Please login to vote.
Sunday, 31 May 2009

Alaska's Grand Glaciers - Page 2

Written by Jessica Borges
  • Print
  • Email
  • AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Rate this item
(0 votes)

As we sliced through the clouds, Mother Nature’s ice-ridden masterpiece unfurled beneath us, leaving our jaws unhinged and our voices silenced with awe. The chopper soared high above the Alaskan glaciers, giving us time to scope out what seemed like an endless winding ice river, before descending.

 

Alaska’s Grand Glaciers, Helicopter glacier tours, Juneau, Alaska, explanations of the glaciers, Juneau ice fields, firnification, transforms snow to firn, firn becomes ice, Coast Mountains, Jessica BorgesWe saw no movement on the glacier during our tour, other than sparse streams of water trickling past our feet. The water was so clean and pure we each took turns cupping the water to our mouths for a refreshing sensation that can’t be found in a Poland Spring bottle. Amid the winding water, ice trails and rocky terrain, deep colorful crevasses opened up, welcoming the faulty-footed to a dangerous and potentially deadly fall. We peered over one particular crevasse that stretched hundreds of feet beneath the surface. After dropping a large chunk of ice that left an echoing series of thunderous roars as it struck the crevasse walls, our tour guide scared us away from the edges.

 

Still, we were captivated by the vibrant blue colors that swelled from within outer crevasse ridges and in small pools of water scattered across the glacier. Stunning shades of crystallized blue were a treat for the eye, juxtaposed by dull shades of grey, brown, and white from the ever-shifting ice, rocks, and snow. The blue color appears when ice absorbs all colors of the visible light spectrum except blue, which it projects. The ice with the deepest blue is also the oldest.

 

Alaska’s Grand Glaciers, Helicopter glacier tours, Juneau, Alaska, explanations of the glaciers, Juneau ice fields, firnification, transforms snow to firn, firn becomes ice, Coast Mountains, Jessica BorgesBefore heading back to the chopper, I did a final 360-degree scan of the brilliant glacier beneath and surrounding me. The sun was sinking behind a distant peak and the temperature was quickly following suit. The next week’s group of tourists eager for their glacier tour would likely see a slightly different landscape, assuming shifting temperatures as the culprit. And hundreds of years from now, this landscape could be completely transformed, at the whimsical hand of Mother Nature.

 

© Jessica Borges

(Page 2 of 2)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

Search Content by Map

Search

All Rights Reserved ©Copyright 2006-2021 inTravel Magazine®
Published by Christina's Arena, Inc.