Terminus: Mystery Glacier by Brian Hackworth

a decorative line divider with curled ends and a snowflake at the center.
A painting of a snowy mountain landscape in shades of purple. Purple clouds above dissipate into white and blue sky.
Spring Storm Clearing Over Mystery Glacier
Acrylic on canvas, 24x36
Brian Hackworth

"My artistic style is representational; I portray awe using vibrant colors and exaggerated perspectives. I painted Mystery Glacier as winter turns into spring, at the maximum depth of the seasonal snowpack. Few people visit glaciers outside of the warm summer months. But without cold wet winters, glaciers wouldn’t exist.

"The beauty of the Terminus Project is to eternalize many of the quickly dying glaciers of the Olympic Range, and this view of Mystery Glacier is fleeting on a geological scale. In a number of years this glacier, along with many others, will not exist anymore. The mountains, rocks, moraines, sky and sun will remain for millennia after the glaciers melt away into the ocean. I was drawn to the thesis of this Project; capturing these remote scenes as artistic impressions, because I believe they are important for future generations. Beyond the objective images captured by photographs, art has the ability to portray the emotional importance of landscapes that we attempt to protect with National Park status. But even this designation cannot protect our wildernesses from climate change." -Brian Hackworth

a decorative line divider with curled ends and a snowflake at the center.

Meet the artist: Brian Hackworth

Brian grew up outside of Seattle, but left the Pacific Northwest to travel the world and experience more of our country. After five years of traveling, he returned to Seattle and began seeing the region through a fresh lens. As he began to develop his skills in alpine climbing, his art followed a similar trajectory and began to focus more on painting mountains and alpine environments; he often paints scenes from backcountry campsites and of mountains that he’s climbed.

From Brian: "Growing up in the foothills of the Cascades, I remember being intrigued and curious about the mountains that held onto their snow even as the summer days lengthened. As I got older, I became more intimate with the surrounding peaks through rock climbing and alpinism. That enthusiastic sense of wonderment about the glaciers, cliffs, and subalpine forests has remained a motivating force throughout my life and what I draw inspiration from in my paintings. Climbing mountains takes me into some truly remote, rugged, and gorgeous landscapes; sketching and painting these scenes has become a creative way to emotionally remain among the peaks, long after I’ve returned home to the typical obligations of modern life. I work with acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, and oil to recreate my impressions from my wilderness adventures."

You can see more from Brian on his Instagram page here.

Black and white repeat photos of the same view of a mountain glacier. The glacier is noticeably shrunken in the photo labeled 2010, compared to the first photo labeled 1964.

More about Mystery Glacier

This glacier lies at the base of Mount Mystery in Deception Basin, flowing eventually into the Dosewallips River. Arrows mark the same points illustrating ice volume loss through thinning and retreat on this north-facing glacier. (See photos.) Once the glacier's meltwaters feed into the Dosewallips River, they flow south and east to join the Hood Canal near the small town of Brinnon. According to the book Gods and Goblins: A Field Guide to the Place Names of Olympic National Park's entry for Mount Mystery: "This unusual name was affixed to this peak by a U.S. Forest Service employee, G. A. Whitehead, circa 1915. Whitehead recorded his admiration for the regal appearance of the mountain, especially on foggy days, and thought the adjective 'mystery' a most fitting description of it."

a decorative line divider with curled ends and a snowflake at the center.

Last updated: March 31, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

600 E. Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362


360 565-3130

Contact Us