Friday, February 21, 2014

Scaling Glaciers

Last July we had family visit from California, and they wanted to see a glacier. Luckily, Matanuska Glacier is only an hour and a half drive from our house.

The day was sunny and warm, but we knew it would be colder on the ice, so we dressed in layers, grabbed our walking sticks, and headed out. The approach to the glacier is magnificent, a blue and white swath nestled amidst the green mountains on either side.

The mud in places was gelatinous, and the park maintenance crew had placed walkways across slippery areas. As we ascended toward the pristine blue spires of ice, the silt diminished. Although what we walked on often looked like rocky ground, it was indeed hard-packed ice covered in glacier silt.

Many places we had to cross slippery streams to continue our climb. We made sure to take care around crevasses, however. Rushing water plummeted into unknown depths below the ice, and we didn't want to end up stuck in an icy water slide.
Our exuberant climbers found a way up the icy sides using ice picks.

Park maintenance had also carried a few picnic tables deep into the glacier, setting up a resting spot near a lovely, icebound meltwater pond.

Alas, our souvenirs wouldn't survive the drive home. But that's what photos are for, isn't it?

Photos are copyright of Tam Linsey, 2013. All rights reserved.

Tam Linsey writes post-apocalyptic romance from her home in Chugiak, Alaska. To learn more, please visit her website at


Jae Awkins said...

Wonderful post, Tam - and great pictures! So awesome to see such magnificence in our great state.
Thanks! :o)

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Beautiful pics, Tami. One of the few things I haven't tried in Southcentral Alaska--maybe next summer! :-)

DeNise said...

I've only climbed on one glacier-quite honestly, it scared the bejeebers out of me-those magnificent, rushing water, blue holes are tooo scary. But, your pictures are great, it looks like a great time.