A visit to the Glacier Skywalk

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Having traversed the glass floors of both the CN Tower and the Calgary Tower, the novelty has slightly worn off. Still, the concept of walking on an outdoor glass floor was enticing enough for me to take a detour to the Glacier Skywalk in Alberta’s Jasper National Park during a road trip. The ticket, which included a short bus ride from the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre to the attraction, cost $29.95 before tax. Located about a four-hour drive from Calgary, the Glacier Skywalk officially opened on May 1, 2014. I visited the attraction on May 17, 2015.

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The ride

The Glacier Skywalk is located on the south side of the two-lane Icefields Parkway. Only buses were allowed to park there, so I parked (for free) at the centre. The buses used to get passengers to and from the attraction were similar to the ones used by the Toronto Transit Commission.

The ride lasted fewer than 10 minutes.

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The experience

The site looked sleek. Visitors could borrow a phone-like device (seen in the penultimate photo in this post) that offered an audio tour at no charge. According to the attraction’s website, the tour is offered in English, French, Mandarin, Korean, and Japanese.

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Looking down through the glass floor showed a relatively plain mountain side. I didn’t see animals or anything that particularly astonished me. That said, looking almost everywhere else did offer up a nice view.

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Of course, because of the novelty of the floor, I had to be careful not to step on any faces.

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Truly, it was one of the most popular poses.

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I got someone to take one of me, too (not pictured).

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That time I unknowingly shot a marriage proposal

Soon after stepping onto the glass floor, a man asked me to hold a monopod that had a GoPro camera attached to it. I think it was already recording. Before I had time to figure out what was happening, he knelt down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend. I found myself both freaking out and in awe. A video journalist at heart, I wanted to capture the unexpected moment as best I could. I started recording the scene with my own camera, too, a few seconds in. They said that they wouldn’t mind if I put the video online.

Next to the main balcony, presentations were put on by guides.

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Stopping at every exhibit, taking a few photos, and spending some time to take in the view took about an hour.

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Conclusion

Although the view seen looking down through the glass floor wasn’t too remarkable, almost every other aspect of the trip was enjoyable. The other views were great, the option to have an audio tour was handy, and I felt that I learned a lot about the area through the interactive exhibits.

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The attraction wasn’t compelling enough for me to want to go back specifically for it. That said, there was the Glacier Explorer Combo, which granted entry to the Glacier Skywalk and the Glacier Adventure. It was cheaper than buying separate tickets for each. I went on a version of Glacier Adventure about a decade prior. It was a tour on the Athabasca Glacier across the road from the centre, and I found it to be a more interesting experience.