The emergency situation in British Columbia
In the hotel, we see images of the intense fires that are raging in large parts of British Columbia on all the
television screens. Tall plumes of smoke rise from the mountainsides and we see firemen working hard to
get the fire under control. There has been no rain for weeks now. They are fighting a losing battle. The fire
spreads very rapidly and more fires ignite than can be extinguished. The Canadian television channel CBC
talks about the largest forest fire in British Columbia since 2003 and the provincial government has called
a state of emergency. At the reception desk of the hotel, we find overview maps showing all the flash-
points. Kamloops, Clearwater and Wells Grey Park are the affected areas that are closest to Revelstoke.
But even then, we are talking about distances of 100 to 200 kilometres. So, we are safe here. The wapiti
deer seem to feel this too, like the sheep in the nativity scene they lay down to rest close to the hotel.
Yoho National Park: finally, the Rockies!
The following day, the situation has not yet improved. The wind from the west blows the smoke all over
the Monashee Mountains in the valley of Revelstoke. Visibility is virtually zero and ash and soot particles
are suspended in the air. But as we continue to move eastwards, it slowly but surely starts to get better.
Near the town of Golden, at the crossroads of the quiet Columbia river and the wild Kicking Horse river, we
suddenly come out from under the low-hanging smoke curtain and look directly at the dramatic mountain
tops of the
Yoho National Park
. There they are - the
presented on a silver plateau!
The Yoho National Park is rather small by Canadian standards, but because of its 36 peaks over 3000
metres, it can be irrefutably counted among the big ones. 'Yoho' actually means 'awe' and 'wonder' in the
Indian Cree language and these are exactly the sensations we are experiencing at the moment. Between
the mountains, wild rivers roar, cascades of water thunder down, and silent forests with silver firs thrive.
Lake Emerald is like a beautiful gemstone. The white of the snowy glaciers reflects beautifully in the
Deliberate choices in Banff
Now that we have discovered that it isn’t quite so certain that we can experience nature in BC in optimal
circumstances at all times, we become selective and we choose the highlights. We start things off with
. The largest lake in British Columbia is world-renowned. We manage to take a picture of a
bright red canoe on the mirror-smooth water surface with the Victoria Glacier in the background. A very
primitive Canadian picture, but that is exactly what we wanted, and we are overjoyed. A beautiful road
leads from Lake Louise to
. High, fierce mountains line the lake area. The
Valley of the
owes its name to them. We walk to a viewpoint situated some 25 metres higher where we can
admire what may be the most photographed panorama of Canada.
Many people call it the
Twenty Dollar View
because for many years it was depicted on the back of the
Canadian twenty-dollar bill.
is not directly connected to a glacier and is, therefore, an
outsider. There are even more delightful views, extravagantly beautiful lakes and beautiful dream pictures.
Emerald green or turquoise blue? The name of the remarkable colour of the water of the Canadian lakes
may be a subject for discussion, but that it is beautiful and unique is surely indisputable.
t r a v e l i n g