Author Topic: Great Parks North: Jasper to Kalispell  (Read 4392 times)

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Offline ScottS

Great Parks North: Jasper to Kalispell
« on: December 28, 2005, 02:27:02 pm »
My wife just finished chemo and is starting radiation for breast cancer and is looking to do a big ride this summer to celebrate beating breast cancer.

Our only concern is fitness level.  We've done lots of riding in the past, but she's not done but a day or two since the day she found the lump in late July.  To top that off, we're flatlanders stuck in winter.

The other side of the coin, this is the last year until retirement (and we're 30) that I'll likely get to take a month off of work to do this and some exploring in the parks along the way.

So is it unreasonable to think that we could get in shape between March 15 and July 1 for this trip?  Just not real sure of the difficulty of the route.  We have the time to go slow and keep the mileage down to 30miles a day with several spare days for rest and sightseeing.

Also, what temp sleeping bag is required?  We have 40 degree bags (that can be zipped together) plus fleece liners for extra warmth.  Will that be enough for July?

Thanks so much!

Offline LobodeSolo

Great Parks North: Jasper to Kalispell
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2006, 09:17:29 pm »
I do a lot of camping in SW Alberta and SE British Columbia. The days are quite hot at that time but it cools off a lot at night. I use a sleeping bag rated -10 C and a fleece liner. Obviously in the Banff/ Jasper area it will be colder as well as the higher elevations in Waterton and Glacier Parks

Offline wanderingwheel

Great Parks North: Jasper to Kalispell
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2006, 01:11:50 am »
As long as you're not in terrible shape, I think you should be able to prepare for your ride in time, especially considering your reasonable mileage goal and schedule.  If you can, start preparing now rather waiting until March, just to be sure.

Sleeping bag temperature ratings are notoriously unreliable.  Add to that the fact some people sleep warmer then others and you can get a range of answers on this question.  I have taken my 35deg bag snow camping in February and been comfortable, so your 40deg bags would be more then adequate for me on that trip, but I can't answer for you.


Offline Turk

Great Parks North: Jasper to Kalispell
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2006, 05:02:15 pm »
I did Banff to Jasper, then back to Banff many years ago. Here are some of the problems:

The main road is not too steep but the hills can be long. I remember spending a whole day going uphill. The side roads can be very steep. We stayed in hostels, which were nice but several miles up in the mountains.

Traffic on the main road can be heavy, but the shoulder is good so it's not really dangerous.

There can be a long way between filling stations, grocery stores, etc, as many as 50 miles IIRC.

We ran into light snow in the mountain passes in the hottest part of August (nothing very dangerous).

In regards to the milage per day, remember that you'll be carrying weight which will slow you down. I was used to travelling light and staying in motels in Wisconsin or Minnesota. I noticed a difference out there with all the gear you have to carry.

I would think you can get into shape in 3.5 months for what you want to do.

Overall, it was a fun trip. I'm just pointing out the negatives because that's what you asked about.

PS. My sister-in-law has breast cancer at age 58 and will probably die this year. Consider yourselves lucky.