We brought one of our contributors, Zac Heiliger (@zac_heiliger), up to Canada to cycle one of the most beautiful mountain roads on earth: from Jasper to Banff via Lake Louise. We teamed up with a friend of 10Adventures, Mountain Madness Tours in Edmonton, to make this bucket-list bike trip a breeze!
DAY 2 – Sunwapta Falls to Saskatchewan River Crossing 98km (62 miles)
This is the ‘BIG’ day with what Ben calls ‘bumps’! These ‘bumps’ are two distinct hill climbs, one with a steep grade of 8% over Sunwapta Pass.
Everyone in the group was a bit nervous to face these two ‘bumps’. During breakfast, a granola and yogurt bar followed by a hot plate of eggs, bacon and toast, the conversation kept returning to the ‘bumps’! Ben reassured the group that everyone would be fine making the climb and broke each hill down to its elements. The larger 8% climb can be done in 3 sections, with rest stops available along the way starting at Stutfield Glacier Viewpoint, then Tangle Creek Falls half way up and then Glacier Skywalk at the top.
Reassured, the group departed from the lodge and we made our way up the first ‘bump’ with no issues! The second ‘bump’ was longer and steeper, but before we all knew it, we were at the top of Sunwapta Pass and riding downhill towards lunch at the Columbia Icefield Discovery Center.
Lunch was a gourmet sandwich from the local deli served with a front row view of the Athabasca Glacier! After lunch, the ride was generally downhill, with a fun and fast section that curved around to the base of Weeping Wall!
After another rendezvous point, the last challenge of the day was to make it to our accommodations for the night at the Saskatchewan River Crossing. Dinner that night was buffet style, all you could eat, salad bar, roasted chicken, veggies, pasta, maple glazed ham and a desert bar! This was exactly what was needed after the ‘BIG’ day of riding!