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.
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.
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.
Further along the Icefields Parkway we saw the magnificent 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.
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.
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.
Our overnight accommodation was the charming village of Jasper in Jasper National Park. In particular, our accommodation was at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.