The Roaming I - Jasper 2007

Mountains have a grand, stupid, lovable tranquillity - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

(click on any image to view full-size)

For our second anniversary, Sara & I re-visited Jasper on the July long weekend.

Almost every lake in the park has some boat some where around it, asking to be rented.

Mt Edith Cavell still has three glaciers on it. The Ghost Glacier is the smallest. I like the way that the light makes the glacier vague and more ghostly.

The Angel Glacier is much larger. This subject might benefit from better light, but the colour in the rock came out well, and again the low cloud sets a wintry tone, even in midsummer.

I actually remembered the tripod on this trip so Sara & I could pose beside this hunk of glacier ice resting beside Gacier Pond. Cavell Glacier is seen across the pond behind us.

One of my favourite frames from that day. The ice by the pond had shapes and textures that made me think of the Group Of Seven.

As we turned downhill, the sun started to come through more. This pretty shot is what I could capture of the moment.

Flowers are always easy to find in the mountains. Winter is on top, summer is on the bottom. Just drive up about halfway and start taking pictures

The Valley of the Five Lakes is a nifty little hike. We covered 4.5 of the lakes in the three hours we had


Wildlife was sparse on that walk, it being middle of the day. We did have this fellow to keep us company though.

Elk were everywhere in the park that weekend. This one had found good use for a fallen tree's branch.

We stayed at the Patricia Lake Bungalows that weekend. I strongly recommend them.  Affordable, clean, friendly, and beautiful.  See?

Further boosterism. Here's a close-up of the window box on our bungalow for that weekend. More boosting to follow...

Here's Patricia Lake itself and Pyramid Mountain, taken on my morning stroll around the hotel grounds.

Down on the sheltered end of Patricia Lake, these anglers were up as early as I was that day. I hope their catch was as enjoyable to them as mine was to me.

Ok, finally out of the hotel and on the road to Mount Robson. This raven was sitting and preening right at the Park Entrance.

Moose Lake was a lovely stop on the drive to Mount Robson, if devoid of moose.

Here's Mount Robson itself. If you absolutely have to see the summit when you visit, allow a couple of days; it's not an every day thing.

The hiking trail follows the Robson River through a magnificent cedar grove.  The river itself is starkly blued by glacial flour, and where you have cedar, you'll have Devil's Club.

Kinney Lake is 4.5 km up the trail and well worth the stroll. For multi-day hikers, there's a campground on the point across the lake. We never made it that far. Someday though...

I really had plenty of opportunity to mess around with reflections on this trip. This is still up at Kinney Lake.

And again, Kinney Lake, just from a new angle.

Heading back downhill (hurrah!) we stop as we cross the Robson River to take a few more pictures.

Even the debris by the trail proved scenic.

Many of these little streams trickled beside and across the trail. Must make it an insane challenge to keep up, but it was in fine shape when we visited.

Overlander Falls is just across the highway from the Mount Robson visitor centre. Don't overlook it if you visit; the trail is short and the view is magnificent.

Filed under wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it. This Great Blue Heron was roosting in a pine tree. Again, this is just my morning stroll around the grounds at Patricia Lake. You should go there.


Mount Edith Cavell is a pretty distinctive sight, and visble from all over Jasper. From this angle you can see both the Ghost and Angel Glaciers.

The drive down the Icefields Parkway to Banff is a non-stop series of sights like this.

...and ones like this. Good thing we budgetted lots of extra time for the drive, I was stopping every chance I could.

The Tangle Falls are another must-stop. They are right beside the highway in finest 'you can't miss it' tradition.

Oh, yeah, there's more than that upper cascade. Tangle Falls is just north of the Icefield Centre. If you visit the one, the other is a very short drive away.

Did I mention there's even more than those first two drops to this waterfall? Yes, I like waterfalls. And yes, I was feeling a bit bushed after all the walking on the previous two days, so this was a treat to have one right on the highway.

Meanwhile, around the corner, we have some big ice. Here you see the flow of ice down Mount Athabasca.

Another sight along the road.  This stuff never gets boring to me.

Still a little ways north of the Icefield Centre, Mount Athabasca is getting pretty dominating.

The tour from the Icefield Centre drives you right out onto the Athabasca Glacier in a special bus. From there you can see (for example) Mount Andromeda and the Andromeda Glacier.

Here we have my beautiful and talented model Sara posing beside a little meltwater trickle on the Athabasca Glacier. In the background you can see the icewall where the glacier is fed from the Columbia Icefields

One of those 'lucky' pictures. Resting my eyes from the snow-glare I looked down and saw all the blue light coming up from the ice below. This, I had to capture. And I did.

This is a close-up, or more precisely a zoom-in-from-far-away, of the icewall. There were hardy souls that ignored the safety signs and went walking on untested areas of the glacier. They will be missed.

The special ice crawler busses they use for the tour climb this absurd slope to get on and off the glacier. 30+ degrees grade, or so I recall. Take the tour, they throw in a roller coaster free!

Here is Mount Athabasca again. This time you can see the road that leads up to the glacier and a small lake of meltwater. Visit soon; every year, there's more lake, less glacier.

This is the Dome Glacier, which is essentially one to the right of Athabasca and also fed from the Columbia Icefields. It's much smaller, but shows the flow of ice much more effectively.

Here you can see the AAA, Andromeda, and Athabasca Glaciers all at once. In the middle distance you can see a pair of those huge ice crawler busses.

The Icefield Centre sees a lot of tourists, but there are some residents, like this Clark's Nutcracker.

I just like this picture because it was so lucky to catch. The Nutcracker just dove off of his perch and is gaining speed so he can swoop overhead.

Another resident, you can really see the strongly coloured 'shawl' that gives the Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel it's name.

Heading back north from the Glacier Centre we finally saw Bighorn Sheep.

This little lamb never went far from the protective custody of the flock.

The following morning, we doubled back south on the Icefields Parkway towards Saskatchewan Crossing. This is the river, near the Weeping Wall.

Yet another unmarked mountain, with glacier, and well-developed moraine.  You cannot drive 20 minutes on this road without seeing another sight like this.

Drummond's Anemone grows wild in this area. It's large bloom is pretty easy to spot.

This is what a Clark's Nutcracker looks like when it gets cold and blustery. Not quite so dapper as the day before...

This is Bow Lake, near the source of the Bow River. I really like this frame, because its one where I saw the picture I wanted to take, and I took it, just like I wanted. It's like hitting a golf ball just how you wanted to.

Lake Louise wsa obligatory, but unpleasant. The place was more crowded than a mall on December 24th. Fortunately, that's glacier melt, so at least the water was free of the tourist-scrum. (yes, scrum, not a typo)

One last image on the way home;  Indian Paintbrush and Dandelions growing beside the road.

Text and images copyright Glenn Gill. Permission is granted for personal use at no charge. Contact me for commercial use, or to order prints.