September 30, 2020.
Mount Edith Cavell was named in 1916 for a British nurse who was executed by the Germans, during World War 1 for helping Allied soldiers escape.
When we visited Jasper in June 2020, Mount Edith Cavell Road was still closed and we were disappointed that we could not visit Cavell Pond and Angel Glacier. On this visit, it was open and we drove slowly up the 14 km. access road, past trees all dressed in their autumn colours. At times, it was like driving through a kaleidoscope.
Path of the Glacier Hike
- distance – 1.2 km return (.75 miles)
- elevation gain – 70 meters (230 feet)
- duration – 1 hour
One of our first visits on this hike was with our young son B, dressed up in his snow suit, looking like the Michelin Man, playing in the autumn snow. Here are some comparison photos from 1987/88. Sad to see that like my hair line, the glacier size is now greatly reduced. There is no doubt climate change is real.
Over the years, we visited a few times more and took our Irish visitors here. After our last previous visit, disaster struck in August 2012. A huge piece of ice severed from the Ghost Glacier on the North face of Mount Edith Cavell and dropped tons of ice and rocks into Cavell Pond. This caused a veritable tsunami of water and ice that took out the trail, parking lot and outhouses, closing this tourist attraction for about a year.
Since the disaster, the trail stops at a viewing platform with firm recommendations that you proceed no further. Nonetheless, some risk takers continue on and play around the pond.
Views on the way up the Edith Cavell Road and from the parking lot.
There were a large number of cars in the parking lot, so when the paved path met a junction with a gravel path, we took the gravel path past picnic tables, mushrooms, and the stream flowing out of Cavell Pond. As Angel Glacier came into view, we rejoined the asphalt path.
This was such a short hike, we opted to take the Cavell Meadows Trail (next post) for a better view.