Winter Conditions - Travel Not Recommended
This weekend was Banff's Santa Claus Parade of Lights. We try to come every year, but sometimes things just don't work out and we haven't been in 2~3 years. The weather was relatively warm, but it seems like Banff had a good dump of snow some time before Saturday and certain spots on the road was quite mushy and sand like. The trail is now covered from the bottom to the top in 4~5 inches of snow. It's not slippery like ice, but slidey like sand. It took us quite a long time to get to the top this time thanks to this new terrain. We were exhausted just getting to the sign at the trail head haha.
Still 28 switchbacks by my count. We're starting to make note of the longer ones and the ones with unique features. The odd numbered sections heads South and the even numbered sections heads North. What I call Sector 7 has this weird circular concrete structure at the start and a waterfall at the end. The longer ones of note are Sector 5, and Sector 21. The beginning of Sector 25 has an excellent little lookout that overlooks the Banff townsite.
Not much to see at the top this time, normally you can see the weather station at Sanson Peak from here. Definitely no seeing the town of Banff today. Quite a thick fog, but just light snow starting about half way up the mountain. Like the sign says: Winter Conditions Travel Not Recommended.
# of free gondola rides down this Winter: 5