Columbia Icefield

Columbia Icefields Travel Blog

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At 10 o’clock we are at the Columbia Icefield Centre. We had a few stops on the way over here this morning at Horseshoe Lake, Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls. We had to hurry because we wanted to take part in a guided icewalk on the Athabasca Glacier. Besides the guide Donnie from South Africa our fellow walkers are a German couple and two American couples. After we complete our gear (crampons, raingear, gloves and of course sunglasses) we head on to the glacier. Donnie instructs us how to walk on the ice, the safest way is to walk in his footsteps, so we form a line climbing up the glacier after him. Every now and then Donnie stops and tells us interesting facts about this glacier. For instance you can see where the glacier was a few years ago and how much is has decreased over the last few years. That’s alarming to see! But the trip is wonderful. We slowly climb up the glacier, jump over cracks in the ice and step over little water streams flowing down, we enjoy the views and Donnie’s stories. In the distance we can see huge trucks driving on the edge of the glacier with dozens of tourists who can walk on the ice for a few minutes (without cramons). Heaps of people take this tour every day and only eight of us wanted to take this walk… weird!
Back at the Icefield centre we discover that no campgrounds are open in the vicinity so we decide to stay on the parking at the centre along with 4 other RV’s and drive up to Lake Louise tomorrow.

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Columbia Icefields
photo by: Vikram