Page:Canadian Alpine Journal I, 1.djvu/61

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Canadian Alpine Journal

from the Pacific ocean by prevailing winds. The decreasing pressure, as this current is deflected upward over the range, causes a rapid cooling of the air and a consequent deposit of the large bodies of snow found in these mountain fastnesses.

Where, in the Main range, the slopes are clad with pine, spruce and larch, according to altitude, in the Selkirk range, Douglas fir, hemlocks, cedar, giant spruce and balsam take their place. These forests of green, so deep in color as to appear almost black, rise grandly to the snows, and often amidst the trees may be seen crystal cascades of ice, tumbling in a wild confusion of séracs down rocky beds.

The Selkirk range is remarkable for the number, purity and picturesque formation of its glaciers. In size they may not compare with the ice-rivers of other ranges, but what they lack in size, they more than make up in their wonderfully crevassed surfaces and in the grotesque séracs that are formed where they break over cliffs and rock ledges. Specially beautiful are the hanging and confluent glaciers, high up on the mountain sides, dropping tons of crystal ice daily to the trunk streams below. Splendid examples of these may be seen above the Battle glaciers at the head of Battle creek, and in the hanging valley of Cougar creek; also, in the Main range the narrow gorge, known as "The Death Trap," leading between Mts. Victoria and Lefroy to Abbott pass. During the warm summer days the roar of ice falling from these upper glaciers is incessant.

The Gold range, situated westward beyond the Columbia river on its southern course, resembles the Selkirk range, but here the great ice-plough of a by-gone age has done more serious work, and the sharp peaks and jagged edges of the Selkirks give place, as a rule, to rounded domes and elevated plateaus, covered most of the year by snow. The rock formation is