Ice, disappearing

This is a different glacier, one that you reach by hiking instead of by boat because it doesn’t reach to the ocean. For a sense of scale, I would estimate that the edge of the glacier is about 30 or 40 feet tall (I assume that it’s much deeper at the center). This is looking up toward the top, where the Glacier descends from the same Harding Icefield as the other glacier I showed a few days ago, although this is probably 40 miles away as the crow flies:

The ground adjacent to the glacier has nothing growing on it yet because it was covered by the glacier less than a decade ago. This next shot is looking down toward where the glacier ends and the glacier-fed stream runs toward the sea. You can see some mounds of dirt in the near distance which I’m sure were formed when the glacier pushed earth forward like a plow in some earlier era, when it was growing instead of receding. Again, the mound of rock and dirt on the left was buried by ice under a decade ago:

This glacier is called Exit Glacier. Not sure why! The bottom edge has receded almost 1000 feet in the past decade, so if it keeps up that pace it might exit the scene itself sometime in this century. Better get there soon if you want to see it in person. Here’s a closer shot of the sidewall — this photo probably shows about 10 feet of the glacier’s 30-40 foot side:

Pretty amazing to think that all that bluish, densely compacted ice began its journey as falling snow several miles up the mountain, who knows how many years ago.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s