Glacier Toe


This picture is of the toe area of the Athabasca Glacier. We were heading home from a nice, though a little wet, vacation in the Rockies. A motor-home was following us around, stopping wherever we stopped. It would have been okay if the motor-home's driver cared leave us with a free path back to the road when he stopped. Instead we found it irritating that several times he had blocked our exit. When we came to this part of the road, there were many "don't stop on the road" signs, but the shoulder appeared broad and the view invited us to stop. What we didn't notice was the 2 foot steeply inclined drop between the road and the apparently good pullout area. In fact 5 cars, a truck and our nemesis the motorhome didn't notice either. We spent some time casually taking pictures while most of the other cars' occupants tried to figure out a way back onto the road. We hopped back into our Land Rover, for which the 24 inch obstacle was just a mild ramp and off we went. We never saw the motor-home again. We passed a tow-truck going the opposite direction to rescue the cars.

We have visited this place many times. When we first came, the glacier was only a few metres from the parking area. Now it's a kilometre round trip walk to reach the glacier. This glacier is retreating quickly as is most glaciers around the world. Here is a picture of roughly the same area from 1983: