Maligne Canyon Ice Walk

11:20 p.m. on April 17, 2012 (EDT)
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In summer, Maligne Canyon is a tourist attraction where busloads come to gawk 50 metres down into the depths. In winter, the same canyon can be accessed from below and waterfalls freeze up into spectacular ice climbing venues.

The trail starts at the Fifth bridge Parking lot. I had a busload with some newbies but everybody was well-prepared.
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-JanuaryJasper-18-20-January-2012-005.jpg

The trail begins with a walk beside the frozen river then climbs steeply to overlook the valley.
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January

It then drops down again and you leave the path and walk towards the canyon entrance along the ice. A few waterfalls on the way, but they were flowing freely.
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-JanuaryMaligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January
More river then the trail drops down below the level of the ice and you clamber down then up again through a rocky cleft. Jasper-18-20-January-2012-011.jpgYou enter the canyon and the adventure begins - frozen caves, convoluted ice, treacherous thin spots and incredible sights to see.
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January

Then
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January



you round a corner, and reach the site the ice climbers use.
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January We walked a bit further passing behind a waterfall, and kept going to the last waterfall. From there the ice is too thin.
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-JanuaryBack down again past the climbers.
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January

Halfway back it's possible to climb out, assuming you have a decent pair of crampons. My people had microspikes, and I had good enough traction with my Camp Stalkers to pull them up the tricky spots. We stopped for a snack, then came back along the top edge, giving a totally different perspective!
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-January
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-JanuaryMaligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-JanuaryThen back down along the river
Maligne-Canyon-Old-Fort-Point-28-Januaryand back to the bus.
















2:07 a.m. on April 18, 2012 (EDT)
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WOW!  Beautiful stuff! 

Most definitly thanx for sharing that.

8:19 a.m. on April 18, 2012 (EDT)
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Good stuff Peter! Thanks...

9:34 a.m. on April 18, 2012 (EDT)
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Tour groups charge $55-$65 per person for the walk (I charge $135, but that includes the 4-hour bus ride from Edmonton). However, if you know something about ice, and have the proper gear (ice axe & rope, crampons, etc.) you can do it on your own.

A word of caution; this year, for the first time ever, the canyon didn't freeze until the end of January! It's usually safe by mid-December. You need a week or so of -35°C to get it solid or it's not safe to walk on.

11:17 a.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
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Now this is what I am talking about. Ice and cold temps. Man I love this type of stuff. 

Some of my friends think I am a basket case for wanting to hit the hills when I get a forecast that temps are dipping into the negatives, snow is coming, and the wind is howling.

Yeah, maybe I am a basket case but if I had a choice of my favorite season winter and fall are neck and neck.

Awesome photos.  

11:46 p.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
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And no mosquitoes!

August 2, 2014
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