The DAMOP conference was in Calgary, Canada this year, June 5 (Tuesday) to June 9 (Saturday), 2007. Calgary is just east of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and the city of Banff in Banff National Park is just a little over 1.5 hours drive northwest. So I arrived a few days earlier, on Saturday, to go up into the park and enjoy the mountains.
(Click on pictures to start full picture set, or click links to jump to the described places...)
The first day, just after arriving from the airport, I drove up to to mountains, and checked out Banff for a few hours before it got dark. In the evening, I drove back a bit and stayed overnight in Canmore, an underappreciated little town on the way to Banff National Park. It's a lot cheaper to stay there than in Banff or Lake Louise.
The second day (Sunday), I drove up the Trans Canadian Highway, passing by Johnston Canyon, Lake Louise, Peyto Lake(where I got soggy socks), and a lot more amazing scenery. I went all the way up to the Athabasca Glacier. I also saw a bear... Then I drove back to Canmore to sleep.
The third day (Monday), I drove back up to Lake Louise (and the lake of the same name), and took a popular hiking trail up the mountainside towards Lake Agnes.
Although it was June, that year there had been a lot of snow and many of the trails were still impassable. Some were passable, but had lots of snow patches on them. I took a side trail to Little Beehive and I got soggy socks again, but got rewarded with an amazing view.
Finally, I was at Lake Agnes. There was a trail around the lake, but about halfway it ended in very deep snow, and it was all snow from then on. But I felt adventurous and kept going. Maybe not the smartest idea doing this by myself, but it was amazingly much fun. And then I fell through the snow, got hurt, and saw carnivore animal tracks... After Lake Agnes, I hiked further up the valley towards six glacier point, but I had to turn around because of snow.
Although Lake Louise has tourists by the busload, up there on the trail I didn't see anyone for several hours. When I got back, it started raining, and all the tourists had fled. I had the place all to myself.
I also stayed on for the weekend after the conference. I splurged and took a helicopter flight.
And then I met Jason, where we hiked up the mountain near Moraine Lake, and had some fun in the snow.
And just before I had to fly back, I quickly went up to the top of Calgary Tower, and enjoyed the last view of the area.