I have a little riddle for you.

What’s 918 feet above a valley?
Has a glass floor?
Is flat-out awesome?

Answer: The Glacier Skywalk.

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Last week, I got a sneak peek of Alberta’s newest architectural wonder, which opens up to the public next May.  The Glacier Skywalk is a stunning glass-floored observation platform located pretty much right beside the Columbia Icefield and when it opens, it’ll give visitors a view of Sunwapta Valley that no one has ever seen before.   Trust me, it will blow your mind.

I’m not really one to be scared of heights and I’ve always said I’ll try anything once, but walking out on to the platform was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced. It’s sorta like the glass floors of the CN Tower and The Calgary Tower, but it’s completely surreal to be outside, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, because it goes against everything we’ve been taught about hiking, because not only are you looking over the edge of a cliff, you are walking completely over it.

Now, I don’t really understand how it was built, I heard something about bolts being dug 40 feet into the ground, but that’s for the architects, construction crews and my parents to worry about, but I can tell you that I definitely felt completely safe, even though crews were still all around us putting on the finishing touches. I mean, when you’re standing on a glass platform that’s suspended from the side of a mountain, you sort of just have to trust that everyone has done their job, don’t you?

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Beyond getting the chance to do the Glacier Skywalk early, it was awesome to drive up Highway 93, which I hadn’t done in seven years!  Should you care, a fun fact about me is that my mom actually worked at the Columbia Ice Fields hotel when she was younger, so it’s always nice to get up there and see the things my mom did when I was just a twinkle in her eye.

Sorry, I’m going down memory lane.

While next May may seem like a long time to wait, trust me when I say that it will be worth the wait. I’m definitely adding the Glacier Skywalk to the itinerary that I build for my friends when they come out to visit and you too should definitely add it to the increasingly long list of once in a life time Alberta experiences.

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Mike Morrison

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