Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom
October 31, 2002
In front of the Columbia Icefield Visitor Centre lies the Athabasca Glacier--a tongue of ice 6km long and 1km wide. It used to practically reach the visitor centre but it has been gradually receding due to global warming. The visitor centre, we were told, was quiet due to the September 11 terrorist attack on New York. If that was a quiet day I would hate being there on a busy day. The Centre houses various displays about the Icefield and also restaurants.
We took the Brewster's Ice Age Adventure, a tour onto the icy slopes of the Athabasca Glacier. We travelled in a specially-designed Brewster Snocoach to the middle of the glacier, on a 5km round-trip journey. Our driver/guide explained that the coach was fitted with every safety device including a woman driver! We were asked to secure our seat belts--there weren’t any, funny girl! She just about wore out her throat relating all the facts--how glaciers are formed and the interesting geological features.
At the icefall below the glacier headwall, we stepping out onto ice formed from snow falling as long as 400 years ago. It was a lovely day and really not that cold considering that we were standing on a 1000 feet of ice.
We award top marks to Brewster’s and to our ever-so-funny guide.
From journal Banff and Round About