It never ceases to amaze me the places this blog takes me and the things it encourages me to do. As you all know, I’m swanning around Canada again at the moment and have some astonishing things to share with you, but I really couldn’t resist showing off my birds-eye view of the glaciers in Kluane National Park in the utterly gob-smacking Yukon.
A few years ago, if you’d have asked me if I was a risk taker I would have snorted (in a completely ladylike way, of course) in mild derision and showed the broad, yellow, streak down my back. So it was with some surprise that I found myself climbing awkwardly into the teensy, Kluane Glacier Air Tours airplane, folding myself into the back seat and not shrieking in terror as this oh-so-slight example of aerodynamic engineering climbed into the skies. And it was all so very worth it.
Kluane National Park and Reserve was established in 1972 and covers over 22,000 square kilometres. It is a breathtaking region of high mountains, stunning rivers and valleys, an incredibly diverse range of flora and fauna, vast ice fields and is also home to Mt. Logan, Canada’s highest mountain. More than 80% of the park is dominated by high mountains and glaciers, making it one of the largest non-polar ice fields in the world – and probably one of the more accessible ones.
The park is rich in diversions all year round for those of an outdoor inclination with hiking, picnicking, fishing and camping all popular pursuits in the summer months and skiing and snow shoeing tours topping the list in the winter months.
Canada always delights and surprises me and, to be honest, I had no idea there were such accessible glaciers in the world. I always assumed they were in the very frozen north (if I thought of them at all) and I certainly never thought I’d be seeing them. Surprisingly, it’s possible to hike right alongside the Kaskawulsh and South Arm Glaciers which I flew over, but while I might be bolder in my middle years I’m just not that active. The flightseeing tour I was on took an hour, leaving me exhilarated and awe-struck, but there are longer tours which fly right over the ice fields deep in the park.
The region is part of a system of parks which have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 because of the glaciers and ice fields and the range of fauna, including grizzly bears, caribou and Dall sheep.
I think some of the pictures I took can say much more about the beauty, majesty and grandeur of the region than any of the inadequate words I can drum up. Just hover your mouse over each of the images for the captions.