Wednesday 28 June 2023

Alberta 2023 ~ Bears ...!!!!!

Today it took us nearly eight hours to complete the 310km drive south on the Icefields Parkway from Jasper south to Canmore. As usual on such a journey there were many stops for scenic photographs, quiet moments to smile at nature and to enjoy the local wildlife. We stopped at a couple of waterfalls, one of which was the very dramatic and thundering Athabasca Falls.

Tomorrow, we set our watches three hours ahead and return to Nova Scotia’s South Shore.

Two Grizzly Bears ~

A Black Bear who appeared to enjoy the attention of the camera ~

Monday 26 June 2023

Alberta 2023 ~ Mount Edith Cavell ...

 A highlight during our stay in Jasper, was a return visit to Mount Edith Cavell …

Originally known as "La Montagne de la Grande Traverse", a name given to the peak by French-Canadian voyageurs using the nearby Athabasca Pass as a fur trade route, the mountain is an impressive 3300m (11000’) peak.

Named in honour of the British nurse Edith Cavell, who operated a medical clinic and nursing school in Brussels at the start of the World War I in August 1914. She bravely chose to stay in her adopted homeland when the Germans invaded and regardless of nationality provided medical treatment to injured soldiers. She also helped smuggle injured Commonwealth soldiers out of Belgium to the safety of neutral Holland. For those actions, Cavell was arrested by the occupation authorities in August 1915, charged under the German Military Code. Found guilty, she was executed by a German firing squad at dawn on October 12th, 1915. Her execution was condemned internationally, resulting with increased anti-German sentiment in many countries including at that time neutral America.

Throughout the world, many memorials have been created to Edith Cavell including Canada in 1916 ~ Mount Edith Cavell.

To get there from the highway, we drove on a very steep and winding 14km road to the mountain's awesome north face, an area famous for interesting moraines, the Cavell Meadows, alpine flowers and spectacular views of Angel Glacier.

In a similar way to my recent observations at Athabasca Glacier, see “Alberta 2023 ~ Banff to Jasper …” at ~

~ I was extremely shocked to compare today’s visit to Mount Edith Cavell with its Angel Glacier, to my last one on this same date in 1991. An area I walked upon exactly 32 years ago, that was once a glacier and deep snow is now a pond and has been given the name “Cavell Pond”. I also noticed that Angel Glacier had receded a good distance up the mountain and the meltwater from it was furiously falling to the ground.

For me it was a devastating and emotional sight. Normally when visiting a location after an absence of three decades, you are expected to see differences, but only in man-made infrastructure, some of which may be deemed as progress will others not so much. But to see first-hand and personally witness the results of global warming, the man-made destruction to our natural surroundings is totally and completely tragic on a grand scale ~ so very sad.

After our visit to the mountain, we stopped a little way down to see some views of Cavell Lake with Mount Edith Cavell in the background.

Below are today’s photos taken at Mount Edith Cavell, I have added notes to some of them …

Mount Edith Cavell

Angel Glacier

Cavell Pond, a feature created during the last 32 years, can be seen on the right. When I was last there, the ice and snow were level to the bottom of the waterfall.

Cavell Pond where I walked over ice and snow exactly 32 years ago.

The ice and snow that is now Cavell Pond, was level to where the waterfall lands on the ground.

Angel Glacier

Melt water flowing from the glacier landing at the level of where the ice and snow I walked upon once was. There is potential for a future collapse of the glacier, caused by the melt water running between the rock and glacier, resulting in a loss of bond and then simply sliding down.

Cavell Lake in the distance.

Cavell Lake with Mount Edith Cavell furthest away.

Melt water from the surrounding mountains making its way to Cavell Lake

Water from Cavell Lake flowing down to eventually meet the Athabasca River