Ice Climbing Adventures on Melting Glaciers

Close up views of the melting Bridge Glacier

A large crack in the toe of the melting Brige Glacier
A large crack in the toe of the melting Brige Glacier | Source
Paddling on the fridgid Glaciel lake formed by the melting glacier
Paddling on the fridgid Glaciel lake formed by the melting glacier | Source
Large iceberg that broke off the toe of the glacier and is floating in the lake
Large iceberg that broke off the toe of the glacier and is floating in the lake | Source

Bridge Glacier Fly in Trip

The float plane delivers us on the glacial lakeshore
The float plane delivers us on the glacial lakeshore | Source
Paddling on the silty  icy lake is a scary experience. If you fall in you would not last long.
Paddling on the silty icy lake is a scary experience. If you fall in you would not last long. | Source
High up the melting glacier I am in the midst of deep crevasses and pools of blue green water.
High up the melting glacier I am in the midst of deep crevasses and pools of blue green water. | Source
 Looking down after we hike to a high ridge on the east side of thr glacier
Looking down after we hike to a high ridge on the east side of thr glacier | Source
Hiking to the toe of the glacier. Look at the grey rock above the glacier. The ice was up to that level not so very long ago.
Hiking to the toe of the glacier. Look at the grey rock above the glacier. The ice was up to that level not so very long ago. | Source
At the toe of the glacier mud and gravel cover the melting ice.
At the toe of the glacier mud and gravel cover the melting ice. | Source
Up past the muddy area there are deep crevasse on the flatter part of Bridge Glacier
Up past the muddy area there are deep crevasse on the flatter part of Bridge Glacier | Source
Iceberg floating on the lake
Iceberg floating on the lake | Source
Paddling on the lake where the ice was a few years ago
Paddling on the lake where the ice was a few years ago | Source

The glaciers are melting



GLACIERS are MELTING QUICKLY

World wide many large glaciersand ice-fields are melting. Areas where I climbed up thick ice glaciers 20 years ago are now lakes and even dry moraines with flowers. In July 2008 we flew to Bridge Lake at the toe of Bridge Glacier.

We chartered a float plane and flew from Hyak Resort Lake. This lovely wilderness resort is near the little town of Goldbridge in South Western British Columbia.

CANOEING THE FRIGID WATER

The pilot had left a canoe by the float plane landing. So after we set up camp and explored the area by hiking the rock ridges and crampon hikes on the the glacier,we were also able to paddle the icy glacial lake amid towering icebergs.

It was scary paddling at first because I knew if we capsized we could not survive long in the icy water. We were aware that an icebeg can tip on top of us, or that a large chunk of ice can break off the main ice sheet sending out large waves which send the icebergs flying.

Also sometimes paddling among the towering icebergs we would get disoriented and not know our way out. This was confusing and dangerous because the ice was constantly moving. A few times we got stuck on under water ice protrusions and had to gingerly clamber out of the canoe to drag it off the ice into deeper blue water.

BLUE ICE

The ice that makes up the glaciers is very old-hundreds of years old. It is also very compacted from the weight of many layers of ice, that have lain on top for centuries before the global warming melted it away.There is rock flour and dust particles in this thick dense ice so when the white surface ice cracks the ice underneath is blue. The lakes in the melting glacier are also blue. As the ice melts and cracks and is exposed to the warm air it turns light blue and then white.

MELTING BEFORE MY EYES

As the glacier melts black mud and rock collects at the toe of the glacier so when you first step up onto the glacier you are walking in a strange black area of hills and crevasses all covered by rock and gravel. And underneath is the ice. There are deep crevasses which must be avoided in this black gravelly area at the toe of the glacier.It is important not to slip into a crevasse. When we were on the smoother ice we needed crampons, metal spikes strapped on our boots to allow safe walking and scrambling on the ice.

CAMPING AT THE TOE OF THE GLACIER

There were not many sheltered spots to pitch our tents and set up a tarp for a cooking shelter. We found some relatively flat places and cleared away rocks so the floor of the tent was smooth. The wind was a constant so we used a lot of rocks to weigh down our tent lines.

A free standing tent would just take off like a kite in this place. I have seen this happen. Once on a previous treck in Baffin Island the wind was very strong. We were in Auyuittuq National Park in Canad's High Arctic North of the Arctic Circle in August. I was huddled in a storm with some hikers and climbers. A young man said to his companion

"Thanks for packing up the gear and the tent."

"I never packed up the tent" said his partner.

"Well its not there."

They ran out into the storm and were just in time to rescue their tent which had blown away and was sinking into an Arctic glacial lake.

This trip in B.C. we spent a week in the cold beautiful Bridge Glacier area and walked every day on the Glacier which was melting away before my eyes.

A Strange Beutiful Landscape

Lakes form right out on the once solid glacier
Lakes form right out on the once solid glacier | Source
Deep crevaces form in the once solid glacier
Deep crevaces form in the once solid glacier | Source
Flowers sping up when the ice recedes
Flowers sping up when the ice recedes | Source

More by this Author


Comments 2 comments

Sembj profile image

Sembj 5 years ago

Thank you for sharing your wonderful images documenting your trip - your photos are so very beautiful and so very, very sad.

On a different note, `Welcome.` I see from your profile that you`re new to HubPages. I have signed up as a follower to keep track of your writing.


arthurchappell profile image

arthurchappell 5 years ago from Manchester, England

beautiful photos - terribly sad to see these amazing places dissolving away on us.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working