Jasper in Winter – Feb 23

This morning I was going to an area along highway 93 featuring four major mountains – Mount Fryatt, Brussels Peak, Mount Christie, and Whirlpool point. There is a 16 km stretch south of Athabasca Falls where the Athabasca river parallels the highway and gives great views to the mountains. You basically drive and pick your spot. As I was traveling the highway, I saw that there were 2 vehicles pulled over on the shoulder and a group of photographers out on the river. I was a little surprised as they were walking very close to an open stretch of river. I thought I would wait and come back later. If they had not fallen into the river, then I would head out there as well.

There were nice clouds in the sky but the sunrise (08:10) did not produce any great colors in the sky.


On my return 1 hour later, those photographers were still out on the ice. There must be something interesting out there so I went to join them. If the ice can hold 4 of them, it surely could hold me. The ice was surprising thick around the open water but you never know where it might be thinning under the snow. Took a few photos.

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Stopped at Athabasca falls for a few shots. Again the pathways were sheer ice and a nice pair of crampons would have been appreciated. Almost hit the deck once but my cat like reflexes saved me. One of the photographers from the river was also there. He climbed over the fence to a little ledge to get a fantastic viewpoint of the falls. He had on crampons. No way was I going out there as it was a long slippery fall to the bottom of the falls (literally).

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Did a quick stop at Horseshoe Lake which Tara, Stu and I visited in fall. The locals jump from the cliffs here during summer. Very nice. My pictures that is.

Should I Jump or Not, Horsehoe Lake, AB
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I had to revisit the scene of my fall kayak mishap. It’s all part of the healing process. I was amazed at how thick the ice was along the river.

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Final trip was to Lower Sunwapta Falls. It was about a 2 km walk down to the falls. The path was fairly packed so others have been here. You probably could have walked out on the river but not sure whether it was frozen under all the snow so I chickened out.

Lower Sunwapta Falls

Unfortunately, clouds rolled in that evening and there was zero visibility in the sky which mean’t no astrophotography. Damn.

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