Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mount Assiniboine

From Cautley Meadow

Watercolour and crayon

©2010 Charlene Brown

Since horses are no longer allowed into this sensitive alpine region, there are only two ways into Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park, 6-8 hours climbing/skiing or 10 minutes in a helicopter. I’ll admit right off that I took the 10-minute route (including a pretty exciting updraft-augmented leap through a dip in the precipitous ridge of the continental divide). But I did get myself and my watercolour sketching stuff up to the Cautley Meadow for this unusual view of Mt. Assiniboine – the frequently clouded east face. It’s pretty well impossible to do a painting with only one subject in magical places like this, so I’ve included the surrounding glaciers (Gloria on the far left, and Magog in front of Mt. Assiniboine) and lakes (Magog on the right, Gog and a tiny, unnamed pond we were not encouraged to explore because a grizzly sow is currently teaching her cubs to swim and fish there). I even tried to capture the effect of the carpets of spring flowers – mostly blue anemones, forget-me-nots, moss campion and heather, with glacier lilies near the timberline below us. BTW, I say spring flowers because summer at this elevation is said to begin August 1 and extend to August 15.