Athabasca Glacier Icewalks was founded in 1985 by Peter Lemieux who was working for Parks Canada as a interpretive guide and saw an opportunity to make the beauty of glaciers readily available to more people. With over 30 years of experience on the Athabasca Glacier, Peter may be the unofficial authority on this incredible natural wonder, and he remains passionate about sharing the glacier with people even after all this time.
Having grown up in eastern Canada, he remembers the draw of the jagged Rocky Mountains and how awe-inspiring they can be the first time you experience them in person. What started for him as a short move out west to get some skiing out of his system has turned into a lifetime career of sharing the mountains with others. The best thing for him is seeing how the glacier overwhelms people with its size, scope, and beauty. He enjoys showing folks this exceptionally unique landscape which most haven’t experienced, and helping them realize the impact that glaciers have on our lives, not only in western Canada, but across large portions of the world.
Peter is a certified member of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, as are all the other guides at Athabasca Glacier Icewalks. The ACMG is the organization that certifies all mountain guides in Canada and it is also well recognized in the international guiding community. Completing the ACMG courses means that the Icewalk tour guides are very well qualified in glacier travel, crevasse rescue, the effects of changing weather condition, and all other aspects of mountain and snowfield travel.
Most of our guides combine Glacier Icewalks in the summer with heli ski guiding or ski tour guiding in the winter months. This year around work in the mountains results in a very thorough knowledge base about how glaciers form, grow/shrink, and move, as well as making them experts on the mountain environment in general.
In addition to the technical skills of mountain travel our guides have advanced First Aid so that they are able to provide medical attention in the field if necessary. They also carry two-way radios which serve the double purpose of improving communications and logistics on the tours, while providing a quick link to back up support if needed in an emergency.
Like Peter, many of the guides have spent a large part of their lives around the Athabasca Glacier and the Canadian Rockies in general. However, they come to us from locales as far away as New Zealand which adds an international flavor to your experience on the ice. All of the share a deep love for the mountain environment and enjoy sharing it with everyone who comes to visit.