Portage of the Mountains: Howse Pass

“Portage of the Mountains: Howse Pass June 25, 1807”,Oil, 30” x 48”, Original SOLD

This painting is also available as a giclee fine art reproduction on canvas. Unframed sizes:

This oil painting reflects David Thompson with his wife Charlotte Small and their children passing along Conway Creek. A small tributary flows into Conway Creek on the right hand side. Thompson’s entourage are heading southwest towards the Continental Divide at Howse Pass.

In “Sources of the River”, Jack Nisbet writes that “while everyone else was resting Thompson spotted five white mountain goats up on the cliffs of the pound and went off after them. The goats took a high craggy route of escape, and in hot pursuit Thompson loosened a large boulder, which in turn unleashed a landslide that passed so close to him that he “was obliged to keep hold with my nails and feet to prevent myself sliding down.” It was almost noon by the time he recovered his breath and rejoined his waiting party. Even so, they easily made it to the Divide, which Thompson called the “Height of Land” by early afternoon and stopped to camp in a marshy meadow beside Howse Pass.”

On our hike to Howse Pass we stopped at the point of land depicted here in the foreground of the painting. The four of us ate lunch, and dangled our feet in the cool, glacial fed creek water in order to refresh them. It was here that Joseph imagined Thompson’s family, fellow fur traders and companions coming along the creek.

Sharon Cross 2014