Glacial Retreat, Athabasca Glacier, Alberta
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Queens Blessing
N 52° 13.098 W 117° 13.488
11U E 484642 N 5785342
Quick Description: These nine markers represent the reducing size of the Athabasca Glacier from 1890 to 2000.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 8/21/2011 6:23:05 AM
Waymark Code: WMCC89
Views: 5

Long Description:
Visitors to the Athabasca Glacier in British Columbia are provided a some interpretive information, including these small signs that represent where the end of the glacier extended to, at various years in the past. This demonstrates the retreat of the glacier as it melts, and leaves a powerful impression.

Here is the text from the signs that a visitor will encounter if the walk to the glacier on the designated route:

"A World Heritage Site
Jasper, Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks belong to a Canada-wide family of national parks. These four parks, along with Mr. Assiniboine, Hamber and Mt. Robson provincal parks, also make up the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, a 23,069 km2 tract of wilderness protected for all people...for all time.

The Athabasca Glacier and The Columbia Icefield

Parks Canada"


"Athabasca Glacier forefield trail

Length 1 kilometre
Elevation change 30 metres
Hiking time 20 minutes down, 25 minutes up.

forefield trail

The forefield trail passes through an area that, less than 100 years ago, lay beneath the glacial ice. From the trail there are excellent views of the Athabasca Glacier and the landscape it has sculptured.

Sturdy shoes and a jacket are recommended for crossing this rocky, breezy terrain.

The few plants that have gained a foothold here live a harsh life. Please help to protect them and the area by staying on the trail."


The coordinates of each of the markers, by year:

1890 N 52° 13.098 W 117° 13.488
1908 N 52° 13.056 W 117° 13.579
1925 N 52° 13.027 W 117° 13.679
1935 N 52° 12.926 W 117° 13.811
1942 N 52° 12.865 W 117° 13.843
1948 N 52° 12.832 W 117° 13.878
1982 N 52° 12.591 W 117° 14.002
1992 N 52° 12.519 W 117° 14.025
2000 N 52° 12.514 W 117° 14.129

My GoogleEarth calculation as of 2011: N 52° 12.484 W 117° 14.147
(not scientific, but a rough measurement)

According to one website, the Athabasca Glacier has retreated 1,500 m (4,900 ft) since the late 19th Century, and the retreat has been speeding up since 1980. It has lost over half of its volume.


(visit link)
(visit link)
Group that erected the marker: Parks Canada

URL of a web site with more information about the history mentioned on the sign: [Web Link]

Address of where the marker is located. Approximate if necessary:
Athabasca Glacier
Icefields Parkway
Jasper Park, A Canada

Visit Instructions:
Take a picture of the marker, preferably including yourself or your GPSr in the photo. A very detailed description of your visit may be substituted for a photo. In any case please provide a description of your visit. A description of only "Visited" or "Saw it while on vacation" by anyone other than the person creating the waymark may be deleted by the waymark owner or the category officers.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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ornith visited Glacial Retreat, Athabasca Glacier, Alberta 9/2/2013 ornith visited it
cliff-diver visited Glacial Retreat, Athabasca Glacier, Alberta 7/31/2013 cliff-diver visited it
Topocat visited Glacial Retreat, Athabasca Glacier, Alberta 6/25/2012 Topocat visited it
Queens Blessing visited Glacial Retreat, Athabasca Glacier, Alberta 8/25/2011 Queens Blessing visited it

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