WJ teacher backpacks through Banff


Music teacher and newcomer to WJ Hannah Wang embarked on an amazing journey this past summer. In the heart of Alberta, Canada, Wang went backpacking on the Skoki Loop, one of the many challenging trails Banff National Park has to offer. As Wang reflects on her experience, this summer trip is something she will never forget.

Wang wasn’t planning on going to Banff for her explorations last summer but after she and her boyfriend couldn’t go to Glacier National Park in Montana, she decided to give Banff a try. Initially, Wang was drawn to Banff because of its reputation.

“This was my first time to Banff, but I had always heard how beautiful and amazing it was, so we decided to head there for a quick backpacking trip on the Skoki Loop,” Wang said.

Out in nature, you can see and explore so many new things. Being in new territory, Wang was interested in all nature had to offer.

“It was beautiful and cold. Well, it would start off really cold in the mornings and then by the time the afternoon hit, we’d be rolling up our sleeves, trying to cool off. There were a lot of neat animals too, like the ptarmigan and ptarmigan chicks that we saw, as well as marmots and bears. There were a lot of pristine alpine lakes up there, which definitely made it tempting to take a loop past them and extend our trip more,” Wang said.

Wang has always been a fan of outdoors activities. She wasn’t a newcomer going into this experience, and now it’s just another thing she can add to her belt. Over the summer she also earned her Wilderness Responder Certification, meaning she’s officially trained to respond to emergency situations in generally remote locations.

“I’ve always been really into the outdoors, but probably didn’t start expanding my outdoors skillset until about 5 years ago. I’m mainly into rock climbing, but also love backpacking. I’ve been able to travel and explore a lot neat places [that] I wouldn’t have considered going to before because of the outdoors. I also just recently completed my Wilderness First Responder Certification this summer as well, which was pretty rad,” Wang said.

Wang saw this as a very memorable experience. Besides backpacking, she also enjoyed other aspects of the trip. One part that especially stood out to her was the last day of their vacation.

“I’d say that every trip is always memorable for a variety of reasons. This one was memorable in so many ways, but my favorite was probably our last day. We ended up driving through the icefields of Banff before leaving for Calgary to come home. We ended up finding an off the beaten path trail and got to soak in the beauty and calm of Peyto lake all for ourselves, which was nice. It was a great way to get refreshed and ready before I tackled a new job at WJ, and I think it was kind of the perfect way to reset and get mentally recharged,” Wang said.

As she looks back on her summer, Wang remembers it fondly and is happy she went on this amazing trip.

“It’s hard to describe how invigorating it was, but being able to bushwhack and hike over snow in the middle of summer is pretty fun!” Wang said.