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Friday, June 5, 2015

Walking on Ice

Today we reached the Matanuska Glacier.       This glacier has remained fairly stable for the last 400 years.       The  ice still creeps down the mountain, but it is not losing volume.    One thing that has continued to amaze me is how dirty the lower glaciers are.    They pick up a lot of dirt and rocks in their journey down the ice fields.

This particular area of the Matanuska Glacier is on private land.     We drove down a couple miles on a very steep dirt road, paid our fee, signed lengthy waiver releases and then drove some more.    Once we reached the parking lot, we were allowed to go where ever we wanted.  

The surface was quite crunchy which was fairly easy walking.      When the crunching dissipated, the surface became harder to walk on.     While this doesn't look very thick, the ice is many feet thick.

At this point we start getting into the gorges, etc.     This area was very high/thick and held safety issues since we have no experience/knowledge of this type of hiking.

The ground under RJ here is water on top but is (dirty) thick ice.      These are double wide metal planks.    We also traversed many of the single wide ones.     Quite a challenge for me with my balance issues but I wasn't going to miss out on this adventure!

The dark area is also ice, just dirty ice.      There were numerous crevices that were quite deep but were very narrow so we felt safe hopping over them.

This view is from the road up above after we safely made it back up to the top.     What a fun experience!

Part of the beauty we saw during our drive today.

This is Tazlina Glacier.     We had been  exploring down a paved side road and I could see this glacier in the distance.     Unfortunately, there just wasn't a shot.    RJ, being the great sport that he is, drove us down a dirt road until we found a clearing in the trees.

We skipped the rest of the stops on our way to Anchorage.    We had hotel reservations and if we kept going, RJ could catch the second half of Game 1 of the basketball finals.     I think he deserves that as a treat!!!

1 comment:

  1. You had a very unique experience. We saw the glaciers in Iceland, but you had to be part of a tour group with permits to actually walk on the ice. So close and yet so far away. I wanted to just make a run for it and take my chances, but I wasn't sure what the jails in Iceland were like, so didn't do it.