|As we continue our drive this morning we enter the Columbia Icefield area. There is a very nice visitor center where there are excellent exhibits with a lot of information about glaciers and how they are formed, particularly the Athabasca Glacier.
We learned that the Columbia Icefield is 150 sq. miles of ancient glacial ice that straddles the Great Divide, separating Alberta from British Columbia along the spine of the Canadian Rockies. It is the largest concentration of glacial ice below the Arctic Circle in North America. It is five times the size of Manhattan, and more than twice the size of Vancouver! Wow....The ice is 1200 feet thick, deep enough to bury the Empire State Building. Amazing!
It is here that you also find Mount Snow Dome, a triple continental divide. A continental divide is the boundary between water that flows into different oceans. A triple continental divide is very rare. It is the uppermost point that separates water that flows in different directions across a continent to pour ultimately into not two but three separate oceans. They include the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Arctic.
As I mentioned earlier, we decided to not take the Ice Explorer (a huge giant all-terrain 6-wheel drive vehicle) specially designed for glacier travel, at least not this trip. Hope we don't regret that decision later. But, it's late enough in the day that we really wanted to move on. We considered driving the 75 minutes back on a different day, but I can now tell you that due to weather changes, that didn't happen. The dark clouds were fazing in and out for the past hour or so and the temperature was fluctuating, which is very typical here.
So, we continued our journey, climbing the Tangle Ridge and passing the falls I mentioned in yesterday's post. We arrived at Whistler's during a very light rain and fortunately it let up in time for us to get set up. We didn't really do much as we were moving in the morning. I made us a light dinner and we watched a few shows that were taped earlier before hitting the sack. We'll move to our new spot tomorrow and then the tour will continue...