WLM Summer 2019 - Page 24

WLM | explore GLACIERS of the Rockies By Garrett Fisher Images by Garrett Fisher I keep getting asked how I came to love glaciers so much. My replies have been to the effect that it’s a silly question. Shouldn’t everyone know I came out of the womb knowing I like punishing rivers of ice? I suppose it isn’t an irrational question, as I grew up in Upstate New York, where the nearest glaciers are probably actually in Wyoming, and I hadn’t seen or heard of a single one of them until adulthood. My earliest recollection of discovering rocky terrain was from a book on a shelf in my third-grade classroom, noting above timberline mountains. I still remember dragging my mother during open house to show her the book, for which I remember her cynical platitudes in response. My revelation merely encouraged her to educate me on the danger of airplanes and mountains, a task that clearly failed. The history of the most recent Ice Age is a prominent part of science curriculum where I was born, as the entire place was covered in piles of ice during the last glacial maxima, leaving their mark in the form of the Finger Lakes region and an abundance of cirques in what small mountains exist in New York and the Northeast. As a lover of snow, I thought the idea was kind of neat, that so much of the white stuff can fall that it piles up, destroys everything, and scours new terrain. In effect, glaciers represent the ability for the earth to literally move mountains, which in retrospect was fascinating in the stimulus-bereft days of grade school. When the time came to move to Wyoming, I had come to understand that there were glaciers in the state, eventually researching some curious facts, such as that the largest glacier in the American Rockies is in the Wind River Range, not Glacier National Park, as most would assume. I also came to understand that some 22 Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine | Summer 2019