Mountains/Glaciers/Rivers., Jasper National Park
To hear the wind whispering through the trees which cover the great slopes is a joy to behold - then to hear it gradually building to a crescendo as you hear & feel the mighty winds - find the fleece & sit back & enjoy this wonderous experience.
Without a doubt Mount Edith Cavell (3363 m.) was the highlight of our trip to Jasper. The north face of this impressive peak towers over the town of Jasper and is definitely a must-see. Between Jasper townsite and the Athabasca Falls further south, the main road (hwy 93) is parallelled by the old road (hwy 93A). Somewhere halfway this hwy 93A, the Edith Cavell road leads towards the Mount Edith Cavell parking lot. Be prepared that the quality of this 15 km. tarmac road is extremely poor. So be careful and take your time. (I guess it can be done with a camper as well, but to be safe, ask at a visitors centre.)
Once you've arrived, you can either choose to do a nice alpine meadows walk. Or take the main hiking trail to the base of Mount Edith Cavell. It is a short hike (1/2 hour max.), but what a scenery! Towering in front of you is the impressive north face of Mount Edith Cavell. To the right "hangs" the spectacular Angel Glacier and at your feet lies Edith Cavell Basin, filled with ice floes and yet another small glacier.
Don't mix up this Edith Cavell Basin with Cavell Lake, which is located close by but lies closer to the main road in the valley.
Well, the picture says it all. Angel Glacier is named after its form. Shaped like an angel with spreaded wings, this is one of the most spectacular glaciers I've seen.
When you stand here you can (in the summer) often hear (if you are lucky see) parts of the glacier breaking off. Only when combining this roaring sound with seeing relatively small parts break off, makes you realize how big this thing really is.
In the pic you see the glacier with the peak of Mount Edith Cavell to its left. As a reference: Edith Cavell Basin is located just outside the lower left corner of this photo.
Needless to say anything. Just look at the picture. And imagine Mount Edith Cavell and the Angel Glacier just above it.
As you can see the basin is filled with ice floes. Look at the glacier in the back. You can see streaks of brown dirt/debris in the blue ice, caused by the growth of new ice layers on top of older ones which had dirt/debris on top of them.
You might not see it due to the perspective, but there are at least some 50 metres of lake between the ice floes and the edge of the glacier.
The glacier is located between Lake Louise and Jasper. The icefield is about 300 m. thick. Its melt waters flow into the Mackenzie, North Saskatchewan and Columbia Rivers.
You can also take a trip onto the Athabaska Glacier in Brewster Tour's show coaches, which have been modified to drive on ice. ($30)
this place is really nice u get to see a really cool glacier on the mountain side , a small pool full of little bergi bites and alot of snow and mountains around you.
u have to walk from the parking - not a really long walk but not the shortest ull walk ....about 30 minutes walk - ull see angel glacier to ur right but keep going and then ull see the pool - get closer to it - go down with the trail till u r there
The most dramatic peak in Jasper. Mt. Edith Cavell rises to a height of 11,031 feet--small potatos when measured against Denali or the massive peaks at Wrangell/St. Elias--but a mountain should not always be judged by the altitude at its zenith. Mt. Edith Cavell dominates its surroundings like no other peak in Jasper and the strata of snow and ice leading to the summit is specatacular. We were lucky that the weather broke for a two hour window in which we could view the summit under a brilliant blue sky.
Not exactly a secret why this ice formation is called Angel Glacier.
Angel Glacier is a cirque galcier which means that the glacier resides in a basin or ampitheater. Usually that results in a round shaped glacier. In this case, however, the cirque is not a rounded hole in the ground but an oblong incision into the mountain that provides for the wide stretching arms and the downward flowing body.
I'm afraid photography cannot give due credit to Angel Glacier. It really doesn't look all that big or imposing on a 4 by 6 inch photograph. This is one of those natural phenomena that must be seen in person to truly appreciate the magnitude of the structure. The north face of Mt. Edith Cavell is 4920 feet and it appears that Angel Glacier stretches up at least a third of that face. So that would give it dimesnions something in the order of a 2000 foot wingspan, 1500 foot body and an ice thickness of over 130 feet. In fact there is a tunnel at the base of the glacier that extends 120 feet into the glacier.
Mt. Edith Cavell and Angel Glacier were definitely the highlight of our visit to Jasper. I find it startling that the official park lierature and even VT itself are almost silent on this beautiful place. If I had to pick one "must see" in Jasper, Angel Glacier on Edith Cavell would be it. The ride up the mountain is long, bumpy and tedious with about 120 switchbacks, but the payoff at the end of the road is more than worth the trouble. Of course, if the mountain is socked in by clouds, I would not make the effort.
The lake at the base of Mt. Cavell is comprised of fresh glacier melt. It looks tiny when compared to the massive north face of Mt. Cavell which rises 4900 feet straight up, but in realty it is a good sized lake. The floating iceburg that looks like a knight off a marble chess set is a good 20 feet tall. Meanwhile the glacier cliffs on the far side of the lake are about 100 feet in height--the size of a ten story building.
Just another ho-hum massif under the sunny Alberta skies. I like this photo because it clearly shows the timber line. The peaks in this part of Canada are not all that high, but due to the far north latitude the timber lines are at 6000-7000 feet. That leaves the summits bare, rocky and often covered with snow and ice. This mountain isn't any higher than the mountains that surround Tucson, Arizona, but it sure looks different.
This babbling brook is only a half mile or so from the glacier that provides the meltwater. This entire valley was covered by a glacier only a few hundred years ago. At this spot along the banks of the stream, the trees are already reaching significant heights. But further up the slopes the retreating glacier has left a wasteland.
At the base of the north face of Mt. Cavell the glaciers and snow pack converge. Little by little the glaciers are retreating and in their wake, during the summer months, a pond of snowmelt is left behind. From this vantage point you can just see the terminus of the glacier (the dirty aqua blue ice formation in the center of the photo). Below the glacier is an incredible pond.....but we will get to that in a minute.
Mount Athabasca is one of the prominent peaks in the Columbia Icefields area. Only a few hundred years ago all the terrain seen in this photo was covered by a gigantic plate of ice. The glaciers have retreated up the slopes, but the vegetation remains sparse. Only a few hardy trees and a tundra-like ground cover including a few select wildflowers can take hold in this harsh climate.