As a final update...this is what I've decided to do, at least date-wise. Conference ends on 11/9. I will drive to banff that day, and check into wherever it is I'm staying (not sure yet). Then do the icefield highway the 10th and 11th, then drive back to Edmonton on the 12th for my flight. I can't miss anymore work so the 12th is the latest I can fly back.
Obviously still gotta figure out specifics. But I'll get something out of it, I think, even if it's not as much as I had hoped. It's better than not going at all.