Wednesday, 30 April 2014

What is Canada's New Glacier Skywalk All About

High up in the Canadian Rockies an uber cool sight awaits, a curved stretch of glass suspended from the glacial facade; almost like a stage set up for a cosmic show. That is the Glacier Skywalk about to open tomorrow - May 1st, 2014.
Canada's Glacier Skywalk in Jasper National Park (Image: Brewster Travel Canada)
Standing, no no - floating at the edge of that Skywalk with a sheer glass facade separating you from the Athabasca glacier around enveloped in the gorgeous Sunwapta Valley below; for thrill seekers it qualifies for a must do on your next visit to Canada.  
Fact File: 
- It is a fully-accessible, cliff-edge walkway that leads to a glass-floored observation platform 280 metres (918 feet) above the Sunwapta Valley.
- The walk is accessed via Brewster’s nearby icefield centre. Public parking at the Skywalk is closed, but the company will provide no-charge return-trip shuttles every 15 minutes from the centre to a free viewpoint or an interpretive walk and Skywalk platform which costs $24.95 for an adult $12.50 for a child. Children five and under are free.
- Open from: 1st May - 19th October, 2014.
- From ice-capped mountain peaks to vast glacier-formed valleys, the Glacier Skywalk is your front row seat to nature’s most grand performance.” Now that’s something!

Not Just a Skywalk
Years ago a drive around the road side pullout at Jasper National Park on the highway at Tangle Ridge would pretty much give you a view of the valley. But the construction of this Glacier Skywalk promises to enhance that experience by giving you the impression of being suspended right in the middle of the valley and glaciers via walking across that sheer glass surface.

If that was not enough, there are facilities for visitors to enhance their knowledge about the regions history, ecological culture and locals; making it a wholesome day trip for the independent traveller and families alike.

Of course there is the intrepid traveller adventurous enough in search of that fleeting moment of magic and would rather head out for a one to one with the valley. But there are others who come too; students, environmentalists, fresh minds both young and old to whom it is importance to convey the message of ecological travel. For example - there is a specific species of mountain goat that live high up in those glaciers; the only few species that can access that fragile landscape without negative impact. Humans can spot them and study them from a distance at this glacier skywalk, without endangering their environment.

There are concerns that question a privately owned tourist attraction in a national park and its existence itself having an impact of the sensitive ecology of the glacial landscape. It will attract more visitors who limit their visits to the Banff Lake. Yet it is difficult to deny its architectural and design genius.

I sure am intrigued.

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