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31 May, Day 9 - COLUMBIA ICEFIELDS - JASPER

This morning we left beautiful Lake Louise for the Columbia ICEFIELDS and then to Jasper

This morning we awoke to a heavily overcast day and rain but even with this the lake was beautiful.
Lake Louise early morning view from our room

Lake Louise early morning view from our room

We left Lake Louise and travelled on the awe-inspiring ICEFIELDS Parkway past towering peaks and immense hanging glaciers to Jasper National Park.

We were to see the sapphire Peyto Lake but the road was closed. We stopped for a photo opportunity at Bow Lake which was still mostly frozen.
Bow Lake Panorama

Bow Lake Panorama

Darcy, our Tour Director, pointed out an area where there was a dam built by beavers. The beaver lodge provides accommodation and food even when the dam is iced over.
Beaver mound

Beaver mound

Further along the Icefields Parkway we saw the magnificent Tangle Creek Falls.
Tangle Creek Falls

Tangle Creek Falls

We rode in an exciting Ice Explorer on the 1 000 foot thick Athabasca Glacier. The Athabasca Glacier is one of the six principal 'toes' of the Columbia Icefield, located in the Canadian Rockies. The glacier currently recedes at a rate of 2–3 metres (6.6–9.8 ft) per year and has receded more than 1.5 km (0.93 mi) in the past 125 years and lost over half of its volume. The glacier moves down from the icefield at a rate of several centimetres per day. Due to its close proximity to the Icefields Parkway, between the Alberta towns of Banff and Jasper, and rather easy accessibility, it is the most visited glacier in North America. The leading edge of the glacier is within easy walking distance; however, travel onto the glacier is not recommended unless properly equipped. Hidden crevasses have led to the deaths of unprepared tourists. But with our fearless leader we were quite safe and prepared.
View from Columbia Icefields Centre

View from Columbia Icefields Centre

View from Columbia Icefields Centre - waiting for the bus

View from Columbia Icefields Centre - waiting for the bus

Colleen and friends

Colleen and friends

Athabascar GlacierJean and Marie on the ice

Athabascar GlacierJean and Marie on the ice

Athabascar Glacier

Athabascar Glacier

Athabascar GlacierGreg and Deb on the ice

Athabascar GlacierGreg and Deb on the ice

Athabascar Glacier

Athabascar Glacier

Athabascar Glacier

Athabascar Glacier

Athabascar Glacier

Athabascar Glacier

Group Photo beside Ice Explorer on Athabascar Glacier

Group Photo beside Ice Explorer on Athabascar Glacier


Ice Explorer -20 tonnes, $1 million cost

Ice Explorer -20 tonnes, $1 million cost


Along the way today we saw quite a lot of animal life but mainly Big Horn Sheep. We were lucky enough to spot a mother sheep with her lamb quite some distance up on a very steep hillside.
Big Horn Sheep with lamb

Big Horn Sheep with lamb

Big Horn Ram on hillside

Big Horn Ram on hillside

Big horn sheep

Big horn sheep

After the Columbia Icefields we travelled on for a stop at the thundering Athabascar Falls before stopping for some of our tour group to go rafting on the river into Jasper.
Athabascar Falls

Athabascar Falls

Athabascar Falls - bottom

Athabascar Falls - bottom

Our overnight accommodation was the charming village of Jasper in Jasper National Park. In particular, our accommodation was at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.

Posted by Kangatraveller 16:13

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