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  • Writer's pictureSarah Magyar

My Summer at the Columbia Icefield

I was lucky enough to spend this summer working at the Columbia Icefield in Alberta for a company called Brewster Travel, or as we called it: 'the Ice'. The main attraction was on the Athabasca Glacier where you could take an Ice Explorer onto the glacier with one of our talented, fun loving drivers or you could go to the Skywalk, a glass walk way built out from a mountain over looking the Sunwapta Valley. The Columbia Icefield is right after the the boundary between Jasper National Park and Banff National Park, in Jasper National Park.

I had the most amazing experience spending my summer in this remote location. I met the most amazing people and our staff accommodation was right next to the Glacier, like come on, how much cooler can it get?

We were about an hour from Jasper and about 2 hours from Banff.

Even though it snowed in June, and we were wearing winter coats again in August, and I didn't get the hot summer or a great tan, my t-shirt and watch tan was all I could have asked for. 

As for the people, wow where do I begin? My 2 friends, Dakota and Emma, had work at the Ice past summers, and I decided to take the leap of faith and go with them. I flew out alone because I had a different contract start date. So many things were circling in my head: what if I don't like my roommate? What if I get homesick? What if I don't end up liking it? But all of that changed when I landed and met my best friend to be, Anna. It was perfect, she was just as much of a mess as I was, we were both hysterical, and clicked the moment we met. 

The first week consisted with a lot of euchre playing, drinking, and making friendships that would last a lifetime. I actually  became quite the competitive euchre player, I have my boyfriend to thank for that. 

I was working 5 days on and 2 days off and spent every single day off going on some sort of adventure. I can't think of a single day that was wasted (I'll be posting all my hikes and adventures soon!). We canoed, scrambled up mountains, swam, hiked 17km long trails, camped, and everything in-between.

My summer was full of laughter, sweating, sunburns (the sun does reflect off the ice causing sunburns, I can attest first hand), and a full heart. Words cannot fully explain my experience or my love for this magical place. I have been blessed with the people who entered my life and excited to share new adventures with them. I cannot wait for another summer of adventuring. If you have any ideas of where or what I should do, let me know!

This summer was one for the books and will always hold a special place in my heart. And to the people I was able to enjoy it with, thank you, I didn't know it was possible to smile this big.

A beautiful place with beautiful people, what more does a girl need?

My great friend Pat Hoffman put together this awesome video of our summer at the Ice! So if you're not much a reader this video really encompasses everything about the Ice. 

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