Drove up hwy 93 from Lake Louis today all the way into Jasper and the Columbia Ice Field. It took most of the morning but what a beautiful drive. Straight up through the mountains. Just jagged mountain peaks, snow, glaciers, waterfalls and deep green blue streams and lakes. I would try and post pictures of it but I can’t capture the colors and the feel well enough. Bryon will have a bunch of good pictures when he has a chance to work on them.
It was strangely sad seeing the ice field. The big tour place, and the glacier close to the road is the Athabasca Glacier that comes out of the Columbian Ice Field. They had signs for where it was back the last 150+ years. Over 60% of the glacier has melted since 1885. Just walking from where it was in 1982 (close to when I was born) to where it was now was probably ½ km or more. I am a poor judge of distance but the sign for 1982 was only a short walk from the parking lot. From there we climbed a big hill, walked across and then back down and across another valley. It was a long enough distance to have a warning for people with heart or lung problems not to make the hike to the glacier. It is all melting into streams and rivers and I can’t help but think where it might be if Lily brings her kids here in 30 more years. Will there be a Athabasca Glacier left?
From there we went to Parker’s Ridge. It was a nice short climb (3 mile round trip), but had an elevation gain of 820 feet. From the top we could see he Saskatchewan Glacier that was also coming out of the Columbian Ice Fields to the south. It was cold up at the top, the kids had snow ball fights and made snow angels.
Headed back to camp earlier tonight to get showers and clean the car good.