I almost met my match at the Jasper Glacier Skywalk! Once you see these pictures you’ll see why! See how I finally made it out on the Glacier Skywalk.
Written By: Gretta Kennedy, Traveling Islanders
Location: Jasper National Park (Base Location for this trip: Jasper, Alberta)
I’ve always considered myself an adventurous, outdoorsy type of person.
My first job as an adult was as a white water raft guide and rock climbing instructor. I loved the thrill of adrenaline and the feeling of hanging by rope on a cliff wall. It was great.
But on our recent Canadian Rockies by train to Jasper, Alberta, I learned that my adventurousness has changed a bit in the years since young adulthood. Maybe I’m out of practice or maybe I’ve become more cautious since becoming a mother and watching my daredevil “indestructible” kids give me heart attacks…
Regardless, my limits were tested when I stepped out from a cliff edge on the Glacier Skywalk Adventure in Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies.
When we arrived I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I had seen pictures and thought it looked really cool and like something I would want to do, but as we walked up closer to it, I begin to change my mind.
You see, the Glacier Skywalk is attached to the side of a cliff that drops 918 feet (280 metres) to the valley floor with the Athabasca River flowing and falling through it. I calculated the odds of landing in the river if I fell through the glass and the odds would not be in my favour.
The Glacier Skywalk isn’t just a lovely feature jutting out over the drop off, it is made with a glass floor so you can see straight through the glass to the very bottom of the valley floor! (gulp!)
I love adventure, remember?
But for some reason, the Glacier Skywalk put me over the edge.
I was all fine and dandy as we walked up to the Skywalk. Then Jay kept walking and I abruptly stopped as the path took us away from the wall. He laughed as I tried many times to step out onto the glass and follow him. I turned into a child, squealing in fear as each step took me closer to the edge.
I had many people, most of whom were older retired women, trying to coax me out, but each time I tried, I just grimaced in more pain.
I kept thinking, “You are an adventurous woman!
You love rock climbing and dangling over cliff edges!
This should be nothing for you!”
Then as I would get close to the glass the reality set in that I didn’t have a harness on and I wasn’t tied into a rope to keep me safe. It didn’t seem to matter that 30 other people were just fine walking around the skywalk.
I admit… I was scared.
Then, just as we figured it was time to go, a cloud came through the canyon to save me.
Once the cloud came in, I couldn’t see through the glass floor so I grabbed Jay’s arm, gave him some bruises due to my intensely firm grip, and ventured out onto the Glacier Skywalk.
With the older people laughing at me, I faced a fear I didn’t know I had… (no, not old people laughing at me!) and I did it!
I walked over top of a 918 ft drop with nothing beneath me except a clear, glass floor!
Looking back, I’m definitely glad I walked out onto the Glacier Skywalk. I mean, when will I ever have the opportunity to stand or float in a cloud above a canyon with nothing but glass protecting me from falling?
What an adventure!
From the Discovery Icefield Centre we also enjoyed another experience called the Glacier Adventure where you ride the “Ice Explorer,” an all-terrain bus type vehicle onto the Athabasca Glacier! Read all about it here.
Tip! Book Your Glacier Skywalk and other Jasper Attractions ahead of time and avoid the stress and lines.
• We recommend renting a car at the Jasper train station so you can travel at your own pace. We found the tour option a little rushed for our liking. Be sure to make stops along the way at Athabasca & Sunwapta Falls and other must see view points. Before making the one hour journey to the Icefield Discovery Centre, stop by the Jasper visitor centre and ask about the must see spots along the drive.
• The Glacier Skywalk is a quick 5 min shuttle drive from the Columbia Icefield Discover Centre where you buy your tickets. Shuttle is included in your ticket price ($24.95).
While our adventure with Brewster Travel – Glacier Skywalk was complimentary, you can rest assured that our thoughts, opinions, and findings are our own as always.