Expats · Travel

Exploring Canada: Jasper and Athabasca Glacier

I envisaged last week, after we returned to Toronto from our trip west, to be something of a creative week. With no prior commitments, I saw it as an opportunity to knuckle down with a bit of writing… hopefully complete another chapter of my novel and pin down a few blog posts.

But in reality, I had little free time. I went into my old job for a couple of days to help out with training up new staff. I also have another potential temp job beginning next week. I’m torn between concern regarding not working and therefore not having any income, vs. dread over what temp position I will land next and all the anxiety that comes with starting a new job. As the clock ticks closer and closer to home time, I am finding my thoughts are beginning to sway towards finding a permanent role for when I get home. It feels somewhat wrong to still be looking for work here when the end is so close.

Time is going quickly. I can’t believe it’s already been over a week since we were in Jasper, Alberta.

In my last blog post, I spoke of our morning in Wells Gray Provincial Park. That afternoon we made the four hour drive to Jasper – again past stunning lakes and mountains.

Elk Jasper 1
Elk on the side of the road – Jasper, Alberta

Our first morning in Jasper, was spent hiking around ‘Moose Lake Loop’.

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I am very happy to say we did spot a couple of moose. Another of my trip highlights was watching this animals completely at bliss in the wild.

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Moose spotted at Moose Lake, Jasper

In the afternoon, we visited the popular ‘Maligne Canyon’ – a touristy spot with paved footpaths, a small teashop and gift-shop.

Maligne Canyon
Canyon, Jasper, Alberta

The following morning we woke early to drive to Athabasca Glacier, next to the Columbia Ice fields – accessed via the Ice Fields Parkway between Jasper and Banff.

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Getting ready for our Glacier hike!

We’d researched this aspect of the trip quite far in advance – and after reading several reviews, decided to do a guided glacier hike rather than one of the popular bus tours.

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Athabasca Glacier, which we hiked up

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glacier hike
The snowfall made the Icefields extra beautiful (but cold!)

I’m so glad we opted for the hike. It felt really personal (a small group of 8-10 people rather than a bus full of 50) and you got to see a lot of things you wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise.

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Careful not to fall down the many crevasses in the glacier
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Athabasca Glacier

I was surprised to learn from our guide the glacier we hiked will likely have completely melted by 2040. It is currently disappearing at a rate of 15-20m per year.

The Athabasca Glacier hike was definitely a once in a lifetime experience I thoroughly recommend!

Next post I will be writing about our final stop – Banff!!

Click here for previous posts on Vancouver, Whistler and Wells Gray.

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4 thoughts on “Exploring Canada: Jasper and Athabasca Glacier

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