SOME SAY it’s the journey, not the destination. But after my trip to Jasper, I couldn’t disagree more. A journey compliments the destination and teases you for what’s on offer at the end of the road. In this case it was powder stashes, unbelievable landscapes, good eating and drinking, and to top it all off, the awesome Frosty’s Fat Bike Race.

[Note: Glenn was a guest of Tourism Jasper.]

1

Frozen lakes

Averaging a yearly thickness of 1.7 meters, the frozen ice of Pyramid Lake allows for miles of cross country trails around and through the centre. Gus, pictured above, ditched his cozy investment banking job and moved to Jasper to own and operate a ski rental shop. In his own French-Canadian words, “I could not go back ever, even if I got paid one million bucks.”

2

Self-reflection

When many travellers look for a vacation destination they focus on material luxuries and comfort. I propose a different kind of vacation — a conscious and self-aware vacation that allows for meditation and space. As the largest of Canada's Rocky Mountain Parks, Jasper is the perfect destination for said travel-revolution. With an incredible total of 11,228 square kilometres, there’s more than enough room to breathe.

3

The fattest bikes

In Jasper, special events take place during January like the Frosty’s Fat Bike Race. Offering competition for all skill levels, Frosty brings together a vast community of Fat Bikers from around North America. Why not try it yourself?

4

Fat biking

Designed after Stanley Thompson’s original 1924 blueprints, The Fairmont Jasper Golf Course is truly one of Canada's best, and attracts major players of the sport. However, during the off-season, the property transforms to accommodate the growing fat biking and cross country community in Alberta. Trails pop up out of nowhere and tour around the course, offering a panorama of scenic winter views.

5

Dawn

At a latitude of 52.8737°, Jasper’s sunrise begins around 8:50, giving you plenty of time to reach a higher altitude for that perfect photo. Pyramid lake (pictured above) seemed to be our favourite spot during these moments of twilight.

6

Big skies and sunsets

It has been said that Alberta skies are the largest in the world because of the low horizon. Although Jasper is nestled in a mountain valley, the sheer scope and beauty of its sunsets play into a placebo effect of an endless horizon. These aren’t just nice views, they’re incredible spectacles.

7

Icefield Parkway from the bus

Taken out of a bus window, the photo above captures the halfway point of my journey north along the Icefields Parkway. And if you squint, you can see a group of ice climbers ascending the “Weeping Wall” (bottom left)

8

Fine dining and afternoon mimosas

Looking for high class accommodation? Or just apple cider mimosas’ at 11am? The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge can do both with incredible service and tasty snacks. This is a snapshot of our brief pitstop before we headed back out to explore the surrounding Fat Biking trails.

9

Marmot Basin

Although a recent significant snowfall had been absent for a few weeks, the snow conditions remained soft and floaty around the entire mountain. And I was humbled by the friendliness of the locals when asking directions to the nearest pow-stash.

10

Sun for days

Jasper receives an average of 325 days of sunshine a year, giving view like this one the clarity and light it needs to blow minds. This was taken at the top of Paradise chair on the Marmot Basin ski resort just before 3:00 pm.

11

Bright nights

Jasper gets clear nights and clear days, giving the moon cycle plenty of leeway to light up the night sky. This is the perfect opportunity to utilize your new camera’s sensor and long exposure capabilities. In early October the nights become longer and offer more time to observe the sky — making Jasper a hotspot for Aurora Borealis watchers. Over 1.5 million guests from across the globe come to the Jasper Dark Sky Festival to take part in the phenomenon.

12

Evenings at the Eagle

Cold beer, fine food, and sore muscles — what better way to wind down the day? Local music blesses the atmosphere as the kitchen sends out a fine 3-course meal complimented with beer from the Jasper Brewing Co. After your food the ski patrol hands out headlamps and escorts you down the resort. Skis on your feet and stars in the sky.

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