The weather forecast for Saturday held up: partially sunny and low 70s/high 60s. Just barely beat the crowd at The Other Paw for a so-so cinnamon roll for breakfast, then off to Athabasca Falls and Suwapata Falls. Ended up liking the slightly-less-famous Sunwapta Falls more than Athabasca Falls, although it looks like both waterfalls have their most-Instagram-famous viewpoints now blocked off with fences, 'cause we sure couldn't replicate the classic photos. Also had the morning sun shining into the camera, which lead to some great sunstars but also sub-optimal shadows.
A little lodge right off the highway exit for Sunwapata Falls provided an overpriced chili for lunch, then it was off to The Big Bend for one of the better known views of Jasper. Unlike many famous viewpoints, it actually does live up to the hype, although it's so vast it's actually hard to capture on camera; a common problem, at least for me, in much of Banff/Yoho/Jasper in general. :-D
Half-day hike up Athabasca Glacier was definitely the right choice for the afternoon. With a coat of freshly fallen snow the conditions were beautiful, the hike up was gentle enough for even the least-fit among the group, and the guide was extremely knowledgable about glaciers and the local history. Athabasca Glacier isn't especially large; maybe next time a proper tour deeper into the Columbia Icefield can be arranged with more time... assuming the glaciers don't recede before another trip can happen. It's hard to say for sure, but as someone who likes getting into nature, the glacier hike was probably way more satisifying than the Columbia Icefield Skywalk that's right off the highway.
Wrapped up the day with a few more stops, hoping for better light at Sunwapata Falls (nope) and Medicine Lake (success). Dinner was a clusterf**k at Kimchi House in Jasper, where the kitchen has apparently been a disorganized mess long predating COVID-19. Watched multiple groups of diners leave dissatisifed, many with 20, 30, or even 40+ minute waits between individual dishes coming out. How the hell this place stays in business boggles my mind. By the time Ants and I got our food, close to an hour had passed, and while the quality wasn't bad for a tourist trap, that kind of kitchen performance is unacceptable.