It's cold this morning! Minus 29ºC. “Brrr – it has been this cold since more than a week now.” Larry complains while shivering. And here at the east face of Mount Rundle it is even colder. At this time of the year the sun is not rising early enough to warm him up. “It is dark and cold. I am so sick of it. Frost bites are all over my face.” Larry grumbles while looking jealously over to his sunny neighbors at the south face of Cascade Mountain. Even the western side of Rundle has it better. That gentler dipping rock face is protected by a thick blanket of snow. That keeps them warm, like the people that walk around in Banff with their winter jackets and snow boots.
Larry has nothing that protects him. He is exposed to the -42ºC wind chill and nobody seems to care. “I am a rock – we are used to warm and cozy environments.” Larry yells into the cold air trying to let the world know about this injustice. It is one of the misconceptions that rocks are cold. “Who came up with this?” he wonders, “We are warm and most of us are quite hot.” Just a kilometer below the surface it is nice and warm like a sunny Alberta spring day. And another kilometer deeper it is hot like a summer day in the Okanagen Valley. And if you would keep going deeper and deeper into Earth it gets hotter and hotter.
“You don’t believe me? Well – where do you think the warm waters of the Banff hot springs is coming from?” Larry smirks. This spring water was first rained on the mountain peaks, then traveled deep through the rock layers where it slowly warmed up. Eventually it hit a large zone of broken rocks where the waters all meet to rise again towards the surface. “You see – best evidence of Earth geothermal structure.”
Larry is daydreaming about being inside Earth. It seems to him such a better place than being exposed at the surface and a victim of the weather. “The surface is wearing me out.” he mumbles, “It marks my face with lines and cracks that make me look old.” It is true, Larry Limestone is old, very old. He is in his hundreds of millions of years. But that is a story for another day.