National Geographic : 1910 Jun
TRAMPS ACROSS GLACIERS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA torrent and pushed on down the valley, rather anxious, it must be admitted, as to whether there were any other speci mens in the menagerie. After a half hour's rough tumble over the boulders along the stream and through the alders fringing the canyon's lip, we reached the more open portion of the valley seen from above, and soon found a place in an old avalanche track where dry wood was abundant and the tent could be set up among the stones. It was anything but an ideal camping spot. The only space for the tent con sisted of a 6-foot stretch of water-worn rocks, the interstices between which were only partly filled by glacial silt, leaving their "summits" to indent the particularly weary portions of one's anatomy. More over, even this small area had to be cleared of the ever-present alders. But we were in a far from critical mood, and, in comparison with what might have been our lot, this was luxury. A fire, soon kindled, dispelled the gloom and facilitated our lumbering and culinary operations. Ere long the tent was up (though rather precariously) and copious draughts of hot tea and pea soup were repairing the ravages of a hard day's work. We had climbed about 4,000 feet under 40-pound packs, and descended the same distance, with 6oo feet additional, cover ing a distance of o1 miles through un traversed country. Next morning we were up early to view our surroundings. In the gloom of our arrival the heights had shown merely as dim shadows against the sky. Sounds of rushing waters in varying keys had reached us intermittently as the wind blew gustily down the valley, so we hoped for glimpses of waterfalls not far away. Not were we disappointed. Almost directly behind our camp a beautiful cascade leaped out of the sky and came tumbling down from ledge to ledge in a foaming thread for a full 300 feet. Further to the right another gushed out, evidently the drainage from a gla cier that was nearly hidden in a deep notch. Fifteen hundred feet almost straight above this a single Matterhorn-like sum mit towered in lonely splendor, forming with its lower and more distant slopes the eastern wall of the valley. The cor responding wall at our backs rose even steeper to a belt of cliffs which extended for two miles along that side (west) and supported hanging glaciers as far as we could see. Its southerly termination was a sharp rock peak, around which the val ley swung abruptly to the west. Opposite this point stood the fine group of peaks shown on page 486. Altogether the scene presented the sharpest contrasts between heights and depths that we had seen anywhere previously. After a day spent in improving the camp we pushed down the valley in order if possible to view its course beyond the turn just mentioned. We followed a well-worn bear trail that wound through soft grassy alps, where evidently the ani mals often found comfortable quarters, to a point where the torrent entered a small canyon. Then we turned to the left and struck up a very steep alder-matted slope, attaining at length an altitude of 5,800 feet-2,400 feet above the valley. From here we obtained splendid views up and down its length, including one of a fine glacier basin below Mount Sugar loaf. We had come a distance of about a mile and a half from camp in an airline, during which the valley dropped 500oo feet. The creek in consequence had in places cut its channel through the loose mo rainic material to a depth of 75 feet be low the general level. Lower down the gradient became gentler at an altitude of approximately 3,000 feet, allowing the stream to take a winding course through verdant meadows and groves of ever greens until it once again turned west ward and was lost to sight. Numerous tributaries from the high glaciers of the Battle Range bounded down over smooth rocky slants to join it, in two cases issuing from hanging valleys that cut back into the heart of the range. Our plan was to continue still further, but a heavy shower forced 483"