Sunday, October 25, 2020

A secret lake even Google hasn’t heard of


On Pocaterra Ridge
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2020 Charlene Brown

I sometimes research National or Provincial Park websites and the many sporty blogs available to find info and comments about the mountains in the pictures my daughter sends me. With no intention of ever attempting most of the climbs they do, entries such as the following, about Pocaterra Ridge don’t scare me a bit:

·         A really challenging climb, the descent is ever harder than the climb up. Take poles and microspikes.

·         There are four summits to climb along the ridge, with the first one being by far the hardest from the aerobic standpoint. Once on top you can see the best route very clearlywhich couldn’t have been a happy moment for the next commenter...

·         When we finally made it to the top, we discovered it was just the first of four summits, and the path went down and then up forever.

Everyone, depending on the time of year, raved about either the carpets of wildflowers or the dazzling fall colours of the larch.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Maybe next year...

Boom Lake
Watercolour and crayon
©2020 Charlene Brown

This is another place my daughter and her family have been this summer, and unlike most of their hikes, this is one I hope to do myself, sometime when we’re getting out and about more.

The mountains in the Continental Divide in the background of this painting were identified in a hikers’ guide as Boom Mountain (Alberta), Chimney Peak (British Columbia) and Mount Quadra (British Columbia).  

Curious to see if Mount Quadra was named after Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, like a lot of places here on the west coast (in the 1700s Vancouver Island was originally named Quadra’s and Vancouver’s Island) I checked it out. Apparently it was mistakenly thought to have been named after him but was actually named Quadra in 1910 because it has four peaks.  

The four peaks are not obvious in the Boom Lake view, but from Consolation Lake, it looks like my painting on the right.

I was always under the impression that mountain was named Bident.  Turns out only the peak on the left (in the centre of the painting) is Bident, and it’s in Alberta.  Who knew?

 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

High alpine cirque reached with minimal effort


  Ptarmigan cirque
Watercolour and crayon
©2020 Charlene Brown

I decided to paint the cirque I mentioned in my September 16 blog post.  I Googled Ptarmigan Cirque and one of the comments about it on a hiking website, “Excellent for kids!” reminded me of what I’d said about another comment a few years ago. 

I decided to use that post again, including the title, High Alpine cirque reached with minimal effort:

I found the ‘minimal effort’ comment on a Kananaskis Country website, probably written by one of those sporty Boomers I’ve had problems with before.  He (or she, but probably he) was referring to the already high road access… The Ptarmigan Cirque trailhead is at an elevation of 2206 m on the Highwood Pass, the highest drivable mountain pass in Canada. I’ve only climbed up to the Ptarmigan Cirque once, and I don’t recall the effort being particularly minimal.

 

 


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Remembering 2019

Click on image to enlarge

Screenshot of a 3-page Christmas letter
Adobe InDesign™ document
©2020 Charlene Brown

Here’s another Christmas letter, with the addition of four watercolour paintings of Newfoundland, Puffins at Witless Bay, Brigus, L’Anse aux Meadows, and Cape Spear.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Abstracting in the fourth dimension


Mount Temple from timberline on Mount Fairview

Watercolour and oil pastel

©2020 Charlene Brown

The photo I used for this painting was taken near the same spot as the ones I used for the painting of Victoria Glacier that I wrote about on September 9.

My daughter’s family climbed up there in July, almost a month before the first heavy snowfall and two months before the larch trees that border the timberline had even started to turn orange. The space-time continuum is just one more factor to be abstracted in a painting.

    

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Remembering 2018



Screenshot of a 3-page Christmas letter
Adobe InDesign™ document
©2020 Charlene Brown

Here’s another Christmas letter, with the addition of a watercolour painting of the Ink Pots above Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park.


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The most spectacular route to Lake Oesa


Lake O’Hara and the Opabin Plateau from the Wiwaxy Gap Trail

Watercolour and oil pastel

©2020 Charlene Brown

Having mentioned that my daughter was sort of confined to Alberta this summer, I should admit that the Wiwaxy Gap trail is in British Columbia, just barelyabout 2 km southwest of Victoria Glacier, which is in Alberta.  But it’s okay because the pictures I used to paint it were taken last year.

In fact, Lake O'Hara is much less accessible to everybody this year.  Parks Canada is not operating the Lake O'Hara shuttle from the TransCanada Highway and an 11-kilometre hike is the only way in.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Remembering 2017


Screenshot of a 3-page Christmas letter
Adobe InDesign document
©2020 Charlene Brown

Here’s another Christmas letter, with the addition of three sketches of Iran – the Takhte e Soleyman fortress in the Alborz Mountains, the Soltaniyeh Dome at Zanjan, and Naqsh-e Jehan Square in Isfahan as well as a watercolour painting of Connemara in Ireland.