As an adolescent I recognized that bodies of water take a good deal of their color from the sky. As a young adult when I was beginning to be dream about mountain landscapes, I came across some photos taken of lakes in Glacier National Park in the US. The sky was the normal sky blue, but the lakes were turquoise. I assumed that the photos were somehow manipulated for some reason, because they just didn’t look normal.
Upon moving to Canada and traveling through Banff and Jasper National Parks, I discovered many lakes and rivers displaying that beautiful turquoise blue color and I learned that it was caused by “rock flour.” The massive weight of glaciers grind and pulverize rock as they slowly move. The silt-size particles from the ground up rock are washed into rivers and lakes and give them that unique turquoise color.
I hadn’t been up Mount Robson’s Berg Lake Trail (we were only going as far as Kinney Lake) for 20 years or more and had forgotten the amazing turquoise coloring of the Robson River, which the trail parallels up to Kinney Lake. It is a roaring tumbling white water body of water in places, but in the sections where it slows down, you can see the beautiful color produced by the rock flour.
The trail below Kinney Lake is also interesting because it travels through a dark and lush Cedar/Hemlock forest. Cedar and Hemlock grow in damp places and the forest is unusual because most of the area around Mt. Robson Provincial Park is much drier pine, fir, and spruce habitat. It is the weather produced by the towering Mt. Robson, that creates the damp conditions needed for Cedar and Hemlock trees.
The dark forests and refreshing breezes created by the rushing Robson River make for comfortable walking, even on very hot sunny days
You can see my paintings: www.davidmarchant.ca