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Author Topic: Driving through Canadian Rockies?  (Read 8010 times)
andyptak
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« on: August 12, 2008, 01:50:29 PM »
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I'm planning a trip across Canada and will be driving from Calgary to Vancouver through the Rockies. I'm thinking that this will be a great opportunity to shoot some great landscapes but a friend of mine, who knows I suffer from vertigo, has cautioned me against it. He thinks the heights might make me feel dizzy.

I've driven across mountains before - Green mountains in Vermont, White mountains in New Hampshire and from Nanaimo to Tofino on Vancouver Island - so I'm prepared for the hairpin turns and such, but I'm wondering if he's over reacting. Thousands upon thousands of people have done it including many old geezers with much slower reactions than mine.

Anyone with the same problem done this? Thanks.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2008, 02:17:23 PM »
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There are some beautiful vistas to be sure.  You're the only one who can really answer your own question here but a lot of people drive that route, including seniors as you mention.  Marcia and I did it in a moving truck with bad springs that would rock from side to side when it hit a bump, often lifting the rear wheels off the ground.

It's a fairly busy highway, especially in the summer, but there are places you can pull off if you really feel you need to.  Truck drivers for example must stop and check their brakes before descending some of the long passes and you can pull in there.  Just relax and enjoy yourself!  Also, being a major highway you're not going to find much in terms of hairpin curves.

The road from Nanaimo to Tofino is an adventure by comparison, although if you really want adventure you might try the road from Lillooet to Gold Bridge in late spring - there are no shoulders - at times you're driving right up against the rock wall, and when the snow melts it tosses rocks and small boulders onto the road.  There's a modified plow that goes by periodically to keep the road clear, but it's still 'fun'.

Mike.
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Panopeeper
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2008, 04:39:00 PM »
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I don't think there is any reason to be concerned. When driving, the only higher spot with strongly winding road is the Columbia Icefield Road, past the Columbia Icefield stop (from Jasper towards Banff), and honestly, this is not a big deal.

There are a few spots, when you are getting close for example to canyons and waterfalls, where you have to be careful, but these are very obvious (I mean when hiking).

On the other hand, many popular spots are absolutely easy, not worse than the walk in downtown; like Lake Louise (nice, but IMO overrated).

I am just building the album from the shots I made in Mai. Some of it is up already, and there are quite a few panos; particularly the latter are useful for judging, where how the scenery is.

http://www.panopeeper.com/Rockies/RockyAlbum.htm
http://www.panopeeper.com/panorama/Rockies.htm

Do not miss one of the very best spots, Natural Bridge  (but don't climb out on the rocks). Mistaya canyon and Marble canyon are musts (but so are many others).

I visited and photographed ("panoed") many other spots, if you have specific questions I may be able to answer some.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2008, 04:58:19 PM by Panopeeper » Logged

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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2008, 09:35:07 PM »
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Is it only being *up* on heights that make you dizzy?  Are you OK looking up from valleys?  If so, then don't worry about the Canadian Rockies.  The roads pretty much stay in the valleys.  With only a few exceptions, you get the gorgeous views looking *up*, not down.

And the main roads are fine.  I don't remember much in the way of hairpin turns and the like; the roads are easy enough for tour busses to handle, after all.  (Though I haven't been there for a few years, so those with more recent memories of the place should correct me if I'm forgetting any difficult roads...)

Lisa
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scubastu
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2008, 11:23:06 AM »
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I highly recommend getting Darwin Wigget's book Photographing the Canadian Rockies, it's got mileage markers that tell you where to stop and what to expect.  I found it invaluable when I drove to Banff last May from Vancouver.  

S.
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2008, 11:39:54 AM »
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There are a series of terrific maps from this outfit: http://www.gemtrek.com/. They have trail and driving maps, some showing topo relief and many of them printed on splash-resistant material.
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andyptak
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2008, 11:54:17 AM »
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You've all been very helpful. I ordered Wiggett's book by the way.

My wife suggested that if some of the views make me feel dizzy, I should just close my eyes until it passed - then I reminded her of who would be driving - oops!
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2008, 03:33:24 PM »
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My wife suggested that if some of the views make me feel dizzy, I should just close my eyes until it passed - then I reminded her of who would be driving - oops!

Ah yes... "When I die I want to go like my grandfather did - quietly, in his sleep.  Not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car."  Not sure who the original author of that was.

Mike.
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My Flickr site / Random Thoughts and Other Meanderings at M&M's Musings
Panopeeper
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2008, 07:26:37 PM »
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My wife suggested that if some of the views make me feel dizzy, I should just close my eyes until it passed - then I reminded her of who would be driving - oops!
To be sure, leave the car key with your wife before you climb out on that cliff :-)

(If you have even been at Horseshoe Bend on the Grand Canyon, or on Angels' Landing in Zion, then you know what I mean. I have not seen anything like that in the Canadian Rockies.)
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Gabor
Bill Carr
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2008, 06:35:12 AM »
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I'm planning a trip across Canada and will be driving from Calgary to Vancouver through the Rockies. I'm thinking that this will be a great opportunity to shoot some great landscapes but a friend of mine, who knows I suffer from vertigo, has cautioned me against it. He thinks the heights might make me feel dizzy.

I've driven across mountains before - Green mountains in Vermont, White mountains in New Hampshire and from Nanaimo to Tofino on Vancouver Island - so I'm prepared for the hairpin turns and such, but I'm wondering if he's over reacting. Thousands upon thousands of people have done it including many old geezers with much slower reactions than mine.

Anyone with the same problem done this? Thanks.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=214639\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

A driving trip through the Canadian Rockies wouldn't be complete, especially for a landscape photographer, if you did not do the drive from Lake Louise to Jasper and back.

After you spend the day at Lake louise and the area spots, ytou should set out in the morning from Lake Louise north on the Icefield Parkway to Jasper.  Spend the night in Jasper and do the other direction the next day.  Then you can hop back on the 1 headed toward Vancouver.

It will be the highlight of your trip.
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2008, 07:49:33 AM »
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I can only think of 2 roads where you might have a vertigo issue: the road from Lake Louise to Morraine Lake, and the road into Takakaw falls.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2008, 09:16:52 AM »
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I can only think of 2 roads where you might have a vertigo issue: the road from Lake Louise to Morraine Lake, and the road into Takakaw falls.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=223014\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I've had no problem with either of those roads, and I do tend to get vertigo in high places. I'm pretty sure I've seen good-sized campers on the Moraine Lake Road, don't remember if I've seen them on the Takkakaw Falls Road.

There are lots of good places for vertigo on some of the hikes, especially the "Alpine" trails around Lake O'Hara.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
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