Part 3: Gakona Glacier Part 2


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The Trip

We headed up the Gakona river drainage until we hit the foot of the glacier.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

At the upper end of the river drainage we encountered the foot of the glacier and saw a set of ice caves.

Roberto took a photo of me in full gear (less gloves).  In the valley, the sun was strong and the wind was minimal resulting in us cracking a light sweat.

The daily melt water freezes at night to form interesting icicles.

Walking through the cave was both interesting and scary.  We could hear the ice cracking from the movement of the glacier.

In the summer, the tunnel is filled with runoff.  The combination of the water flow and the melting produces interesting cups in the ice surface.

There was another, deeper cave up the canyon from the first cave.

The floor of the cave was ice but it did crack under weight implying there is flowing water below.  Note the frost on the roof.

The roof of the cave had interesting frost-cicles that result from condensation of water vapor.

The ice formations reminded me of an underground cave.

The walls of the ice carried a large amount of rocks and debris that have been scoured from the floor of the valley.

Dan, Kai and Roberto.  I am behind the camera.

Glaciers move a tremendous amount of material with them as they flow to the sea.

The debris ranges from small dirt to pebbles to huge boulders.

Kai spun out on the ice and rolled his ski.  He hurt his shoulder, but was able to right the machine unassisted.

We traveled to another set of cliffs on the edge of the glacier.  The dark bands are debris that has been dug up by the movement of the glacier.

Note the bedding in the ice and the valley in the center.

This cliff shows some of the folding that happens as the ice flows downhill.

There is always a possibility of an icefall when close to the cliff.

We made it back to the cabin and had a nice view of the mountains from the deck.

Kai works the grill for asparagus.

Dinner was a glutton's delight with tons of King Crab legs, asparagus, salad and wine.

Roberto set up his 7D on the patio and managed to get a photo of the northern lights.  The focus was off, but it surely conveys the essence of the situation.

I could have done without the rollover and was lucky that the injury was not more substantial.  It was close to my left knee, but not on it.

The Gakona glacier was awesome and I was glad that we went.  The views were remarkable.  We clocked 60 miles this day.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2014, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.