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Athabasca Glacier

Experience the Out of this World

Sep. 13, 2016
By Naomi Witherick

Enormous vehicles roved in the distance, large notched tires gripping the icy ground. White clouds hung low in the air, veiling the giant grey mountains behind them. Their misty edges touched the horizon, blurring the line between the sky and the frozen white ground.

This could have been another planet. But I was right here in the Canadian Rockies on the Glacier Adventure and Skywalk tour at the Athabasca Glacier.

Columbia Icefields, things to do in the Canadian Rockies

Walking on the icy surface of the Athabasca Glacier.

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Glacier Glossary

Courtesy Athabasca Glacier Icewalks

Visit the surreal world of shifting ice at the Columbia Icefield. Join a guided Athabasca Glacier Icewalk or Ice Explorer tour, or simply stroll the short Toe of the Glacier Interpretive Trail. If you’re walking the walk, you should talk the talk:

  • Till: Sediment rock deposited during glacial melting.
  • Lateral Moraine: Till along sides of an abating glacier.
  • Terminus: End of the glacier; also called the glacier snout.
  • Moulin: Deep hole carved by flowing surface water.
  • Crevasse: Crack formed by ice segments moving at different rates.
  • Serac: Jagged tower of ice formed by colliding crevasses.

By Lisa Stephens