My parents took me to see the Athabasca Glacier as a kid. By the time my children grow up, it could be gone.

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Alberta’s Athabasca Glacier (Photo by m01229 via WikiMedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0)

My first in-your-face experience with climate change was the summer I turned 9. It was the mid-‘90s, and my family was visiting the Athabasca Glacier in Alberta’s Jasper National Park.

The Athabasca is the best-known of the six “toes” of the Rocky Mountains’ massive Columbia Icefield. If you drive the world-famous Icefields Parkway, you’ll see it on the west side, around an hour south of Jasper. As of 2020, the icefield is a sprawling 200 hectares of rock and ice, straddling the Alberta-BC border.

To get to the ice, you either pay a not-insignificant sum to ride a special bus…

Lindsay Kneteman

I’m a Toronto-based freelance writer whose areas of focus include health, science and parenting. Follow me @lindsayjaykay

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