Blue Glacier

British Columbia. Other name for Berg Glacier
Earliest known reference to this name is 1909 (Coleman).
View of Blue or Tumbling Glacier from its névé on the slope of Robson Peak to where its foot enters Berg Lake, a descent of 5,000 feet. Photo: R. C. W. Lett

View of Blue or Tumbling Glacier from its névé on the slope of Robson Peak to where its foot enters Berg Lake, a descent of 5,000 feet. Photo: R. C. W. Lett
National Geographic Magazine 1913

“Blue Glacier is a wonderful stream of slipping, sheering, blue, green, and white ice. Why it does not slip and slide as a whole down into Berg Lake is one of the unsolved secrets of this great mountain,” wrote Charles Doolittle Walcott in his report on the 1912 Smithsonian expedition to Mount Robson.

“From the elevated ice-field, fed by avalanching snows from the sides of Robson, a gigantic ice cascade tumbles down rock precipices and buries its nose in the waters of Berg Lake,” wrote Arthur Oliver Wheeler after his 1911 visit. “At frequent intervals great chunks of ice break off with a report like cannon, and, bounding and rattling down the steep incline, plunge into the clear water of the lake. Dr. Coleman has named the overhanging ice-fall ‘The Blue Glacier,’ The term is not strong enough: ‘Tumbling Glacier,’ though not so euphonious, is a better name to express the activity of such a unique feature.”

References:

  • Coleman, Arthur Philemon [1852-1939]. The Canadian Rockies: new and old trails. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1911. Internet Archive
  • Walcott, Charles Doolittle [1850–1927]. “The monarch of the Canadian Rockies.” National Geographic Magazine, (1913):626. Internet Archive

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