I rented a helicopter to capture images of the mountains, glaciers and lakes around Canmore, Alberta. Canmore rates as one of the prettiest and friendliest towns I visited on my 2016 trip to Alaska via the Alaska Highway. According to Ben Gadd, an expert on the geology of the Canadian Rockies, their rugged appearance (compared the American Rockies) is the result of several factors. The Canadian Rockies are predominantly formed from softer sedimentary rock and limestone that was uplifted, folded and then glaciated. The heavier glaciation is a consequence of their higher latitude.  The glaciers also broke apart this softer stone more easily.  Finally, a personal observation: because of the higher latitude, the tree line is lower on the mountains, exposing more rock. This not only accelerates weathering, it creates a more rugged appearance.