A huge ice shelf just collapsed in a popular canyon in the Alberta Rockies

Jan 6 2023, 5:21 pm

A popular canyon in the Alberta Rockies that becomes a winter wonderland each year has suffered an ice shelf collapse.

Jasper National Park shared on Facebook on Thursday that an ice shelf collapsed at the bottom of Maligne Canyon, urging visitors to “beware of hazardous ice conditions” in the canyon.

The collapse happened between the third and fourth bridges, leaving a large ice platform unsupported.

“This platform is unstable and may give away unexpectedly,” the park added.

“If you plan to explore in canyons or along rivers this winter, be cautious of the hazards and familiarize yourself with safety information. Consider travelling with a guide when visiting frozen canyon bottoms,” the park added.

Ice walks through the canyon are a popular attraction, with the park saying that the safest way to visit Maligne Canyon is to go with a guide.

If you choose to go on your own, you do so at your own risk.

Parks Canada says hazards in the canyon include:

  • Surfaces are slippery and uneven
  • Thin ice and/or breakable shelf ice may give way unexpectedly
  • Below the ice, the river is cold, deep and fast-moving
  • Rock and ice fall
  • Watch for ice climbers and ask permission to pass if you are walking below
  • There are limited ways to exit the canyon, making escape difficult
Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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