"I got you Elaine" called my husband David as I clung to the rock face in my first ever rock climbing experience. Knees shaking, forced breathing and sheer willpower helped propel me upwards. It was truly an exhilarating experience I got to enjoy with David and my daughter Angela who is 11 years old. They were both strong and fearless. Me not so much. Angela is an experienced climber with a good sense of balance. Our first adventure of the weekend was a half day rock climbing program with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures. Our guide, Rob Turner was very experienced, friendly and knowledgeable. He was considerate of our needs and safety was always paramount. His positive, enthusiastic personality instilled a sense of trust and fun.
I was the fortunate winner of the Explore magazine's Epic Weekend in Canmore. We made it a family affair and enjoyed the company of David's parents, Mac and Joan Jones. Our three nights’ accommodation at the Mystic Springs Chalets & Hot Pools was superb. It slept 8 and was a home away from home, with a full kitchen. The hot pool was nice to soak in after a day of climbing. We enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast of extra good coffee and delicious giant muffins from Beamers using our $25 gift certificate.
The next day the three of us took a tour of Mount Assiniboine with Alpine Helicopters Inc. It was a beautiful, clear, sunny day and we thoroughly enjoyed the 30 minute ride. Prior to take off we were all a bit nervous, despite our excitement. Throughout the tour our pilot provided commentary about what we were seeing. It was an amazing opportunity to see the splendour of the mountains from a new, up-close and personal perspective.
We also got to go on a guided mountain bike ride with Trail Sports which is located at the Canmore Nordic Centre. We rode high quality, full suspension mountain bikes. Our guide was gentle on us and took us on some gravel trails to The Meadow where we enjoyed the panorama view all around us. He told us about the various trails and mountain ranges. We are planning on coming back and cross-country skiing on the vast trail system in the winter.
Overall, we had a spectacular weekend. It was hot and sunny during the last dog days of summer. Some of the leaves were brilliant yellow and they sparkled in the sunshine. Thank you so much for the opportunity to experience these adventures together as a family. We created some memories that we will cherish for a lifetime.
Elaine and David Jones, Angela Noddin
Sept. 19 - 22, 2014