The Continental Divide

When you take in the view from the top of Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park, you can admire the mountain range to the South, if you turn your back to Banff and the Bow Valley to the North. These rugged high peaks in the Sundance Range reach well above the tree line are about 2 miles high. The Sundance Range is part of the Continental Divide.

Looking south from the summit of Sulphur Mountain near Banff, Alberta, Canada. The chutes on these peaks show where avalanches have cleared a path by taking down trees.

The Continental Divide is also the border between Canadian provinces Alberta and British Columbia. We were told that it is particularly hard to predict the weather on the east side of the Divide, not knowing if the weather systems flowing eastbound from the Pacific will cross this mountain range. We were lucky to have a clear day to take in the view.

I checked the Sulphur Mountain webcam, and found these peaks covered in snow today!

Weather in the Scottish Highlands

According to the locals, weather in the Scottish Highlands can be described in one of three ways:

  • Glorious
  • Atmospheric
  • Dramatic

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Today the weather was “atmospheric” in the Highlands.

A steady mist kept our windshield peppered with tiny drops as we passed the rugged landscape in Glencoe. The vivid green ground cover attests to the fact that most days here are either atmospheric or dramatic with steady precipitation and rapidly changing conditions.

While this region may look like a hiker’s dream, we heard cautionary tales of hikers who grew fatigued on long treks through thin air who treated themselves to a nap, hoping to awaken refreshed. Many hikers who nap succumb to hypothermia.