Thursday, March 31, 2016
Changing Weather - Rogers Pass
Acrylic 12" x 24"
Imagine 15 degrees below zero, more or less, a clear bright blue sky, blindingly bright snow and your friends and you are slowly moving up the mountain side on skis. The morning is spent in a long climb and your pack full of avalanche gear and all the necessities of back country winter travel is feeling heavy. But the top of the climb is near. Suddenly, the rising ground ends and a vast space opens up; clouds and snowfields drop away below your feet and fade into the distance. Rising over the chasm a mass of dark cloud blocks the sun. Everything below is shadowed purples and blues. Mist and cloud fall down the distant canyons into what seems like bottomless space. The wind picks up. Standing on the col, you are on the edge between two worlds; the bright, quiet sunlit fields of snowy slopes falling away behind and ahead, the low roar of wind and darkening storm.
That long, cold ski up the mountain brought my friends and I onto the col where we'd planned to rest and eat our lunch before going onto the Illecillewaet Glacier but the unexpected drama of this view changed our plans. We simply had to stand around for a few minutes and watch the weather roll in. Of course, then our lunch was shortened and the day's plans modified so we could get back down to a lower altitude before bad weather trapped us too far from the hut.
This view remains one of my favorite of all the spectacular mountain views I was so fortunate to know skiing in the Canadian backcountry. I always knew it was a painting, and finally it is!
If you ski, here's some information on this spectacular Canadian backcountry destination:
Rogers Pass ski routes
While doing this painting, our Wisconsin snow has turned to rain, the grass is greening, birds sing and winter is finished for this year. But I'm inspired about painting snow so have another painting started of the Blanket Glacier area in the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia.
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