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Crystal catwalk

The Glacier Skywalk in Jasper National Park, Canada.

The Glacier Skywalk in Jasper National Park, Canada.

Nau Poncho Via in Beetle.

Nau Poncho Via in Beetle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vertigo rarely visits me, but I wonder if it would on the just-opened Glacier Skywalk, a steel arc jutting from a craggy cliff in Canada’s Jasper National Park. Through the glass floor, I would study the Sunwapta Valley, 918 feet below. Or I might keep my eyes fixed up high, on the glaciers visible from the horseshoe deck. Designed to educate visitors about glacial formation and impact, the Skywalk stirred controversy during its five-year development; opponents feel it sets a commercially-driven Canadian precedent in ecologically-sensitive parkland (mountain goats, bighorn sheep, wolverines, wolves, grizzlies and mountain caribou all call this corner of Jasper home). I respect this stance, while valuing the visitor experience the Skywalk affords and applauding its ruggedly beautiful design – or beautifully rugged design like this Nau hardshell, a stylish disguise of billowy technical function.

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