Columbia Ice Fields Tour, July 26, 2010
After another huge and delicious breakfast at the lodge in Jasper, I was met by the bus that would take us on a tour of the Columbia Ice Fields and then leave us at our next stop, Lake Louise.
We stopped at a visitors' center where we could be transported out to walk on a glacier. We took regular buses out to the area the other side of the road and then got on special vehicles to take us out on the glacier. I was surprised how easy it was to stand up on the ice. I didn't come close to falling, nor did I see anybody else.
They said there were just a few of these special vehicles in the world. One was in the Antarctic, and the rest were at this glacier.
Just beyond the gravel area you see is a sheer drop-off that the road follows down to the ice. These vehicles use very, very low gears to take the steep incline each way.
The Snow Dome sits on what many call a triple continental divide. It divides where water flows eventually to the Pacific or to the Arctic Ocean or to the Atlantic (mostly) via Hudson Bay.