This spring has seen some very unsettled weather – snow one day, sunny and mid-teens the next, followed by more snow. These weather patterns are not uncommon in mountainous regions worldwide, and here in the Canadian Rockies it’s expected, especially in springtime. But it takes us back to last summer and a backcountry hiking trip to Egypt Lake for an update of the Banff Mount Assiniboine Map, which was published last September.

With reservations being required many months in advance for backcountry travel in Banff National Park, the weather is not something you can work around, which we learnt firsthand on this trip. The prediction was for snow in the alpine, even though it was mid-July, but with three families keen to hit the trail, we rode the Sunshine gondola and headed off to Healy Pass, regardless of the forecast.

Here we are taking a break at Healy Pass.

summer snow at Healy Pass

We weren’t the only ones on the trail – there were a surprising number of day-trippers, including some in shorts.

summer snow at Healy Pass

But the purpose of this post is not to talk about the possibility of experiencing a snowy Banff during summer, but how quickly the weather and the landscape can change. The photo below was taken three days after the photos above, as our party crossed back over Healy Pass, on a day so perfect that it made the cover of the map we were updating.

Healy Pass Map          Healy Pass Map