Columbia Icefield - Jasper National Park, Canada

The Columbia Icefield is the largest icefield in the Rockies. It is located in the Canadian Rockies astride the Continental Divide along the border of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. It is surrounded by eleven large mountains, all but one are greater than 11,300 feet high.

The icefield’s average elevation is 9,842 feet. It is about 125 square miles in area and 330 to 1,198 feet in depth. That is the size of the icefield not including the glaciers which it feeds. The icefield feeds six major glaciers and several minor glaciers.

The Athabasca Glacier is one of those six major glaciers. It is approximately 3.7 miles long, covers an area of 2.3 square miles, and is measured to be between 300–980 feet thick.

Our 2.5 hour tour includes a walk on the Athabasca Clacier and a walk on the "Sky Walk" 900 feet above the valley.

It was very foggy when we left Jasper. I was worried we would not make our 9:45 AM tour at the icefield.

As the morning went on the fog started to burn off.

By 9 AM the fog was history and the view was great.

They had these information boards set on the glacier for us to read.

Three more.

We made it in time for our tour. We are now on a six wheel drive Ice Explorer heading up the glacier and have to wait for the road to be cleared. The two Explorers and road grader ahead are on ice. On the left in the picture is part of the glacier (a wall of ice) which is covered with rocks and stones. Every day as the glacier slowly melts, some of the debris falls off and onto the ice road and has to be removed.

This is the view when we get off the Ice Explorer. They have the walkway and viewing area marked off.
(So we do not break through thin ice and into a crack.)

Ohoo! It is cold! There was no wind down at the visitor's center, but it is kind of strong up here!

I'm letting Terry use my old camera so she can take pictures of what she sees.

One small step at a time.

Let's go back to the bus. I'm cold!

OK - Let's go inside!

The sun is nice and warm.

Heading for the sky walk. The icefield is at the end of the valley.

That is the sky walk. It has a glass floor.

It is over 900 feet to the valley floor.

Looking down through the floor you can see the Athabasca river.

I was surprised. Terry does not like to fly but she enjoyed walking on the glass floor and looking down.

This display shows the thickness of the glass floor.

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