Flying from Whitehorse sunshine to a Calgary blizzard

I’m currently in Calgary, on Day 5 of a 14-day series of family visits in Alberta and Ontario. It was gorgeous when I left Whitehorse, but a wild blizzard hit the next morning in Calgary.

At 4:45 Sunday evening, we were about ready to board one of Air North’s Boeing 737-500s. That’s one of their new ATR 42-300 turboprops in the photo.

Air North ATR 42-300 turboprop
At 5:15, away we go, with the Yukon River and the Riverdale residential area off my wing. I got seat 2A, my favourite seat for photography.

Whitehorse aerial - the Yukon River and the Riverdale residential area
The Alaska Highway, the Macrae industrial area, the Yukon River, and Chadburn Lake.

Whitehorse aerial - the Alaska Highway, the Macrae industrial area, the Yukon River, and Chadburn Lake.
The Meadow Lakes Golf Course and Alaska Highway.

Whitehorse aerial - the Meadow Lakes Golf Course and Alaska Highway.
Carcross Corner where the South Klondike Highway, coming in from the bottom right of the next photo, meets the Alaska Highway.

Aerial view of the Carcross Corner
The Alaska Highway follows the Yukon River as it drains Marsh Lake at the right.

Aerial view of the Alaska Highway and Yukon River west of Marsh Lake
White Mountain is in the centre of the next photo, with the Alaska Highway to its left.

Aerial view of White Mountain, Yukon
Visibility got poor so I had a short nap after dinner, which included a piece of Air North’s legendary cheesecake. When I woke up at 6:20, we were over the huge W.A.C. Bennett dam near Hudson’s Hope, BC.

Aerial view of the huge W.A.C. Bennett dam
As we were descending to Calgary at 7:15 (10 minutes after sunset), we could see a massive storm off to the northeast.

Aerial view of a massive storm in Alberta
Agricultural patterns northeast of Calgary.

Aerial view of Alberta farms
I find Calgary to be a particularly attractive city, both from the air and on the ground. That’s due in large part to its location on the Bow River, but it also has some great architecture.

Aerial view of Calgary, Alberta
We had to make a long loop around the city because of strong north winds, and passed by downtown again at 7:31 as we were on our final descent to the runway.

Aerial view of Calgary, Alberta, at night

There’s a lot of construction going on at the airport, and it was a long and confusing trek to the baggage area. The flight attendant told us that it was a long way, and that they would try to have people pointing the way, but finished with “good luck”. Once I got my bag and got outside, my daughter was there waiting, and we were soon settled at her home just north of the airport.

I’m staying with my daughter and her family for 5 of the 6 nights that I’m in Calgary. Cathy is flying in on Friday night, and as we have a 07:00 flight on Saturday, we’ll stay at an airport hotel. I don’t have any canine company at my daughter’s, but their cats are both real characters. This is Tigger.

My daughter's cat Tigger
And the big old-timer, Max.

My daughter's cat Max
The blizzard hit very early Monday morning, as expected. It was wild in our fairly protected subdivision, but we heard many reports of what it was like out in the open prairie.

Blizzard report for Calgary
Monday was definitely a stay-at-home day. Roads were closed all over the region, and hundreds of the people who chose to venture out got into accidents.


Flying from Whitehorse sunshine to a Calgary blizzard — 3 Comments

  1. I thought you might have been kidding about the cheesecake until I understood you were probably in first class, by your seat assignment. My son just was in first class to Dallas TX on American Airlines, he got a mini PowerBar (by comparsion! )

    Is that ATR prop plane configured with cargo in front of the wing (looking at the big door) and passengers in back, seems odd?

    • LOL – seat 2A with cheesecake does sound like First Class, but there are no classes on Air North. As with life here, everybody gets treated the same, regardless of how much money or what titles you have – my Member of Parliament is Larry, the Premier is Sandy 🙂

      Although the ATRs can be configured to carry cargo as well as people, these ones aren’t – at least not on a regular basis.