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Patricia Lake & Pyramid Mountain  by Sean Jansen

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Patricia Lake & Pyramid Mountain by 

Located just outside the township of Jasper, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.
Nikon D300
Nikor 24-70mm lens

Patricia Lake is notable for its involvement during World War Two with Project Habbakuk, a plan to build an unsinkable aircraft carrier from an ice-based composite material termed “Pykrete”.2

Initial studies of natural lake ice had been carried out at Lake Louise. In January 1943, Patricia Lake was chosen as the test site for building a prototype vessel.1 The planned vessel was to be 2,000 feet (600 m) long and the prototype was to be a 1:10 scale model of this. In actual fact, the beam was to approximately this scale, but the length was only 60 feet, about a third of scale.1

Patricia Lake was chosen for this work on account of having rail connections at Jasper and being a suitably cold, remote area that already had military training involvement in the area as camouflage. There were also Mennonite and Doukhobor communities nearby, religious conscientous objectors, who could provide the labour needed.1

Pykrete construction material for the full sized ship was to be a composite of ice and sawdust, maintained by refrigeration. The first experiments had used natural lake ice, in a Canadian winter. The model ship was to use plain ice, but partly natural and partly refrigerated. Construction proceeded through March 1943 by building a wooden cabin on the frozen lake, installing refrigeration equipment and a nest of 6 inch cold air ducts, and then increasing the height of the ice wall around the cabin. As weight increased, the bottom of the “hull” was sawn free from the lake ice and the model floated free.1 In June the refrigeration was switched off, but the model took the whole summer before melting and sinking.

A diving expedition to the site in 1985,1 found the remains of the model on a steep slope just off-shore, at a depth between 26 and 43 metres. Although the refrigeration equipment was removed before sinking, there remain the wooden walls of the hull, an “incredible jumble”1 of cold air ductwork and also a great quantity of the bitumen used as part of the insulation
named for its pyramid-like shape. James Hector named the mountain in 1859 due to its appearance from the Athabasca River valley on the eastern side of the peak.1

Pyramid mountain is part of the Victoria Cross Range in the Athabasca River Valley the mountain is in the major headwater for the Athabasca River. The peak is just under 10 km (6 mi) north-west of the town of Jasper.

Pyramid mountain is a relatively easy scramble on the eastern slopes. These slopes can be reached by following a steep fire road from the parking lot at Pyramid Lake, 4.5 km (3 mi) South-East of the peak.



  • stephaniek
    stephaniekover 4 years ago

    WOW………………..such rich colors and fab reflection!! ;-))

  • Wow Stephanie, that was quick on the Draw………..thank you ever so kindly for your fantastic comment. Always a pleasure reading your wonderful words !!

    – Sean Jansen

  • danamh40
    danamh40over 4 years ago

    Beautiful work, Sean! :o)

  • Thank you ever so much Dana for your fantastic remarks. Always a pleasure hearing from you and happy to share. Glad you enjoyed !!

    – Sean Jansen

  • Jason D. Laderoute
    Jason D. Lader...over 4 years ago

    Excellent Capture Sean, love the Moody Light
    I am fascinated with the dark spot that is mysteriously in the middle of this and I am unable to define how you have achieved it very cool

  • Thank you so kindly Jason for your wonderful comment. Greatly appreciated the fave add. The dark area in the middle in do just beleive to be a calmer area in the water. That all I can think of. Many kind thanks again !!

    – Sean Jansen

  • Upon further thought it could possible be the slight rain on the otherside that is causing the disruption on the reflection. I just took another look and that may be what it is. Now you still have me a bit stumped too lol !!

    – Sean Jansen

  • rodeorose
    rodeoroseover 4 years ago

    Sean this is amazing- the colors here are quite unexpected and so rich!!

  • Thank you very much Rosie for your lovely comment and fave add. The colors here are so very beautiful and tend to have a red rock appearance which can be found in many parts of the rockies right through to southern Colorado. Happy you enjoyed !!

    – Sean Jansen

  • Judy Grant
    Judy Grantover 4 years ago

    Truly Beautiful Sean !! This is my favorite mountain in the Rockies ! I have not made it there YET this year but i hope too! :0) awesome work !

  • Thank you Judy, you did pick a good one as a fave mountain. It is indeed very pretty and I am glad I could share this with you to enjoy. I hope you get out there this year. I am kind of hoping to do the same later in the year if possible too. Many kind thanks again !!

    – Sean Jansen

  • Warren  Patten
    Warren Pattenover 4 years ago


  • Thank you very very kindly for this wonderful comment and fav add. Always appreciate your stopping by and leave such wonderful remarks…….Many kind thanks again : ))

    – Sean Jansen

  • 1Nino
    1Ninoover 4 years ago

    Terrific viewing Sean – Well done!!! Tony

  • Thanks so very much Anthony for your fantastic comment and support as always. It is a real pleasure shating with you and glad you liked. Thanks so kindly my friend !!

    – Sean Jansen

  • Vickie Emms
    Vickie Emmsover 4 years ago

    come on over and join me and Teresa with your excellent image Sean, I love this view. Excellent clouds too :-))))))))))))

  • Thanks so very much dear Vickie……I am not sure if I have seen Teresa’s yet…….I will have to go into the group and check all three of ours. Many kind thanks again !!

    – Sean Jansen

  • Bootiewootsy
    Bootiewootsyover 4 years ago

    Gorgeous Sean… I have been there and it is beautiful

  • Yes it is very beautiful isnt it. So happy you have had a chance to see this for yourself. Thank you so very kindly for your fantastic comment !!

    – Sean Jansen

  • BarbL
    BarbLover 4 years ago

    Wow, Sean….another stunning mountain shot…but this one is very different. I love the colors in the mountains…the oranges and browns make it look like solid stone! Such a rich history too….wonderful image with a beautiful reflection!

  • Thank you so very much Barb for your lovely and kind comment….always appreciated my friend. Ooooop no song with this one…..well that can be changed rather quickly. Well later anyway. Silly kitty woke me up wanting food so now I going back to bed !!

    – Sean Jansen

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