Elevation: 2451 m
Elevation Gain: 698 m
Sulphur Mountain was named in 1916 for the hot springs along its base. The peak itself is unremarkable in comparison to its neighbors, however, thanks to the presence of the hot springs, it has been extensively developed. In fact, the development of the Sulphur Mountain hot springs played an integral role in the creation of Banff National Park (the world’s third national park). Prime Minister John A. McDonald created the park, not to preserve the splendid natural beauty of this region, but to ensure that the crown retained control of any potentially lucrative development in the region. In addition to the hot springs, today the mountain is the site of a gondola, a restaurant (at the summit) and a defunct cosmic ray station, all of which hardly contribute to the pristine wilderness that many seek in a national park.
May 29 2011
With snow falling in the mountains, Brianne and I had to down-grade our original plans for the day and settled on an ascent of Sulphur Mountain. Although the hike up is dull and in the trees (note the complete lack of photos taken on the way up), the summit view is awesome (if you can look past all the development) and, in terms of an hour or so of cardio, the trip is worthwhile.
Beautiful views of Banff from the summit. Cascade, Alymer, Inglismaldie, and Lake Minnewanka.
I warned her that most summits won't have hot tea and a warm place to sit...
Silly hat photos version 1.0.
Silly hat photos version 2.0.
Mount Rundle in the sun behind the cosmic ray station.
A lot warmer down there...
The Banff Springs Hotel in front of Bow Falls.
All these fricken' tourists snapping pictures everywhere, eh?
Mounts Cory, Louis, and Edith.
The ice axe came in really handy on the boardwalk.
Good views all the way into K-Country. The Big Sister, Mount Sparrowhawk, and Mount Bogart.
The always sexy Mount Rundle.
Times square on the head of a pin.
Some serious avalanches on the Sundance Range. This is why we limited ourselves to going up Sulphur Mountain today!
One of the pros of hiking up Sulphur Mountain: the free gondola ride down!
Can't go hiking without stopping in the gift shop on the way out...
Side trip to Bow Falls. If we're going to act like tourists, we might as well do it right!
Time to follow the Bow back home to Calgary...