After photographing the Canadian Rockies a few years ago in the summer, we knew we had to come back for the winter. After learning of the bubbles frozen in ice layers at Abraham Lake, my son Jason and I could wait no longer. The plan was to spend four days at the lake and 5 days at the southern end of the mountains between Canmore and Lake Louise.
The plants in the shallow areas at the south end of Abraham Lake release methane gas. These gas bubbles are first trapped by the top layer of ice and then by layers of ice that form repeatedly below the top, resulting in the look of multiple bubbles vertically rising and frozen in time. The fun is searching the large shallow areas for cool formations of bubbles and cracks in the ice. The mountains in the background really make it work.
The Canadian Rockies are magnificent in any season. Most of the iconic areas to photograph in the summer are not accessible in the winter so it becomes a real hunt down a variety of roads to figure out where is the best place to be at various times of day. We had a lot to learn and made a few mistakes but, in the end, did well for the limited time we were there. We only had it snow one night about an inch, not enough to impact the trees as I would have liked. The weather was otherwise great, with temps in the 20-30F range.
As a fun note, I purchased snowshoes prior to this trip to allow us to get to areas away from the road. Wow! What a difference. I didn’t know it could be that much easier to walk in deep snow.
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