Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mendenhall Glacier and Ice Cave

I hiked across frozen Mendenhall Lake on Sunday February 23rd, and then ascended several hundred feet of Mendenhall Glacier.  Several days of cold clear nights had firmly solidified the lake, so there was no threat of punching through the ice.  While traversing up the terminus of the glacier, I walked over several snow bridges which spanned small crevases, and also looked down into a couple of moulin's, which are circular openings that allow water to drain down into sub-glacial streams.  After a solid 1-2 miles of hiking, I encountered a mountain gully that fed a stream into the glacier, which had subsequently carved a large glacial ice cave.  I joined other hikers and explored the cave deep under the glacier.  Touching the ice walls and ceilings was amazing...the ice felt like plastic, and was as clear as a window pane.  Nature never ceases to amaze.

A moulin, place where water drains deep inside the glacier.
Man riding his bike down the glacier.
Hikers exiting the glacial ice cave.
Looking up through a moulin.
Future glaciologist?
Hiking down the terminus of Mendenhall Glacier.
Glacial blocks of ice temporarily frozen in place before the spring thaw.
Iceberg frozen in place in Mendenhall Lake.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Black Pine Mountains in Southern Idaho

Black Pine Mountains, ID.
Sunset over the Black Pine Mountains, ID.

Bellingham, WA and the Mount Baker Highway

Bellingham Bay.
Bellingham Bay.
Snow covered trees near Mount Baker Ski Area.
Mount Baker Ski Area.
North Fork Nooksack River.  Mount Baker Highway, WA.
North Fork Nooksack River.  Mount Baker Highway, WA.
View along the Mount Baker Highway.