There’s an emerald lake in one of Canada’s most magnificent settings that was once called “the lake of the little fishes” by the people of the Stoney Nation who lived close by. This lake is now called Lake Louise and its backdrop is the stunning Victoria Glacier, so close that you almost feel that you are beneath it. You’ll find Lake Louise in Banff National Park, the oldest park in Canada.
Each winter the “lake of the little fishes” freezes and staff at the nearby Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise ready the ice and grounds for skating. They have to wait until the ice is thick enough so that skaters don’t fall through, which would be rather disastrous since the lake is fed by a glacier. Then the snow is removed from the ice and the ice flooded with water until the surface is very smooth. No one wants to skate on bumpy ice!
They add some magic, building a castle right in the middle of the rink using huge blocks of ice that are carved by chefs from the Fairmont (or so I’ve heard). It’s cold in the snowy mountains (the name given to the Rockies by the Stoney Nation) so there’s a fire pit where skaters can warm their hands. And benches to sit while they lace up their skates. Skates can be rented from the Fairmont too. Then off they go.
It is easy to see why Lake Louise is one of the best skating rinks in the world.
By Sylvia Fanjoy
Photo credits Sylvia Fanjoy
© Riding the buses™ 2016