Day Seven would involve climbing up the mighty Sunwapta Pass but luckily for us, it was also one of the shortest days in terms of distance.

Our breakfast consisted of a strange combination of oatmeal and miso soup. We also had some breakfast bars with us but we noticed that some slimy little packrat had gotten to it overnight. Damn it !

After departing the hostel at 9am, I immediately noticed that my legs were really weak that day. I felt as though I had to pedal hard to maintain my rhythm but I kept on going until we took a quick break before the start of the pass.

Here's a look back towards the south. The summit block of Mt. Chephren can still be see in the far distance.


Here's the last pitstop before the pass up ahead.

During our quick break, I decided to give my bicycle a quick check and to my suprise, I noticed that my left brake pad was rubbing against my front rim. It was so bad that the wheel would only rotate 3/4 of the way if I spun it. It was no wonder why I was feeling tired !

Dave quickly pulled out his screwdriver and addressed this issue but the damage was done. I was feeling a little tired already.


Here's Dave as he starts gaining altitude as he makes his way towards the pass.

Unfortunately for him, he was using a 7 speed cog which didn't give him much flexibility on the inclines. I was using a 9 speed 11-31 cog which was much easier on the inclines.


The rise up to the pass included a very large curve to ease the angle. One of my tour guide friends once told me that the diamater was big enough to fit a baseball stadium inside.


Here's a look down from a pull out at the top.

I didn't find the incline too bad up to here but it definitely got worse as I continued upwards.

The road got a lot steeper until it levelled out at the Parkers Ridge pullout. From there, it went up once again until we left Banff National Park.


We finally enter Jasper National Park as the Icefields become visible in the distance.


Here's a shot of the glacier covered Mt. Athabasca in the distance. It's hard to believe that it's been almost 6 years to the day since I climbed that peak.


After arriving at the Icefields Center, we decided to stop for lunch at the cafeteria. I ordered some Chicken fingers and fries while Dave felt brave and ordered some Chinese food. The food wasn't great and it was very expensive but I was starting to get really tired of eating ramen.

Since we had some time on our hands, Dave decided to ride down to the lower parking lot and hike up to the foot of the Athabasca glacier. I decided to stick around and rest since I've been there so many times.

Dave can be seen in the pic to the left as he starts his way downwards. (Just to the right of the RV.)

The sight of this glacier never fails to amaze me.


Upon his return, we jumped back onto the Icefields Parkway and to our delight, the vast majority of the distance between the Icefields Center and Beauty Creek was downhill.

In fact, if I knew this beforehand, I might have hiked up to the glacier with Dave... well maybe not.

Beauty Creek is conveniently located on the side of the highway and is a rustic hostel much like Rampart Creek. Unlike Rampart which had a large group of people staying at the hostel, Beauty Creek only had a total of 7 including Dave and I.

I took some to look through the guest register (as I always do) and interestingly enough, I found an entry from 2 of my Japanese friends from last year. They rode from Canmore to Jasper in just 3 days and 2 nights - Canmore -> Mosquito Creek -> Beauty Creek -> Jasper. I was simply amazed at their stamina !