Posted by: James Shannon | February 28, 2012

Photo: Angel Glacier, Jasper National Park, Canada

Glacial lake at the base of the Angel Glacier, Jasper National Park

 Though it’s probably the wrong time to be posting this, considering the frosty state of affairs in the Northern Hemisphere … I’m in the tropics, so it’s goin’ up … HA!  So there!

In all seriousness however, this picture is of the Angel Glacier, located on the lower reaches of the north face of Mount Edith Cavell, which is the most prominent mountain in the Jasper area (usually cloaked in cloud, but when it isn’t, it’s impossible to miss, considering it’s the only peak coated in snow year round … even in the dog days of August!)

As with all glaciers these days, it is in recession, meaning that throughout the warm months, it calves chunks of ice into its subzero melting pool, pictured above.  You may be tempted to hike towards the toe of this mass of ice, but be forewarned:  the upper reaches of the glacier calve ice too, sending ice boulders and rocks cascading down the mountainside, which can severely injure or kill you.  Also, ice caves can collapse at any time, so the same warnings apply there also.

To get here, take Highway 93A after the Icefields Parkway checkpoint (on the right coming from Jasper) and follow the signs to another turnoff.  Drive it to the end of the road, and follow an easy trail that takes 10-15 minutes to hike to Angel Glacier.  Bring a jacket/sweater even in the peak of summer, it can get chilly!

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