During the summer holidays, the normally quiet Columbia Valley host tens of thousands of guests; people drawn to the region for the sunshine, boating, hiking, shopping and of course world-famous natural-mineral pools at Fairmont Hot Springs. Despite heavy traffic on the roads, packed campgrounds, full hotels and long-lines at the supermarket; this remains a place where you can get away from it all. Just moments from the highway and townships, you can stand on lofty peaks and survey some of the most spectacular landscapes Canada has to offer. Mt. Swansea is a prominent local landmark (one with vehicular access to a high elevation) - as you'll see, it was the place to be on the first day of August!
1. Here's the view looking from the Swansea summit, south towards Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. Chisel Peak can be seen on the left-hand skyline. Columbia Lake in the centre of the shot.
2. Looking over Lake Windermere and Invermere to Mt. Nelson.
3. Looking north over the Columbia Valley wetlands towards Golden.
4. Jump if you dare... The rather stomach-churning launch pad used by local pilots.