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


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