip on the sight­see­ing gon­dola costs be­tween $17 and $30 and of­fers awe-in­spir­ing views of Vic­to­ria Glacier.

The sum­mer months, June to Au­gust, are the Park’s peak vis­it­ing times, which means in win­ter, Novem­ber through April, vis­i­tors can en­joy the white oa­sis with­out hordes of tourists.

Banff and Lake Louise tourism spokesman Lukas Proc­hazka said ad­ver­tis­ing had in­creased Aus­tralian vis­i­tors.

He said sum­mer at­tracted 90 per cent of yearly vis­i­tors, mak­ing Lake Louise a “hid­den gem” in win­ter.

“There are a few rea­sons why peo­ple come to Lake Louise. Firstly the ski­ing and snow­board­ing is in­cred­i­ble; the views from the top of chair­lift have re­mained un­changed for 100 years,” he said.

With such a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties, no va­ca­tioner is left out in Lake Louise.

The com­par­a­tive one-for-one Aus­tralian to Cana­dian dol­lar makes now a great time to plan a 2016/17 Cana­dian win­ter get­away.

Top: Frozen wa­ter­falls at Lake Louise. Above: View from top of the gon­dola.

The cas­tle on the Lake Louise ice skat­ing rink.

Johnston Canyon

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