Rock Isle Lake Ski
Like salmon swimming upstream or enjoying music by the Village People, there is always something to be said about going against the flow, and this was never truer than when Dan Millar, Kelly Wood and I skied up the Sunshine Village ski-out in Banff National Park on 27 March 2005.  On our way up Banff Avenue (ski run #1), we took a detour onto Middle Canyon (ski run #102) which was initially quite enjoyable to ski.  Some steep sections further up were difficult to ascend, but we managed to regain Banff Avenue just before the mid-mountain gondola station.  Ignoring the odd curious look from skiers and snowboarders going the opposite direction, we continued along Banff Avenue all the way to the top of the Jackrabbit Quad Chair where we were rewarded with a short run down Miss Gratz (ski run #13) to the bottom of the Tee Pee Town Double Chair.  From there, we climbed up Pilgrims (ski run #19) before traversing over to Rock Isle Road (ski run #40) just above the Village (about two hours from the parking lot).

Although the smell of fried food from the Village was alluring, we continued up Rock Isle Road to the ski area boundary.  It is really a shame that on this day, despite mild temperatures and calm winds, the sky was overcast with snow flurries.  Consequently, we had limited visibility and did not venture far beyond the ski area boundary.  We stopped for lunch in a snow hollow beside some trees overlooking Rock Isle Lake and were amazed that we could enjoy some peace and quiet even this short distance away from the ski area.

After lunch, we headed back to the ski area and made a quick pit stop at the Village before continuing uneventfully down the ski-out to the parking lot.  A lengthy search for my car ensued.
Some stiff climbing ahead... Dan waits for Kelly coming up Middle Canyon ski run.  Mount Bourgeau dominates the backdrop.
Oh what fun! Dan skis up Pilgrims.  Part of Goat's Eye Mountain can be seen in the distance.
Shame about the weather! Kelly and Dan head toward the ski area boundary.
The sign says, "Quartz Ridge 3.7 km ->; Mount Assiniboine 30 km ->". Dan and Kelly try to figure out where is Rock Isle Lake.
It sure beats knocking elbows with a bunch of yahoos down in the Village! Kelly and Dan (trying to imitate the Easter Bunny) enjoy lunch in the snow hollow.
Poor dog! This is maybe the cheapest accommodation at Sunshine Village.
Not exactly a cakewalk on skinny skis! Dan and Kelly (centre) make their way down the ski-out.