Hoff's Aliner Travels
A Travel Blog for US and Canadian Parks with Geological Notes

Snow Coach and Skywalk, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta

Sue had never been on a glacier (this was my fourth), so we took a Terrabus up on the Athabasca glacier. These are buses with very large tires and special transmissions; each bus costs about a million dollars. On the glacier, the bus driver told me that we should stay in the safe area (about the size of 6 buses) but we could go outside of it if we had experience – they would not be held responsible. Since I have lead a group of men up a 15 mile glacier from toe to head, jumping over smaller crevasses and avoiding moulins and larger crevasses, I felt qualified. On that trip, I also picked a path through the most dangerous part of a glacier – an icefall with towering seracs. Of course, we had a rope, crampons and ice axes for that. An irate young man came out as I was taking the picture and directed me back to the safe area. They have lost a few tourists, so they were a little sensitive.
The skywalk is like the one over the Grand Canyon, where you look straight down through glass – in this case 900 feet.


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