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Jasper National Park Warnings and Dangers: 28 reviews and 30 photos
lives have been lost in these waters
Definitely not a swimming hole. And not a place for horseplay. It is so sad to come across a plaque at a beautiful spot such as Athabasca Falls and read how a young man fell to his death in these waters. Unfortunately, teenagers sometimes think that they are immortal and take unnecessary chances. It is heartwrenching to think of the sorrow experienced by the families of those lost due to poor choices in dangerous places.
This photo shows the nature of a crevasse. Long thin fissures in the ice--kind of a fault line of sorts. The problem is that many crevasses are covered by snow or ice bridges so that the hiker or climber does not realize that he is stepping on a thin piece of ice over a deep gorge.
The second problem is that crevasses, at least in the summer months, are wet. The ice continually melts and the trapped hiker deep in the crevasse is soon saturated with ice melt. Of course, the temperature deep in the crevasse is a constant 32 degrees F or 0 degrees C. This all makes for a deadly combination of elements which leads to hypothermia setting in within minutes. A person who falls into a crevasse probably has less than a half hour before succumbing to the elements.
keep to the trail blazed by the rangers
Glaciers are extremely dangerous places. The ice flows may be a mile thick, but the ice melts irregularly during the summer months creating crevasses hundreds of feet deep. Many unfortunate hikers have tramped on what seemed to be solid ice and fallen into the deep crevasses only to be overcome by hypothermia before rescuers could haul them out. Indeed we saw memorials to lost hikers only yards from the edge of the glacier. Placques told of the heart-wrenching stories of these ill-fated hikers who were tempted by the seemingly solid ice. There are fatalities every year because people do not keep to the path set down by Park personel.
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