A little bit of an ansious goodmorning this morning. After yesterday camera’s bath – everybody know, cameras are too hot sometimes! – our first think once we opened our eyes was: “Does it work??? Let’s go check!”
So, not such a relaxing wake up. Good new is that the camera is not really dead, bad news is that it is a little bit watery. The day begins with some trekking time: we head towards Maligne Lake to go conquer the Bald Hills of Jasper, which overlook this huge and amazing lake.
But the first stop is Medicine Lake, another big lake along the road.
Along the way, with the help of a fresh dry wind and the camera taken outside the window, everything begins working again and the water drop in the viewfinder evaporate, with our biggest happiness…let’s say a big luck tough!
From now on, the camera will always be at a safety distance from whatever even slightly wet.
Some switchbacks more and we are finally at Maligne Lake, unmistakable, huge, blue.
Once parked, it is time to go and hike. We will meet a lot of people along this trail, but this is another story, this is the tale of our Bald Hills hike.
Once we are back from the hike, with our legs some kilometers tired and the eyes still filled up with all the amazing scenery we saw, we head towards Jasper city, another little piece of that endless puzzle containing all of our dreams has been done.
It is not a big city, not as crowded as Banff and not so touristic, plunged in the earth of the mountains and not so fast to be reached, and – this is a surprise – even less cheaper than Lake Louise.
We don’t have, unfortunately, a lot of time to spend here tough, since we have already decided to get closer to one of the many glaciers before searching for a campground for the night.
Along the road to the Angel Glacier, we can watch a little bear eating some berries, who is watching us from a distance, probably bothered by our staring to him. But that’s not all of it, we are actually sourrounded by a breathtaking view all around us, with the snowy mountains towering all around and Mount Edith Cavell, the tallest mountain in Alberta, which dominates the valley with its 3.363 meters, totally snowed altough the temperature are pretty high.
It is a wonder of nature, mostly because we can watch it from a lush and green forest in which everything up here is plunged.
The quick walk from the parking lot to the pond below the glacier is easy and suitable for everybody.
Soon we are at the lookout point above the little lake, enjoying the view and respecting the sign which forbid the walk down to the dangerous lake – it is explained, some years ago a big block of ice fell off the foot of the glacier splashing in the lake, causing a sudden flood which drown some people who were around the pond and arrived up to the parking lot, almost emptying the whole lake at a time – and the other trail too is closed, this one due to bear crossing the area.
But some guys down at the lake are really luring us and we understand that the ban is mostly a formal notice, not being too respected. The other couple at the lookout decide to come down with us and once we got down there, we know that had been the right decision: the temperature severely drop off, step after step, and once we get to the little lake, to the Cavell Pond, we can even hug a little iceberg!
We are really tempted on having a jump in the iced glacier, really a lot, and we are almost persuaded, if not for the muddy layer on top of it!
The place is totally out of mind: Angel Glacier, a foot of the bigger Cavell Glacier, comes down almost op to the pond, jumping off the rocks and then icying again all around the lake, with ominous crackings.
We stay a lot of time on the shore of the little lake, filled up with small floating icebergs, standing here and listening to the sound of the cracking ice. We are sourrounded by waterfalls and it is so strange to think how much water is melting every second and still, the glacier is there.
We walk almost down the foot of the glacier coming from up above, and unluckly – or maybe not – we cannot see neither a small tiny bit of ice tumbling down. We can hear some loud bangs coming from the crevasses on the lake, where actually some block has gotten detached, somewhere hidden in the ice.
One of the many interpreters – this signs are everywhere and always really well explained – shows how Angel Glacier was not too long ago. It was covering the whole pond and even down into the valley, than the global warming or who know what, begins to melt it, year after year, piece after piece and they cannot ice again, even during the hard winters.
Almost chilled to te bone, we walk back towards the parking lot and begin to drive and search for what will be our campground for the night, along the Icefields Parkway. But still, we need to stop once before having our well deserved rest.
Along the road, in fact, it is impossible not to stop at the Athabasca Falls, these huge waterfalls just meters from the road – a bridge cross the river right after the waterfall – they are majestic and roaring.
We are greeted with a lot of signs showing how dangerous this frozen water is – the river gather all the glaciers melting water of the valley – really fast and so strong, with a big hard jump on the rocks below. from what we can read, every year some tourist die in these waters, after slipping on the slimy rock, over the protection barriers.
The Athabasca Falls at sunset, the best moment during the day
We stay here a lot, enjoying the view and the waterfalls, up until the right light of the sunset. We enjoy this rare romantic moment in the total roar of the waterfalls that barely let us hear each other.
Then we begin to drive towards the campground, where a bad surprise is waiting for us: it is full. And the next one too. At the third one, full this one also, it is past 23 pm and we still need to have dinner, so along with another couple we better decide to camp in a free space that is not really a campsite but can serve the purpose, hosting two tents and two cars.
A fast dinner with just the light of the torch and we go straight to bed. It has been a really long day, full of really interesting thing and uite tiring. But we would sign for our whole life to be so full and satisfactory every single day.