Sunday, June 21, 2015

take the Jasper skytram up the Whistlers

a beautiful sunny day produced stunning views from the top of the Whistlers via the Jasper Skytram gondola with the top of Mount Robson in BC visible in the distance 70 miles away -- starting at 1304m the tram rises to 2277m and in early June sees you at the snow line -- Julia even made it to the top -- thus I was hoping for White-tailed Ptarmigan, Rosyfinches et al but the best laid plans as they say -- found plenty of Ptarmigan poo but no birds, found them easily in 2007, a nice Townsend's Solitaire was singing around the rocks at the top station but otherwise the only birds found were a pair of Horned Larks and several Buff-bellied Pipits in nice breeding plumage but not very approachable and in the rising temperatures there was pretty serious heat shimmer-- by mid morning the area around the upper station and the summit were crowded with people so we headed down early afternoon having searched all available alpine meadows for the elusive finches -- next year maybe -- no sign of any Pikas this year either but the usual inquisitive Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels

In 1960, Albertan adventurer William McGregor climbed to the summit of Whistlers Mountain, Jasper. Inspired by the incredible views, McGregor dreamed of sharing his experience with the rest of the world. 
Construction of the SkyTram began in 1963, with many key components being imported from Germany. The project was finished in time for the grand opening in the summer of 1964. 
Since opening, over 6 million visitors have ridden the Jasper SkyTram and experienced the same breathtaking Rocky Mountain views that first inspired McGregor over half a century ago.

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