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CANADIAN ROCKIES | Manuel Baldemor

“I have always been fascinated by the magnificent visage of a snow-capped mountain. After all, I have devoted a good portion of my life in observing, digesting, depicting and painting different cultures and places of the world. It was November of 1988, springtime in Chile: I was an artist- in-residence when I first witnessed the breathtaking panorama of the eternal snow of the Cordillera de los Andes from the cockpit of a 20-seater plane provided by the Fuerza Aerea de Chile. From then on, the Sight of the spectacular beauty and splendor of a snow-capped mountain range has always overwhelmed me. I encountered them in the Fjords of Norway, the Matterhorn of Switzerland, the French and Italian Alps and some portions of the Himalayas near Bhutan.

Throughout history, human societies were drawn to the mountains in search of a better quality of life, beckoning like the embrace of a giant mother. In the Bible, the Lord entreats listeners to ee to the mountains when a great calamity occurs, thus it can be seen as a refuge due to the high altitude that offers protection and tranquility. Mountains are also where the earth touches the heavens exemplifying man touching the divine. Thus, the ancients saw the mountains as sacred spaces such as Mt. Olympus and Mt. Sinai.

My Canadian sojourn last year (2015) gave me the opportunity to visit the Canadian Rockies, the easternmost part of the Canadian Cordillera, the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains. The Canadian Rockies mountain system extends for about a thousand miles southeasternward, from northern British Columbia, Canada and forms nearly half the 900 mile border between the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Traveling by train, I marveled at the ice oes owing down the rivers that originated from the snowy tops, like an icy assembly line coming from above.
Grouse Mountain, while not technically part of the Canadian Rockies, is far more accessible and a famed mountain resort. It is Vancouver’s most visited attraction and attracts more than 1.2 million visitors each year. It is one of the North Shore mountains of the Pacific Ranges in the District municipality of North Vancouver, British Columbia and exceeds more than 4,000 feet in altitude.

While riding the longest and highest lift in the world, the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is an engineering feat for a 4.4 km journey between the tops of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, complete with incomparable views of towering volcanic peaks, ancient glaciers, and coastal BC rain forests, I tried to dream of something profound and transendescent but all I ended up was taking a sel e”