14 April 2009

Hooker Valley, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Hooker Glacier Terminal Moraine & LakeThe Hooker Valley lies immediately West of the Mt Cook range and East of the Main Divide of the Southern Alps. A short, easy walk from the carpark takes one to a lookout on White Horse hill offering a good view of the terminal moraines of the Mueller Glacier (debouching from the left) and the Hooker Glacier (the massive wall directly ahead), and the small, eerie lake.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

9 comments:

Relatively Retiring said...

But for the grasses this could be a lunar landscape (I think!). Is that little lake really that strange colour? There are areas of Cornwall with this sort of feel - where huge amounts of china clay have been excavated (and where the Eden Project has been created to fill the gaps).

The Clandestine Samurai said...

I would've liked to walk through this valley. The scenery seems attractive and free. I can imagine the echoes of birds squawking and the sound of the lake running.

Patricia said...

Since water reflects the color of the sky I have to wonder too about the deposits in this pond.

Beautiful image!

Zhoen said...

Geology in motion.

pohanginapete said...

RR and Patricia, yes, the colours are accurate. The glacial water is heavily laden with particles of ground rock (often likened to flour), making it highly reflective (hence the colours of cloud and sky) and, I guess, affecting colours by selectively absorbing some wavelengths of light. I'm no expert on the physics, but these colours are common in the lakes in this area. Lake Pukaki in particular is famous for its striking, almost turquoise, colour. The mirror-like surface really is unnerving, though.

Samurai, the bird most likely to be heard here is the kea, our remarkable mountain parrot. Sadly, they seem to be declining in many areas, although they're still easily seen, usually around tourist spots where they can scam food and get into all sorts of other mischief.

Zhoen, it's a geologist's paradise. So many forces operating, so visibly.

butuki said...

Until I actually saw one and climbed one in the Alps two years ago I had no idea how colossal a terminal moraine can be. Without a human figure in this image I think most viewers who have never seen a glacier will not really get a true idea of what it is that they are looking at. And to think that for the glaciers the moraine is just a little shove at the end of their muscular surge.

pohanginapete said...

Miguel, yes, and our glaciers are small compared to some of those overseas — especially those giants in the Himalaya.

Michael said...

I like the flatness of this piece. There's a well balanced sense of tension. Reminds me of the formalist painters from my youth.

pohanginapete said...

Interesting point, Michael. I hadn't noticed the flatness, but I agree. Thanks.