Stories of Ice: Adventure, Commerce and Creativity on Canada’s Glaciers





Cana­da has more glac­i­er ice than any­where except Green­land and Antarc­ti­ca. And like glac­i­ers and ice­fields around the world, they are melt­ing.

In west­ern Cana­da, glac­i­ers and ice­fields are places where peo­ple work, run busi­ness­es, cre­ate art, con­duct sci­en­tif­ic stud­ies and pur­sue excit­ing adven­tures, every sin­gle day.

I first sparked the idea for Sto­ries of Ice in 2014, while road trip­ping in north­ern British Colum­bia. Glac­i­ers have long fas­ci­nat­ed me, and over the decades I have writ­ten many news­pa­per and mag­a­zine arti­cles that fea­tured peo­ple’s activ­i­ties on glac­i­ers.

I’ve accom­pa­nied sci­en­tists on their work mis­sions to study glac­i­ers. I’ve joined artists, pho­tog­ra­phers, writ­ers and film­mak­ers on their glac­i­er explo­rations as they pur­sued projects and cre­at­ed art fea­tur­ing glac­i­ers and the ice­fields they descend from like frozen rivers.

I have inter­viewed adven­tur­ers about long expe­di­tions they have embarked on ski­ing across glac­i­ers for weeks or months. And I’ve enjoyed many adven­tures of my own on glac­i­ers — frozen fin­gers some­times includ­ed — some days ski­ing into winds fierce enough to push me over, oth­er days in sub­lime sun­ny con­di­tions with tem­per­a­tures warm enough to lounge on the deck of a remote high alpine hut.

On that road trip, in one of those fate­ful explo­sions of inspi­ra­tion, I envi­sioned shar­ing a col­lec­tion of sto­ries that shows glac­i­ers — specif­i­cal­ly west­ern Canada’s — to be so much more than mass­es of ice melt­ing on the land­scape.

A book that cel­e­brates glac­i­ers as places where peo­ple expe­ri­ence nature at her most mys­te­ri­ous, fas­ci­nat­ing and excit­ing, and at her most frag­ile as our plan­et warms. And I’m thrilled that so many tal­ent­ed pho­tog­ra­phers were excit­ed to share their pho­tos, and their own love and awe for our glac­i­ers, with me. For you.

With the state of glob­al ice con­stant­ly in the news, Lynn Mar­tel exam­ines Cana­di­an glac­i­ers to uncov­er their secrets and their future.

From a mother/daughter duo who spent five months ski­ing across ice­fields from Van­cou­ver to Alas­ka, to sci­en­tists dis­cov­er­ing biofilms deep inside glac­i­er cav­erns, to pro­test­ers camp­ing for weeks to pro­tect their beloved local glac­i­er, west­ern Canada’s glac­i­ers are dynam­ic, enig­mat­ic, exquis­ite­ly beau­ti­ful, some­times dan­ger­ous envi­ron­ments where peo­ple play, work, run busi­ness­es, explore, and cre­ate art every sin­gle day.

Lynn Mar­tel is one of them. With gor­geous images by some of the country’s best out­door pho­tog­ra­phers, Sto­ries of Ice shares the excite­ment, the mys­tery, and the won­der of Canada’s glac­i­ers and pos­es ques­tions about their future.”

Pub­lished by Rocky Moun­tain Books.