Last Sunday I decided to do a quick daytrip to Jasper Nationalpark just before winter would take over completely and all the lakes would lie under a thick layer of ice. I got lucky and due to the lack of economy vehicles I got a truck at the rental car station and eventually got that Canadian experience of driving one of these massive cars. So I picked up my friends Max and Shane and after fueling our sleepy selves with coffee we left Edmonton at 3.15 am end headed out Highway 16 to Jasper, where we arrived 3.5 h later, just in time to capture some stars over Patricia Lake just above townsite Jasper. The 50% waning moon was up high in the south an shone some great light on the peak of Pyramid Mt.
After that we headed down the road to the end of the Pyramid Lake Rd. and searched for a suitable spot to capture the sunrise over Pyramid Lake. I was sticking closer to the bridge that leads to the island and was balancing on some rocks to capture some cool algae in the crystal clear water along with the beautiful reflection of Pyramid Mt.
Having found a composition that worked I was waiting for the morning sky to explode, and reds started to appear in our back, but in the end the clouds won and no real colors showed up. Nevertheless, in the end the sun broke through 45 minutes after sunrise and casted the peak of Pyramid in some golden light, and I used the canoes lying on the boat launch as a foreground element, getting a unique perspective.
We quickly drove down to Jasper fuelled up with more coffee and headed down the Icefields Parkway. The light was beautiful, with the sun breaking through a low cloud ceiling here and there and our first stop was at a small roadside turnout near the Goats & Glaciers lookout. Walking down to the bank of the Athabasca River, which was running very low in terms of the water volume. On the shore ice was forming on some on the rocks and a massive rock in the middle of the river was my go-to-subject at this spot.
Our next stop was Tangle Creek Falls, which was hard to shoot, with the sun shining into the scene and creating less than ideal conditions. But just being there was breath-taking to say the least. On our way to explore the upper falls we found some cougar tracks, which was just impressive. We enjoyed the warm midday sun and temperatures of 4°C up on 1600m elevation and went back down again to visit Sunwapta Falls.
That was a quick stop and we got some classic views in, while a tree stump had shored right over the edge of the falls and some kind of spoiled the image, but I still love what I got here, also a unique angle I feel. Next we had to stop again along the Athabasca River to pick up Shanes intervalometer, which he lost earlier. Goats and Glaciers came next and I totally know now why this is such a popular stop as it offers outstanding views of the Athabasca River and the surrounding ranges in the west, including Mt. Fryatt.
A last stop along the Icefields Parkway was the ever impressive Athabasca Falls, which were running very low on water and were very tame compared to recent visits, but the ice forming made for some cool angles. Our last location of the day was Maligne Lake, where the winds were coming down the lake relentlessly when we arrived an hour before sunset. We shot over at the ouflow bridge, but conditions with the wind were less then ideal, also the long took its toll and I wasn’t at my best here when it came to find creative angles and unique shots, but I still feel that the ice on the shoreline in combination with the waves on the lake yielded some neat shots.
Also I was using my telezoom to get some shots of the impressive back-end of the lake. I closed out with some angles of the famous boat house with some of the ice formations in the foreground. Lastly we stopped along the Medicine Lake, a unique lake, that drains through porous rock throughout the year and had some nice snake-like rivers of open water in it. After that we packed in and headed back home to Edmonton having bagged a beautiful day of shooting and 1100 km that were probably a Good-Bye to Jasper Nationalpark for me.
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