Parker Ridge-Columbia Icefields

Parker Ridge

Along the Icefields Parkway, is a beautiful hike.
I haven’t done it and don’t intend to.
This old doggie simply ain’t meant for climbing.

However, last winter I had occasion to visit some of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure to know.
The staff and management at the Athabasca Hotel in Jasper are wonderful.

I’ve photographed the “Atha-B” for them on two occasions and the hospitality is terrific.
I’m genuinely fond of these guys.
They treat me very well, indeed.

This time they need more Hotel Photography and a-n-y excuse for a road trip is fine by me.

So, last April, I was on the way up the highway to Jasper.
And I saw something, that made me do a double take.
I pulled into the parking lot at the base of the ridge and grabbed my 100-400 Canon L Lens.
There were probably five skiers, who’d trekked all the way up to the top of the ridge in fairly deep snow.

Now I don’t ski. Never even tried. I’d rather be out somewhere with a tripod, but MAN, I had to hand it to these guys.
They wanted powder snow, bad. Real Bad.
I can’t even imagine how long it took these Kats to climb up that far for a single run down and word from the Hotel was…
They weren’t even supposed to be up there.
Avalanche hazard looked considerable.


You gotta’ do what you gotta’ do.

It’s virtually a different Planet up there in April. These were shot April 15th.
At that altitude winter keeps everything in a very tight grip until sometime in June.

Skier-Parker Ridge

Here’s a LINK if you’d care to read a little bit more about it.


The Columbia Icefield Glacier.

I’ve never done the ‘tour’ although someday I really should.
I’m just not a huge group excursion kind of guy.
The great thing about what I do for a living is I’m free to come and go almost any time.

Which means weekdays are perfect for travel.
It’s very quiet on that highway in the middle of the week and early in the morning.

I pulled into the parking lot and saw this shot beginning to take form.

Somehow reminded me of The Beatles. Weird how that works huh?
Took a bunch of waiting, a little more to the right, a bit further apart, but in an instant, it all fell together.

Ahhhh Kismet, eh?

John Sharpe/ Sharpeshots


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