Robert L. Peters

20 July 2010

Receding glaciers…




On mountains, everywhere

This past weekend, Ev and I enjoyed a short sortie with the Westie out to Riding Mountain National Park to take in the latest of her Manitoba Crafts Council show openings in Wasagaming. We spent a delightful dinner and overnight with old friends Celes and Sue Davar (Celes and I were both partners in Praxis Photographic Workshops some 20 years ago; he now runs Earth Rhythms—Sue is a remarkably talented potter and book-maker, and a longstanding friend of Ev’s). During the course of our conversation, Celes asked me whether I had noticed melt-back on glaciers in the Canadian Rockies in recent years (which of course I have, quite visibly in places like the Columbia Icefield). So it seemed more than a little coincidental that David Breashears’ latest documentary initiative would cross my desk today…

Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya showcases the work of photographer and mountaineer David Breashears, who with Glacier Research Imaging Project (GRIP), has retraced the steps of renowned mountain photographers of the past century to recapture images of these mountains and their glaciers from exactly the same vantage points. Rivers of Ice displays his recent photographs alongside the corresponding historic images, revealing the alarming loss in ice mass that has taken place over the intervening years. Visit the website (reports, videos, comparative photographs) here.

Above images: Graphic evidence of the loss of glacier mass between 1921 and 2007; the dotted line shows the Main Rongbuk Glacier’s height in 1921, while this 2007 photo freveals a loss of 320 vertical feet (nearly 100m) in ice mass since George Mallory took the same photograph in 1921; the tiny climber (upper right corner) gives scale to the remaining ice pinnacles.

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