Jasper and a Canyon, 29 December 2012

11:29 p.m. on January 2, 2013 (EST)
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Saturday morning, rigged up and ready to go.

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A walk beside a frozen river...

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The keyhole entrance. A much lower level than the ice above on either side.

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...and into a frozen canyon. A cave hidden under the overhang

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and some very cool ice formations...
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More of the canyon and ice formations along the walls...

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Helping some kids up an ice hump. Solid grip on the ice with my crampons, and my ax leashed on and the pick end offered as a handgrip.

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A few thin spots, some where two solid layers of ice were stacked on top of each other...
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and where you could actually crawl between the two, if you were dumb enough.
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 More waterfalls...

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Then the big ones, The Angel and The Queen...

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Waiting for my client to catch up...

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Watching the ice climbers,

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and walking out again..

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Date stamped photos courtesy of the client, LK, and used with permission. 








7:55 a.m. on January 3, 2013 (EST)
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First let me say, these pics are amazing and thank you for posting them. I wonder if you could take shelter between those layers of ice if a storm surprised you. If the ice was thick enough, of course it would make for a memorable night.

2:28 p.m. on January 3, 2013 (EST)
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hotdogman said:

I wonder if you could take shelter between those layers of ice if a storm surprised you. If the ice was thick enough, of course it would make for a memorable night.

Hmmm. I suppose you could, but you're already down at the bottom of a narrow canyon that's as much as 55 metres deep in some spots. Not a lot of wind down there even in the worst weather. I always try to stay on top of the ice anyway. People were still falling through the lower level, and if you got under the ice you'd be sucked down and pinned.

I was surprised to see the double layers, though. It suggests one solid freeze, then a reduction or stoppage in the flow, then another solid freeze a while later to create the lower layer. 

2:28 p.m. on January 3, 2013 (EST)
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hotdogman said:

I wonder if you could take shelter between those layers of ice if a storm surprised you. If the ice was thick enough, of course it would make for a memorable night.

Hmmm. I suppose you could, but you're already down at the bottom of a narrow canyon that's as much as 55 metres deep in some spots. Not a lot of wind down there even in the worst weather. I always try to stay on top of the ice anyway. People were still falling through the lower level, and if you got under the ice you'd be sucked down and pinned.

I was surprised to see the double layers, though. It suggests one solid freeze, then a reduction or stoppage in the flow, then another solid freeze a while later to create the lower layer. 

5:07 p.m. on January 3, 2013 (EST)
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Very nice pictures, reminds me of hiking the high Sierra in Yosemite, the winter/spring of 1980.

6:54 p.m. on January 3, 2013 (EST)
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I echo hotdogman Peter, thanks for taking the time to share these wonderful places and trips with us.

11:48 p.m. on January 3, 2013 (EST)
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Looks like a fun place to visit.  Cool ice formations!

2:30 p.m. on January 4, 2013 (EST)
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Beautiful spot for a winter hike, Peter! I'd never have guessed you could have two-layer ice like that. That's a coastal, tidal phenomenon. Of course, with tides you know it's not safe to be in between them, but I'd be nervous in your canyon too. If it was that high once...

4:15 p.m. on January 4, 2013 (EST)
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I found out what caused it - a log jam blocked the water flow early in the season, and the river froze at the higher levels. Parks Canada went in a few weeks ago and blasted the logs away, letting the deeper water drain down (for safety, presumably) and a new layer froze at that lower level. 

September 17, 2014
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