Climbing a Mountain

A mountain is defined as a physical feature that rises more than 300 meters (1000 feet) above the surrounding landscape. The tallest mountain in Canada is Mount Logan in the Yukon at 5959 meters (19,551 feet).


Mountains store water on their peaks in the form of snow and gradually release it into the valleys below. They also affect climate as air is deflected up and as the air rises it loses its moisture in the form of rain creating the rain shadow effect. The other side tends to be drier.


There are several mountain ranges on the western side of Canada with the Rocky Mountains probably being the most well known. So we are going to climb Ha Ling Peak, near Canmore, Alberta in the Rocky Mountain Range.


The lower part of a mountain is mostly broadleaf forests. As you get higher this changes to conifers such as pine and spruce.


The trees gradually thin out until it is mostly small alpine plants, and the top is bare rock. Mountains are gradually worn down by water (flowing and freezing), wind, and even the roots of plants splitting the rock.


As you climb a mountain, the temperature drops about 6 degrees Celsius for every 1000 meters. The height can also have an effect on your body as there is less oxygen available as you go higher making you feel breathless and dizzy.


Coming back down the mountain was probably harder than going up.


Here are some friends we met along the way: A Rocky Mountain Goat and a Bighorn Sheep.


Activity: Mountains are made of rock, but it’s not quite that simple. There are lots of different kinds of rock. The Rocky Mountains are made of mostly limestone, dolomite, sandstone and shale. What kinds of rocks do you have where you live? Here is a website that may help you to identify them:


Picture Books: Western Canada


This post is part of a challenge to write a post every day for 31 days: 31 Days of Canadian Picture Books. Instead of writing a new post every day, I have added a new book that we have enjoyed reading as a family every day to one of four posts which cover all of Canada.

wildhorses Where Wild Horses Run

Author & Illustrator: Georgia Graham went camping in Chilcotin Country in the interior of BC to find the wild horses there and write this book. She has written and illustrated several other children’s books as well. She was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and now lives on a tree farm in Central Alberta. You can find out more about her and the other books she has written here.

This book has beautiful illustrations and tells the story of a little brown colt.

maryofmile18Mary of Mile 18

Author & Illustrator: Ann Blades was only 20 years old when she began teaching in a small community in northern British Columbia. She wrote this book to give her students a a book about them and where they lived. She has since written several others books for children as well. She lives in Vancouver.

I read and loved this book when I was in primary school (a long time ago) and it continues to be a favourite.

fishing-gubbyFishing with Gubby

Author: Gary Kent was a commercial fisherman and salmon troller for ten years. He now works with wood as a cabinetmaker and instructor in Roberts Creek, B.C.

Illustrator: Kim La Fave also lives in Roberts Creek, British Columbia and has illustrated several other children’s books which you can see here.

This story is in the form of a comic book and is such an interesting look into the life of a Pacific Coast fisherman. There is a sequel to this book called Gubby Builds a Boat.

yetsassweaterYetsa’s Sweater

Author: Sylvia Olsen spent 30 years of her life living on the Tsartlip First Nations community on Vancouver Island, BC. She is non-native but her children are mixed-heritage and so many of her stories are about where different people come together. Making Indian Sweaters is a family business and you can see her store here. This story is about her grand-daughter.

Illustrator: Joan Larson loves horses and specializes in pastels. She lives in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, BC. You can see more of her art here.

This is a lovely story about family connection and what it takes to make a Indian Sweater.

gulfislandsGulf Island Alphabet

Author: Bronwyn Preece lives on an island in the Salish Sea in an off-grid waterwheel and solar-powered house. She has also written another picture book called Off the Grid Kid about living on Lasqueti Island.

Illustrator: Alex Walton lives in BC and has illustrated a few other books, such as Snowy White World to Save.

This is a book of beautiful watercolours of the Gulf Islands in the Salish Sea. It is also fun to read because of the alphabetical alliteration.

fraserbearFraser Bear: A Cub’s Life

Author: Maggie de Vries lives in a house overlooking the Fraser River and amongst others has written two more books about animals called The Tale of a Great White Fish, and Big City Bees.

Illustrator: Renne Benoit lives in Ontario and has illustrated several other books. You can see them at here.

The beautifully illustrated book tells the story of a black bear family living along the Fraser River and also the chinook salmon who come back every year to spawn.