I was lucky enough to go on a glacial adventure this weekend with the help of NorthStar Trekking!
Going underneath the Mendenhall Glacier is one thing, but putting on a pair of crampons and checking out all the features on top of it is awesome… as is scaling the face of a frozen slab of ice. In all, the exploring lasted about three hours. Throw in the helicopter rides and perfect weather and well, needless to say, it was a pretty epic afternoon.
Below are just a sampling of the nearly 500 photos I snapped. I did my best to capture the full breadth of the experience, but I would highly recommend making your own way onto the Mendenhall if you can, even if you’re from Juneau and you see it all the time. There’s nothing like it!
This was my third hike to the glacier cave at Mendenhall Glacier that has been the “go to” cave for the past few years. I went in July 2011 and October 2011 – for moving at glacial speeds, it’s amazing how much has changed in between visits!
Much more of the face has calved off and melted over these two short years and the entrance to the cave itself has receded at least 100 feet. It actually looks a bit more stable now, as the previous ice outcropping that was at the entrance before was relatively thin looking. Inside the cave is just as amazing – the bluest of blues and the sound of water rushing under the glacier. If you go, be safe and bring rain gear!
It’s been a long, long time since my last photo exhibit, but I’m proud and very excited to announce that I will have a collection of glacier cave photos on display at the Heritage Coffee Company’s location at 216 2nd Street in downtown Juneau.
The exhibit will open for Gallery Walk, this Friday, December 2nd, and will remain up for the remainder of the month.
If you are interested in purchasing a print you see on the wall, the large rectangular (16×20) and large panoramic (10×30) prints are $60/ea, and the square (12×12) and small panoramic (10×20) prints are $40/ea.
Here’s the official show blurb:
“Beneath the Mendenhall”
Glacier caves are formed when water runs through or under a glacier, the warmth of which melts the glacial ice to form an air-filled cavity. Having the Mendenhall Glacier right in our backyard provides a unique opportunity to discover and explore these deep-blue voids, provided you are willing to take the risks associated with wandering around underneath a massive, constantly shifting slab of ice and snow. This show presents photos taken over two trips to the same glacier cave this summer and highlights the cerulean glow and patterns that make glacier caves so mesmerizing.
So if you’re out and about in the downtown area for Gallery Walk this Friday, stop by the 2nd Street Heritage and say hi!
A crisp, clear October morning turned into another hike out West Glacier Trail to the face of the Mendenhall Glacier, then on and under the glacier for a repeat visit to a glacier cave I was last at this past July. The interior of the cave has opened up and is much wider and taller at points, while the arch at the entrance looks significantly less substantial than it did – I have a feeling that this winter’s snow will be too much weight and it may collapse at some point. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!
In any case, the cave was just as exhilarating as it was three months ago: the colors, the sound of the water echoing off the walls, the temperature, everything. I definitely noticed that upon exiting the cave, my heart rate was up and I had a bit of an adrenaline rush going! All in all, this was an awesome way to spend a sunny October Sunday.
I’ve been to the face of the Mendenhall Glacier, but I’ve never been lucky enough to discover a glacier cave until now and I definitely understand why people get so excited about them.
It was amazingly bright no matter how far from the entrance you got. Light somehow found its way through the mass of ice above, which filtered out all but the blue light and gave an eerie glow everywhere you looked. I had a field day snapping photos and constructing makeshift camera platforms from rocks. These are the best in my opinion – enjoy!