The Athabasca Glacier
Well, our guides had a surprise for us when we passed the hotel we were expecting to stop at and continued on to the Glacier View Inn. It was well named, being at the the edge of the Athabasca Glacier, one of three major glaciers that come off the Columbia Icefield. Each serves a river that flows into a different ocean, the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic. It is an extremely important ice field as it produces most of the drinking water for Alberta and British Columbia.
We didn't venture far today, we stayed within walking distance of the hotel, as we explored the moraine field beneath the glacier. At various points were plaques indicating the position of the end of the glacier in times past. it is shocking to realise that the glacier has receded at a rate of 5 metres per year; nothing was more graphic than walking passed the plaques over several hundreds of yards depicting little more than 100 years of movement as we walked towards the current edge. Those that deny global warming need to see the devastation wrought by our carbon economy on this glacier, let alone the impact of the recent hurricane on the Caribbean and eastern sea board of the United States.
When we finally reached the glacier's edge the view up the mountain valley was awesome, made more dramatic by the clouds rolling down towards us.
As ever there are a couple of extras, as well as a wider selection elsewhere.