Top of the world, Ma: Columbia Icefield Athabasca Glacier
I took a trip to the Columbia Icefield, located in Alberta, Canada, in the Canadian Rockies. It’s the largest icefield in all of North America, and it has a lot of snow-capped mountains and very beautiful scenery in all directions. The reason it’s so beautiful, all around, is it’s located right in the divide of the Jasper National Park and the Banff National Park, so if you’re leaving one National Park, heading for another, you’ll likely come to this place before moving on. The icefield is It is about 325 square kilometers (125 square miles) in the area, 100 meters (330 feet) to 365 meters (1,198 feet) in depth, and receives up to 7 meters (23 feet) of snowfall per year. It’s theorized that the icefield formed during the “Great Glaciation” (238,000 to 126,000 BC). Nowadays though, due to climate change, it’s melting at alarming rates, but it’s safe for people to travel to, so now there are expeditions to the glaciers, as well as some development happening in the area, to make it safe to travel to. Imagine, as the ice melts, that blue ice and rock that is loose will fall down and crush your skull. You also have to be careful where you step, or you might end up in a pit and die from freezing cold, ice-blue water. The icefield contains 8 glaciers, and I was able to get on top of the Athabasca Glacier., which is the water that feeds into the Athabasca River. It was a first for me on a glacier, sorry if I geeked out there and went all Graham Hancock on you all. lol
I wasn’t exactly prepared for the task at hand, and was thinking we were going from National Park to National park, not “hey let’s go on top of a glacier and WALK AROUND”. I was like “these people are out of their damn minds, I’m not hiking up a damn glacier”. I was there wearing trainers for God’s sake, my only pair of dried shoes I had left, I couldn’t go stepping in goddamn snow all the way up the hill. How much hiking would I need to do? Luckily, I saw these huge Madmax looking buses equipped with monster truck tires, pull up and it was explained that those would be how I would get up there. Lol We get up there and it was BEAUTIFUL.
Now, I won’t say it’s completely all white up there, it’s kind of dirty up there, which I wasn’t expecting, likely that global air pollution that has been making all the soot that’s been covering the snow and makes the sun heat the snow up (dark absorbs the sun’s rays causing heat up, light reflects the rays keeping things cool). I was expecting all white all over, able to blind your eyes and you have to keep shade on, and I’d have to have the ND filter on the camera, all of which I did anyway. I get up there, and it’s dirty NY snow, all that was missing was the dog piss yellow stains. lol All joking aside, there was a stream of water flowing down the side of the glacier and it was ice blue, just like one sees on TV! I’d never seen that so close up. You’ll be tempted to drink that, but I didn’t. I saw some people from Asia drinking it, I was NOT with that. God bless them though. Also, I’ll have you know that I was with a T-shirt up there, I took off my heavy jacket because it’s actually not cold up there. That’s pretty odd, but that explains why that snow was the blue ice, packing snow type up there.
As always, the finished products can be found on the main site of www.drunkphotography.com.