Yesterday it was kind of cool and it rained pretty hard so we just stayed in. About 3pm it seemed to clear up and there were sunny skies above us. We decided that it was a good time to go to the hot springs so we loaded up and headed out.
The springs are about 60 km east of Jasper. As we got to Jasper we could see that it was still raining pretty hard east of us and that it seemed to be coming our way. Mission aborted. We just got an internet fix at the visitor’s center, wandered around town until the rain hit and then went back to the RV, somehow carrying a Pizza Hut pizza.
Today was also a bit cool but there has not been a cloud in the entire sky all day. A perfect time to go see some mountains and a waterfall or 3 so we headed south on the Icefields Parkway.
First up was Athabasca Falls. The sun was not in the right position for great pictures. We said we would stop on the way back when the sun had moved but of course that never happened. Too tired.
Below there are some people on the shore top left for a size comparison.
Then the river went down a short gorge,
We went down to the bottom of the gorge on some steps they had put in an old water channel.
Onward down the highway, the quarter moon was up.
Next was Sunwapta Falls and gorge. This is the view from a bridge across the gorge,
The view upstream.
Down the gorge.
Top of gorge back towards the bridge.
The other waterfall under the bridge.
Although you can hardly see her, Jennie bravely went out on the bridge for the above picture.
A nice skull face in the gorge wall.
This range was called the Endless Chain.
A quick stop at Tangle Creek Falls.
Our first glimpse of the Columbia Ice Fields poking between the mountains.
More of the ice field poking over another ridge.
The long valley on the way to the Athabasca Glacier.
Our first view of the glacier.
From the pile of gravel at the side of the valley you can see how big it used to be.
We drove down into the valley to park and hike up to the toe of the glacier. You can see the parking lot, middle right, below.
They had markers showing how the glacier has receded over the years. If we had come on our honeymoon we would have only had to climb to here.
Instead of up and way over this hill.
The 1982 marker is about 1/2 way up.
Here is the view from the year 2000 marker a bit over the hill top. Still a long way to the toe.
Everyone got bundled up for the climb. It was cold.
You were not supposed to go any closer that this roped off line because of the danger of crevasses.
But most people ignored it, some even climbing way up the glacier itself.
At least one group seemed to have a guide.
There didn’t seem to be a lot of interesting formations. Just a large expanse of dirty snow so we didn’t cross the rope. We have seen some pretty amazing glaciers already.
We had taken the SnoBus tour the last time we were here on out way to Expo 86 in Vancouver, so we skipped it this time. Besides nothing can beat that flight in Denali.
We went to the Icefields Visitors Center and looked at the displays.
By now it was 4:30 so we headed back. We will leave the rest of the highway for another year when we come back to explore southern BC and Alberta.