As I have lived in Alberta for my entire life I am a bit late to the party that is the Columbia Icefield, which feeds eight separate glaciers. It was my first drive down from Jasper to Banff and on our way stopped to walk up to the Athabasca glacier. It was insanely bright. Big blue sky mixed with snow and ancient ice leads to a lot of squinting. The breeze that came down off the glacier was significantly chilled but it made for a nice break an unexpectedly hot day. Along the walk there are markers set as to where the edge of ice was at certain years. Its quite dramatic to see just how far and fast it has been receding. I also quite enjoyed looking at the rocks we were walking on and seeing the lines etched into them from said receding ice. You can also tell where the ice had been up the sides of the mountains. The hard rock has been simply ground to gravel and left piled up on the sides. It was simply amazing to see how drastically melting ice can change a landscape!