Sunday, April  5, 2020
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New Sno-coach
For the non-mountaineering oriented sort, tours are offered in the famous 'Sno-Coaches': six-wheel drive behemoths that travel on a carefully prepared and maintained path onto a stable part of the Athabasca glacier. I am sure that we are in many tourists photos, because later on the athabasca glacier portion of our course we see tourists taking our pictures from the bus. [enlarge]
Old Sno-coach
This is a shot of what I presume is the previous generation of 'Sno-Coach' [enlarge]
The Athabasca Glacier
This is an overall shot of the Athabasca glacier, which flows down from the Columbia Icefield on the left to the terminus (which is not visible) on the right. If you look closely you can see the Sno-coach track that leads out into the center of the glacier, where there is a level 'parking' area. Here tours let passengers out for a 10 minute slip and slide on the glacier. [enlarge]
Upper Athabasca Glacier with Snocoaches
A zoomed-in shot of the Sno-coach destination area. Also of note are the two ice falls on the upper glacier, and the lip of the Columbia Icefield (upper left) [enlarge]
Closeup, Snocoaches
Another view of the sno-coaches on the glacier. They look pretty tonka-truck-sized in this picture, which very clearly illustrates how big the glacier is! [enlarge]
Hilda Peak
Before our course started, Markus and I decided to do a short hike to familiarize ourselves with the area. We chose the Parker Ridge trail, which provides views of Mount Athabasca from the south, along with views of the Saskatchewan glacier, the largest valley glacier in the area. [enlarge]
Parker Ridge
This is a shot of Parker ridge looking north. Mount Athabasca is hidden in cloud; The Saskatchewan glacier is visible on the left. Markus is visible left-of-center. [enlarge]
Saskatchewan Glacier
Markus bravely struts on a majestic overlook of the mighty Saskatchewan glacier. [enlarge]
Headwaters of the North Saskatchewan
The glacier meltwater from the snout of the Saskatchewan glacier forms the headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River. [enlarge]
North Saskatchewan River valley and Cirrus Peak
Looking south, the valley widens, and is flanked on the west by neat-looking Cirrus peak. [enlarge]
Markus Illustrates
Markus gives a lesson on the surrounding topography, pointing out how he could easily summit these two peaks on a good morning before breakfast. [enlarge]
Parker Ridge
A wide-angle view of Parker Ridge looking south. [enlarge]
Markus and the North Saskatchewan
more shots of Parker Ridge [enlarge]
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