I love to drive! To be honest, it is probably one of the things that I enjoy the most. I find it very relaxing and combined with my passion for photography, makes for the best excuse to get out of the house. Actually, I like camping too but with all the wildlife present around the Rocky mountains, I choose not to be eaten by a bear or cougar but if you are really brave or part of a larger group, there are crazy beautiful locations that you need to visit.
Going back to driving, my favorite stretch of road is the Icefields Parkway, an amazing 200km highway open pretty much all year round, that snakes through the rugged landscape of the Canadian Rockies, connecting Lake Louise with Jasper. I never drove this highway during winter and I don’t recommend it if you are not confident in your driving skills but it was definitely worth it, the mountains are simply gorgeous and you can access places that you otherwise cannot during summer, think frozen lakes, frozen waterfalls, etc. The various glaciers visible during summer were all hidden by the never ending blanket of snow but that makes it all the more interesting. While the multitude of summer colors make for a great experience, the white of snow can sometimes seem as of otherworldly origin and honestly, I never thought of snow being anything but white however, up on the mountains, it is not.
Athabasca glacier is my favorite spot where I always stop no matter what and it is impressive no matter the season. The sheer size of the ice sheet that covers the mountain peaks is clearly visible even in the winter and for a moment I wished they had the snow coach running because there were impressive ice formations barely visible at the very edge of my telephoto lens. You can’t have everything I guess but my buddies and I had a pleasant surprise though, we were alone! If you seen the glacier during summer, you know what I’m talking about, normally there are hundreds of people at any moment of the day which becomes a nightmare for the more serious photographer.
In the distance, we could see what we thought were big blocks of ice so we decided to take a closer look. They are actually visible on the wide Athabasca image from the beginning of the post but as we got near we realized those were actually huge rocks covered by ice, melted, frozen and brushed by the wind to glass consistency, over and over again. Pretty cool actually and we took a couple of pictures too and though I am still inexperienced as far as winter photography goes, I think I managed to capture all the beauty that was laid by nature right there, in front of my eyes.