The color and texture of the ice varied considerably. In some areas, the ice was dirty with glacial silt, an extremely fine sludge of ground up rocks. In other areas, the ice appeared to glow with an inner blue light. This quality was especially evident in passages carved by melt water. We squeezed through a couple of these, walking in ankle deep water or stepping along the sides of the stream.
Many of the glacier's features were purely to be ogled and not explored. These included narrow crevasses of unknown but alarming depth, and shallow "caves" under possibly fragile slabs or shelves of ice. In between, we experienced the unusual sensation of walking on water as we crossed an area of submerged ice pinnacles. Cool.
Our flight back to the Juneau airport was direct and brief. After posing for photos with the helicopter (so touristy), we were able to get out of our harnesses and snow pants and use a restroom. Thanks to NorthStar Trekking for a great adventure.
Return to Alaska Cruise 2007
Copyright © 2008 Jefferson Scher.