Mt. Edith Cavell
July 28, 2009
After canoeing in the morning at Pyramid Lake, we polled the group for their preference for the last afternoon's activity. The consensus was to return to Mt. Edit Cavell so the girls could play on the rocks there. The girls had enjoyed the previous visit on Sunday, so we all happily headed up the scenic Edith Cavell Road again.
As we approach the base of Angel Glacier we are greeted by the now-familiar sights of the glacier high above us and the icemelt waterfall coming down to the base moraine.
We approached the base of the glacier by the low trail as we had on our previous glacier visit. It is an easy and attractive trail with fireweed along the little stream on the way. Knowing we were going to the rocky moraine, Brenda came prepared with a cup of coffee and a book in case she didn't want to keep up with us across those rough rocks.
We made the trek across the rough rock to the patch of dirty snow that the girls wanted to play on. Darla leads Elyse by the remarkable ice cave which goes out of sight into this icy pile of glacial debris.
Mark goes some distance back into this remarkable ice cave, but there is no end to it in sight - a mysterious black tunnel into this unstable ice field. Probably the feed meltwater stream for an earlier glacial pool?
There are lots of crevices and low caves going back into the ice under the gravel cover on the slope, and there are interesting variations of meltwater streams. The girls are keen on exploring this rough, rocky area.
Jordan explores the little cracks and crevices where you can see ice under the gravel and rock layer. There are some places where little streams run out of the crevices.
Mark is now just about up to the level of the glacier-melt waterfall. I would expect he would feel its spray. Note that the rocky ground below him is filled with ice.
Mark starts his descent down the steep icy slope.
He decides to stop and push a big boulder, presumably trying to get it to roll all the way down to the glacial pool and make a big splash. He does get it tumbling down the slope as you can see in the inset, but it stops after a few tumbles.
Though the dirty snowbank lacked in beauty, Jordan found it a fun and exciting place to be. Seeing snow is rare enough for the girls that they make the best of it.
We were still talking about this dramatic icefall when about 8 minutes later we again heard a boom and looked up to see the impact of another fragment off the end of the glacier. This piece was larger, and in the left frame above you can see that the whole toe of the glacier looks like freshly broken ice. In the second frame, the ice and snow is flowing down the steep rock, and in the third frame it has stretched out to the point where part of it is launching over the cliff of the vertical wall that was directly above us. In the fourth frame, you can see that it has formed an ice fall parallel to the icemelt waterfall on the left that we had been watching.
The cascade of ice and snow formed an icefall parallel to the icemelt waterfall that is usually there. The above two views were less than a minute apart, so everything happens fairly rapidly. The whole show, from boom to stationary ice was actually about a minute.
This was a fitting climax to our second trip to Mt. Edith Cavell, so we headed down the trail to the parking lot and drove back to Jasper. We were all hungry, so we got sandwiches in Jasper and drove to Lac Beauvert, the lake that Mark had introduced us to.
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