Monday, November 28, 2016



This was our last day in the Jasper area. We first returned to the head of Medicine Lake for a moody sunrise. 
Moody Morning

 After breakfast at Pyramid Lake we explored around the area for forest details, and then started our drive South to Banff.

Moody Pyramid Lake

Aspen Grove

On The Forest Floor

A Little Color

Color At Base of Tree
 Along the way we revisited Sumwapta Falls, and the Athabasca Glacier. 
Sumwapta Falls

Sumwapta Falls Detail

We also stopped at the boundary of Jasper and Banff National Parks at Sumwapta Pass. The two plaques explain the river drainages. 

 As you can see there are wonderful Mountains to view, and the weather provided some clouds to add to the drama of the drive.

On The Icefields Parkway

Athabasca Glacier

 Our final stop of the day was at Bow Summit. The highlight here is beautiful Peyto Lake. It is a deep turquoise blue in the right light. As we had had a light snow in the past day the trees around the lake wore a mantle of snow. Sunset came with some great color afterwards which made this a great ending to our adventures.

Wildfowl Lake

Wildfowl Lake from the other Direction

Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake Sunset

Today we had a relaxing morning in the Banff area as the sky was totally overcast. We enjoyed a long breakfast and then headed to Calgary where we parted ways and headed for home via various airlines.

It was a good trip full of many great mountain scenes, waterfalls to view and photograph, wildlife to watch, and Northern Lights to experience.


MONDAY – 3 October

Athabasca Glacier at Dawn
This morning we went to photograph sunrise at Athabasca Glacier. We had a clear sunny, but cold, morning with no clouds. As a result we spent a good deal of time experimenting and looking for patterns in the ice formed in the small lake below the glacier. 

Ice and Rocks

Three Friends

A Frozen Pair
Glacier from Afar
 After breakfast and checking out of our lodge, we headed back down to the Glacier Discovery Center. We considered taking the shuttle up to the glacier so that we could actually walk on it. The  price was not right and the tour included going to the Glacier Skywalk which none of us were interested in. I had hoped to visit their interpretive center but it was already closed for the season.
NKV and Glacier

As I have written before, the Glacier has receded quite a distance in the past 125 years. I am standing outside the Discovery Center with the glacier in the background. I think the following photo explains the receding of the Glacier quite well. 

 We  soon had enough of the “maddening” crowd, and headed back to the Jasper area and the Medicine Lake area.

Along the way we continued our hunt for wildlife to photograph. Today we were rewarded with a couple of good sized bull elk that were browsing along the side of the highway. Then there was one lounging between the road and the river.
Sun Nap
We also saw our second black bear, but he was on the move and did not stick around long. Sunset was viewed from the head of Medicine Lake.

Medicine Lake

Quiet Sunset

Evening at Medicine Lake

After dinner in Jasper we headed for our cabins on Patricia Lake. No sooner had we gotten into our cabin when the word was spread that the Northern Lights were appearing. We quickly grabbed our cameras, tripods, and a warm jacket and headed down to the lake shore. We were rewarded with about an hour show which fluctuated in intensity. Here are two from this evening.
Big Dipper and Northern Lights

Northern Lights over Patricia Lake

As dawn appeared it looked like we might have a nice sunrise. Well, we did but there were not many clouds to color. We did enjoy the low clouds scudding along below the peaks. We enjoyed breakfast at Pyramid Lake with colorful boats in the foreground. We also had an otter come by, but I did not have my camera set up for it.

Quiet Morning at Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake

We headed off once again to visit various sites for photographing the beautiful mountains, rivers, and falls. This stop was at “Meeting of the Rivers”, the Whirlpool and Athabasca Rivers. Not far from here one could follow the Whirlpool River and eventually descend to the Columbia River. If you followed the Athabasca River and its drainage you will eventually would reach the Artic Ocean. 

Meeting of The Rivers

Forest Detail

We then headed for Athabasca Falls. 
Mt. Edith Cavell and Athabasca Falls

The background to the Falls is dominated by Mount Edith Cavell. Edith Cavell was a noted British nurse working in Belgium during the First World War. She was instrumental in saving the lives of soldier from both sides and helping some  Allied soldiers escape from German occupied Belgium. She was executed by the Germans for her actions.

Athabasca Falls Detail
Below the Falls

Trail Wall

Moss Detail
Storm Brewing


Monday, November 21, 2016



On Saturday we again got to sleep in as it was totally overcast at dawn. After breakfast in the Lake Louise area we packed up our gear and headed North to be based out of the Sumwapta Falls area. The weather was overcast at times with clouds moving about which made for some good photo opportunities.

Low Clouds on the Icefields Parkway


We photographed mountains, weather, and waterfalls today. We started with Mistaya Canyon Falls. We had stopped in the area yesterday, but did not take the short trail down into Mistaya Canyon. The water flowing through here is the Mistaya River. It was quite full and running fast, even though this is October.





Views along the  Parkway -- 

Our next stop was at the base of the  Athabasca Glacier. As we drove off the highway we had snow flurries mixed with rain. The sun was at the right angle and so we saw and photographed a very low but quite visible rainbow to the East across the Parkway.

Keeping A Watchful Eye

Rainbow across Pond with Parkway at base

The Athabasca Glacier is quite dominant along the Parkway and quite visible. One hundred years ago it extended across what is now the Parkway. They do a great job of showing the receding of the glacier over the past 100 years with markers along the road in the area. 

Trail to toe of Glacier below Mts. Athabasca and Andromeda
The glacier currently recedes at a rate of about 5 meters (16 ft) per year and has receded more than 1.5 km (0.93 mi) and lost over half of its volume in the past 125 years. The glacier moves down from the icefield at a rate of several centimeters per day. Due to its close proximity to the Icefields Parkway and rather easy accessibility, it is the most visited glacier in North America.
The leading edge of the glacier is within easy walking distance from the parking area. The glacier is approximately 6 km (3.7 mi) long, covers an area of 6 km2 (2.3 sq mi), and is measured to be between 90–300 metres (300–980 ft) thick.

Athabasca Glacier with parking and Pond Below
Our final stop was for Tangle Falls which is just a short drive North of Athabasca Glacier. This is a lovely tiered falls which is right along the roadside. You do have to be careful with the traffic on the Parkway. We scurried up the side of it about halfway to get closer and more intimate views of the various sections of the fall.

Tangle Falls

Tangle Falls Tiers

Tangle Falls Layers

Tangle Falls Detail

Tangle Falls Close Up

By the time we had all finished with getting our photographs, the sun was well behind the mountains to the West, and the sky had clouded over. We enjoyed a relaxing dinner at the Sumwapta Falls Resort.

A Touch of Color

SUNDAY - 2 October

This morning we went to Sumwapta Falls for sunrise. The sunrise color did not materialize, but we had a good time capturing the Falls. The water for this falls originates from the Athabasca Glacier. We spent a good amount of time composing and taking photographs and doing a bit of exploring.
Sumwapta Falls
Sumwapta Falls

Sumwapta Falls Detail

From the bridge over the falls area you also get a good view of the mountains. I explored down stream from the Upper Falls and followed the falls below through a narrow gorge. It opens up with nice view downstream with the water still being that glacial blue in color.

Below Sumwapta Falls
After breakfast we took a short break before heading into Jasper and then down to the Medicine Lake area. 
Medicine Lake from Shore

Color on Edge of Burn Area

Medicine Lake
A Touch of Color
A Bare Aspen Grove

Once again we were in quest of wildlife. We took in the views and scenery along the way. Finally we were rewarded with seeing a fairly large black bear up slope of us. The bear was feeding on berries, etc., and hung around for about an hour. Of course, it was the hour before sunset, and he was in the shade, but with the use of a high ISO I was able to capture a few good shots of it. 

Black Bear Looking

Settling In

On the Look Out