Bub & Sandy Retired and Westward Bound travel blog

Back into Jasper National Park

Small Black Bear along the road

Could not believe this bear was just lying on the train tracks...

He had something that was getting all of his attention.

Mistaya Lake

These Long Horn Sheep were taking in the sunshine along the road.

Inside the Ice Explorer, the massive vehicle that will take us out...

Down a steep hill and out onto the ice.

A small independent glacier on one of the mountains surroundind the Athabasca...

This part of the glacier where we parked has been dug out...

This was our ride to the ice.

Out for a walk on the glacier, watch for those open crevasses

How about this, standing on a glacier.

 

You can see the blue ice as the water flows over it.

The glaciers used to be as high as this rock formation.

Distance is hard to judge out here. This is the road back...

One of the earlier transport vehicles.used in 1958 and there was no...

This was the very first transport vehicle

Here comes one of the vehicles. See how sharp the incline is.

Most of the trees here at the glacier are bare on one...

Sunwapta Falls

Athabasca Falls

You can see how the color of the water is effected by...

 

You can feel the thunder from these falls

This is the path the falls used to take. You can see...

There is that beautiful color again

 

I think he was telling me to get lost.

I look good !


Today we decided to revisit the southern end of Jasper National Park.

We took in the waterfalls, saw more wildlife and rode out onto the Athabsca Glacier. Learned a lot about glaciers and ice fields and what makes them different. The ice field, in this instance Columbia Ice field, is a gigantic frozen reservoir, which stays still and gives birth to the glacier. The ice field is formed when snow accumulates year after year and never melts; the snow gets compressed and finally turns into ice. The glacier is born as the ice increases and spills out into the valley. The surrounding mountains during freezes and thaws are given to rockslides. The rocks in some places are consumed by the glacier and as it moves it grinds the rock into fine almost flour like substance. It is this substance, that eventually is washed out as the spring thaw occurs, then ends up in the lakes around this area. This ground up rock does not sink to the bottom, it stays closer to the surface in which it reflects the sunlight and gives these lakes their deep blue and green color. The water run off from the Columbia Ice Field ends up flowing into three oceans. These are the Pacific, Atlantic and Artic Oceans. We learned that it snows year round on the ice field and the temperature gets a minus 50 and lower in the winter. At the visitor center it was 70 degree, but very windy, and up on the glacier it was 45. It was an awesome experience.



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