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Monday, September 5, 2011

Spirited Away at Glacier House

Glacier House Hotel was an exclusive luxurious hotel at the base of Illecillewaet Glacier. Horses would guide guests to the glacier's edge. It was much like The Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise--a glorious CP (Canadian Pacific Railway) Hotel. The train used to stop right at its front doors in the pristine wilderness of the Columbia Rain Forest.
 One winter, back in 1915, there was a large avalanche that closed the train line and buried the train. Rescue crews were immediately summoned. But as they were digging the train out, another massive avalanche buried the entire train once again, killing over 53 people including all of the rescuers. It was the worst train disaster in BC's history. This prompted the government to change the train line. It no longer swooped in along the edge of the glacier and instead traveled through a long snow shed tunnel. The hotel no longer had train service to its front door. It existed for 10 more years, closing its doors in 1925. The materials and furniture were salvaged--much sent to Banff Springs and Chateau Lake Louise. 
Glacier House's loss was Illecillewaet gain--it is now a picturesque camp ground and nature trails. The ruins of the hotel are still eerily visible in the long grass. It is a beautiful spot. Hiking amongst the ruins inspired my girls and I to say, "This is like Spirited Away"! The large stone pillars in the tall grass reminded us of the opening scene in the Hayao Miyazaki movie. 
I hope you enjoy our pictures of being Spirited Away amongst the ruins of Glacier House:

Glacier House Hotel, Illecillewaet Glacier, British Columbia

Peter and Pip
Peter and the Girls
Fountain at Glacier House
A Bathroom at Glacier House Hotel








Spirited Away at Glacier House

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