Mt. Athabasca and the Columbia Ice Field

“The view that lay before us in the evening light was one that does not often fall to the lot of modern mountaineers. A new world was spread at our feet: to the westward stretched a vast ice-field probably never before seen by the human eye, and surrounded by entirely unknown, unnamed and unclimbed peaks.”

–British explorer J. Norman Collie, who explored in this area in 1898. (We’re guessing some indigenous humans had probably laid their eyes on it before he did.)

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In the center of these mountains lies the Athabasca Glacier, within the Columbia Icefield. The Columbia Icefield is the largest icefield in the Rocky Mountains. From Wikipedia:

“The ice field lies partly in the northwestern tip of Banff National Park and partly in the southern end of Jasper National Park. It is about 325 square kilometres (125 sq mi) in area, 100 metres (330 ft) to 365 metres (1,198 ft) in depth and receives up to 7 metres (280 in) of snowfall per year.”

 

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