KluaneNATIONAL PARK & RESERVE
the ice fields of Kluane National Park and Reserve stretch from horizon to horizon, a monochromatic canvas of changing shades and textures. A great platform of grey ice, wrinkled like the skin of an elephant
The plane trundles along the runway and lifts itself into the sky between tottering pines and shattered boulders. Its shadow tatters as it crosses undergrowth, scrub, and then fractures in the ripples of a wide riverbed, rusty water flowing over plump, smooth rocks. The land tips skyward beneath, gently at first, and then with vertiginous urgency, reaching for the naked peaks that crust the horizon, carved by the millennial advance and retreat of ice. The air chills and the pines peter out, replaced by a pavement of pulverised stone, nudged by frozen tongues laced with grit. The plane climbs higher, and the ice fields of Kluane National Park and Reserve stretch from horizon to horizon, a monochromatic canvas of changing shades and textures. A great platform of grey ice, wrinkled like the skin of an elephant with a fine mesh of cracks; a blanket of snow with deep, tear shaped fissures punched at regular intervals in its surface; a ridged and banded glacial flow, geological detritus carried along by its unstoppable momentum. The aircraft’s shadow flickers, smaller then larger, over watercourses cut into the surface like veins, transforming to gold as the sunlight catches them. Cerulean lakes punctuate the plateaux, scattered like semi precious stones.