Monday, August 16, 2010


The rain was heavier Thursday night  and it continued off and on during Friday.  Once again we were at the mercy of serendipity. 

We pointed the car south, again on Route 93, but soon on the old route 93, now called 93A.  Our first adventure was up a road to a ski lift that is closed.  Beautiful views, though.

The next road into the mountains was more interesting.  It led up to the base of Mt. Edith Cavell, named for a heroic British nurse who stayed in Belgium when World War I started and who was executed by the Germans in 1915 as a spy.

Mt. Edith Cavell is, so far, my favorite.  If Pyramid Mountain it the backdrop for Jasper, Edith's snowy cap and diagonal snow fields provide the quintessential view from the town.  It's a mountain with personality.
Mt. Edith Cavell as Seen from Jasper
The road up to Edith is advertised as a winding, treacherous road, unfit for any vehicle longer that, say, 6'.  These Canadians know nothing about real mountain roads - this one proved far easier to negotiate than Skaggs Spring - Stewart's Point Road.  At the end of the road is a trail of a kilometer or so.  At the end of the trail are views of two glaciers.

High above the trail is Angel Glacier, a big glacier that fills a hanging valley maybe 2000' above us.  It has wings that extent out and up on either side of the valley.  It is spectacular.  The angel wings are secondary glaciers that feed into the much larger central glacier.
Angel Glacier
Angel Glacier Melts into a Small Lake

Less spectacular, but perhaps more interesting, is the small Edith Cavell Glacier.  It sits across a glacial pond from the trail.  It is small, formed by thousands of years' accumulation of snow that has avalanched off the sheer walls of the mountain.  It is multicolored and calves into the pond - the effect is, to use a word I've used a lot in this blog - beautiful.
Edith Cavell Glacier
An Iceberg Calved from Edith Cavell Glacier
We hiked back to Route 93A and drove south very nearly to its southern junction with Route 93.  There was the trail to Athabasca Falls, a remarkable Falls in the course of the Athabasca River.
Athabasca Falls
 Below the Falls is a canyon that has been exquisitely carved as the river cut through it.
Our visit was cut short by rain, so there will be more pictures from a return visit on Monday.

Back at the Wapiti Campground we learned who runs it: the wapiti (more familiarly known as elk).