Friday's Focus - 2020/11/20 - Glacier(s)

Jim Dockery

Well-Known Member
I've got an intimate love/hate relationship with glaciers - in one of my worst recurring nightmares I find myself alone on a heavily crevassed glacier surrounded by creaking melting cracks, everywhere I walk snow bridges collapse in front of me when I probe with my ice axe, and I can hear water running far below. Finally I just stop and sit there wondering how in the world I got there and why didn't I tell anyone where I was going?

They are beautiful, provide good climbing routes at times, and great ski slopes on other days, but the potential of crevasse falls is always there and anyone who spends much time on them knows the stories of many great climbers who died on easy glaciers.

Denali-tracks.jpg

Our ski tracks on a glacier on Denali.

crevasing.jpg

One of my old partners practicing ice climbing in a crevasse on Mt. Rainier.

CrevaseCrossing.jpg

Eric about to cross a fragile snow/ice bridge on Mt. Baker.

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Eric skis the Emmons Glacier from the summit of Mt. Rainier.
 

AlanLichty

Moderator
I've got an intimate love/hate relationship with glaciers - in one of my worst recurring nightmares I find myself alone on a heavily crevassed glacier surrounded by creaking melting cracks, everywhere I walk snow bridges collapse in front of me when I probe with my ice axe, and I can hear water running far below. Finally I just stop and sit there wondering how in the world I got there and why didn't I tell anyone where I was going?

They are beautiful, provide good climbing routes at times, and great ski slopes on other days, but the potential of crevasse falls is always there and anyone who spends much time on them knows the stories of many great climbers who died on easy glaciers.

Our ski tracks on a glacier on Denali.

One of my old partners practicing ice climbing in a crevasse on Mt. Rainier.

Eric about to cross a fragile snow/ice bridge on Mt. Baker.

Eric skis the Emmons Glacier from the summit of Mt. Rainier.
Great images.

I figured you would add a significantly different point of view on this topic. My personal encounters with glaciers have been far more benign than yours - closer to "Gee - I can touch it" level :)
 

MonikaC

Well-Known Member
I've got an intimate love/hate relationship with glaciers - in one of my worst recurring nightmares I find myself alone on a heavily crevassed glacier surrounded by creaking melting cracks, everywhere I walk snow bridges collapse in front of me when I probe with my ice axe, and I can hear water running far below. Finally I just stop and sit there wondering how in the world I got there and why didn't I tell anyone where I was going?

They are beautiful, provide good climbing routes at times, and great ski slopes on other days, but the potential of crevasse falls is always there and anyone who spends much time on them knows the stories of many great climbers who died on easy glaciers.

View attachment 33988
Our ski tracks on a glacier on Denali.

View attachment 33989
One of my old partners practicing ice climbing in a crevasse on Mt. Rainier.

View attachment 33991
Eric about to cross a fragile snow/ice bridge on Mt. Baker.

View attachment 33992
Eric skis the Emmons Glacier from the summit of Mt. Rainier.
I was waiting for your contributions, Jim -- figured you would have many!
 

MonikaC

Well-Known Member
Beautiful, Monika. I love ice caves. The only thing I hate abut them is that those large chunks of ice have fallen from above and that scares the hell out of me.
Doug, this was a responsibly guided trip. These guys monitor the ice caves daily & don't take people in after March, as the caves are too unstable. There have been less responsible companies who have taken people into unstable ice caves and, unfortunately, lost numerous lives. Then there are the people who go without guides.
 

Jim Dockery

Well-Known Member
Ken, I walked up and down that glacier a number of times back in the 80s. Nice clean ice down to here back then, sad to see it's condition now.
 

Ken Rennie

Well-Known Member
Ken, I walked up and down that glacier a number of times back in the 80s. Nice clean ice down to here back then, sad to see it's condition now.
Jim I was here in the early 90's and the glacier has visibly receded a long way since then, this was 2014, and my memory was of clean ice. My previous visit was July, this is September and I don't know if Glaciers show more rubble as the year goes on until the snow covers it up again. Ken
 

Mike Lewis

Staff Member
Staff member
So many great images here! I have one that is not a great image but perhaps a little unique. Coming back from satellite launch support activities in Prudhoe Bay in 2009, Flying over the Brooks Range, in a mostly empty airliner, an old capture using my trusty Canon 40D and the 17-85. The polarization from the plane window really affected the contrast and color, but the scenery was amazing in the early morning light...

LRCC_sRGB_FW_AirplaneGlacier_IMG_2583_cs4.jpg



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