Is the Banff Gondola Worth the Price?

For my birthday this year, I got a ride on the Banff Gondola, which included an easy hike along a mountaintop boardwalk with views in all directions. At $51 to $63 per person, the excursion is pretty expensive, but I’d say it was totally worth it.

As long as the valley is not fogged in, the views of the mountains, the Fairmont and the town of Banff are amazing from the top.

I will be posting some of my photos from the summit of Sulphur Mountain. Today (and everyday) you can check the webcam there to see how the view changes with the seasons. As of October 10, the mountains are covered in snow.

Vibrant Moraine Lake

Even in a steady rain, the vibrant color of Moraine Lake in Alberta Canada is striking. Add some fall color for contrast, and include some fallen tree trunks for foreground elements, and you the viewer are right there with me, walking along the lake’s edge.

Walking along Moraine Lake in the rain, we admired the Canadian Rockies and their glaciers.

Blue Hour at Lake Louise

Making this long exposure (1.6 seconds) of Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada after sunset inspired me to read about the blue hour.

While the scene was quite dark to the naked eye, a long exposure made while the Sony camera rests motionless on a tripod allows the sensor to collect all the blue light present at dusk, or nautical twilight.

A scientist named Chappuis discovered that the ozone layer absorbs ultra violet light, and after sunset this Chappuis absorption has a significant effect on the color of the sky. I’m going to have to learn more about light wavelengths to understand this in depth.

As a photographer, I will remember the soft and soothing effect of this blue hour. Some artists enjoy photographing city scapes featuring yellow incandescent light during the blue hour. Have you tried it?

Dawn at Lake Louise

Apparently I carried my tripod to Canada, in and out of 6 hotels in my 50-pound suitcase, for a reason. The Really Right Stuff tripod is too heavy to hike with, but I set it up in front of our picture window at the Chateau Lake Louise. Which was a good idea, because my husband pointed out the reflection of Victoria Glacier on Lake Louise early in the morning as the sun peaked over the eastern ridge. I was able to make this image in my pajamas!

Using a tripod, I was able to capture this crystal clear reflection in the early morning light on Lake Louise. Using ISO 400 and f/11 for depth of field, my slow exposure of 1/6 of a second captured this image. Notice the gentle morning light on the western slope of evergreens.

Vivid Emerald Lake

Vivid, almost surreal color is the first thing I noticed about Emerald Lake. We arrived on a cloudy day with light rain just starting to fall. On a sunny day, the lake color would be a little different. It is glacial rock flour that is suspended in the water that reflects this vivid blue-green hue, so I’m guessing the lake would look even more green in the sunshine.

The red canoe glides along Emerald Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. September 2019

Rain or shine, Emerald Lake is not to be missed. While it would be stunning to see this lake in winter snow, access to the Lake is closed in winter due to high risk of avalanche along the route.

More photos to come of the scenic Canadian Rockies! I’ve just begun to process my new collection. Have you been there?