Sunday 30 July 2006
Highlights: Walking on the Athabasca Glacier
Today I got to walk on a 10,000 year old glacier, the Athabasca Glacier. Just getting to the glacier was an interesting experience riding a ‘bus’ that the use at the North Pole. The glacier as you can imagine is very cold despite this being the hottest month in Canada. While walking very carefully on the glacier (there are potholes that go down about 1 km) I tried some of the water which was incredibly pure (our guide recommended you try this, I was the only one willing to walk across to some running water).
The sad fact however is that the glaciers are very quickly disappearing. This one has lost over 1 km of surface cover in the last 40 years (most in the last 10 years). Generally for the first 9,950 years the glacier managed to stay about the same size due to the cold winters adding to its size offsetting the summer melting. Global warming is stopping this from happening now. I’m convinced that in colder places like this it is much easier to see what the warming of the planet is costing us. I also got to visit some waterfalls and other beautiful spots that nature as provided to us. I feel we need to save these places for future generations.