Gone Glacier Hiking (and eight other fun facts about glaciers)

I haven’t done a travel post in awhile. Since our Philippine trip last year, we haven’t really traveled anywhere else, after having declared an “indefinite self imposed travel ban” to recover on finances and credit card expenses. (Because we have to work to travel, ugh, and also mostly due to poor money management, I know, I know…) So, I reckon it is high time I bring back memories and exciting stories of our Alaska adventure, where everything is set against a backdrop of Mother Nature in her full awesome glory!

One of the thrill seeking activities we did was glacier hiking. (MOST of the activities we did in Alaska involved some sort of adrenaline rush in one way or another.) Our group of seven friends who traveled from Florida to Vancouver to Alaska was more of the intrepid crazy kind who would literally jump at the thought of doing anything fun, the more physically and mentally challenging, the better.

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We weren’t satisfied with the numerous glaciers that we have seen from afar while on the cruise, we wanted to get up close and personal with it, play on it, step on it, learn from it, BE ON IT.

Here are some icy tidbits about glaciers:

1. A glacier is a large moving river of ice formed many years ago, sometimes centuries! Imagine what it is like stepping on something so old and cold that is slowly evolving and carving out the landscape as it slowly traverses along the way.

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Matanuska glacier

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2. Why is a glacier blue? Because the dense ice of the glacier absorbs every other color of the spectrum except blue. The thicker the ice, the bluer it looks.

blue ice

3. Glaciers can be dirty too! Because it is moving, it scrapes away rocks and soil beneath its surface hence, the dirt (along with air and other tiny animals) gets trapped in this massive icy river, sometimes forming different layers.

dirty glacier

4.  You get to see pretty “cool” stuff such as crevasses, seracs, moulins and ice caves. Take your (ice) pick.      

crevasse
Crevasse, a deep open crack in a glacier
serac1
Serac, a block or column of glacial ice  
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Seracs are also formed by intersecting crevasses on a glacier
moulin
Moulin, a hole in the ice where water enters from the surface
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Ice cave, self explanatory 🙂

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5. So how do you walk on ice? First, you need water proof hiking boots. Then you need these mean looking foot wear… No slipping allowed!

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crampon
Crampons are an ice walker’s best friend! 
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Our guide had the sharpest and meanest looking crampons!

6. Bet you haven’t tasted glacier water yet?

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7. The different glacier surfaces we’ve hiked on look like this…

footsteps ice

8. Best of all, be cool (literally and figuratively) and bring a sense of adventure with you!

ice fun

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