Named after a heroic British nurse who aided prisoners-of-war escape Belgium, the craggy beauty of Mt Edith Cavell (3,363 metres) stands proudly overlooking Jasper. Sadly a German spy tricked her into assisting him where Cavell was promptly arrested and sentenced to death for treason.
Today a bumpy, precarious 14 kilometre road leads from the main highway and around 45 minutes later to the main face of the White Ghost. From here staring at the chilly brooding front of the mountain, a trailhead leads off for an easy and inspiring short walk. A respectful Inuit inukshuk pays homage to the scenic vista.
The Path of the Glacier Trail passes the Edith Cavell memorial and meanders its way through piles of glacial debris with bridges crossing small rivulets and streams leading to Cavell Pond. With its outstretched wings and flowing gown of ice, Angel Glacier drapes over the north face but like many glaciers is sadly slowly fading from existence. The angel emanates small creaking sound as the glacier uneasily creeps down the steep face while occasionally, large clumps breaks off its elegant ice robes.
Edith Cavell Glaciersits across the lower slopes of the mountain being slowly eaten away by the comparatively warmer Cavell Pond. The ice-blue glacial toe is crisscrossed with rolling dirt-brown curves making for pretty reflected patterns in the tiny pond. An ice cave hollowed from underneath attracts brave but foolish walkers, bits breaking off the ceiling and signs warning of past injuries from collapsing ice roofs. Bergy bits float aimlessly in the chilly waters making for some fun photos of their unique shapes.
Following the path further, carpets of violet wildflowers mark the path back towards the car park, the powder blue Cavell Lake hiding among tall stands of trees. A quick glimpse of an unusual cinnamon-coloured black bear reminds us of the wealth of wildlife in the area.
Mt Edith Cavell is one of the highlight half-day journeys from Jasper with superb views, an easy uplifting hike and superb mountain vistas.