What do you see? A snow-covered valley maybe?
It's actually the Athabasca Glacier on the Columbia Icefield, between Banff and Jasper National Parks. A huge stretch of 400-year-old ice. How huge? See the smudge circled in the photo below?
That's a snocoach, used to carry tourists onto the glacier. There are only 23 of these buses in existence: 22 are used on the icefield; one is owned by the US government and based in Antarctica. There are 6 wheels on each bus and the tyres cost $5,000 each.
Although the glacier is enormous it's only the edge of the Columbia Icefield and just up from where we were standing there are crevasses so deep that 14 buses - 7 down and 2 side by side - could be fitted in.
Meltwater from the Icefield flows to three oceans: Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic via Hudson Bay.
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