Climbing to the glacier: Friday, August 5
- The morning
of the big hike up to Grinnell Glacier, I had to walk out to my car
(in the parking lot up the hill) to get my hiking boots. I was happy
to get this picture of the hotel, the lake and the mountains.
- I joined
the National Park Service hike ($13.80) - there must have been 20
people on the hike, or more. First we took the boat over the lake -
well, actually, we took two boats. We had to walk over a strip of
land to get to the second lake and the second boat. Once we got
started up the hill, our fearless leader started in on the various
lessons of flora and fauna and geography and glaciers ...
- The view
on the way up
- And one mo' agin
- Two baby
birds in the nest
Garden Wall with some glaciers - the large one on the right is called
- A closer view
down. By the way ... this was a difficult hike! Only 3.8 miles up,
but 1600 feet elevation gain. Which doesn't really sound like a lot,
but somehow it felt like a lot.
3 hours later, we reach the glacier. Or almost! We still have 15
minutes to go, and it's all steep uphill! The sign proclaims the
glacier is 300 acres - I don't know when that was true, but today it's
165 acres, and losing 5 acres per year. Ten years ago there were 37
glaciers in the park, and today there are 27. The National Park
Service believes that by 2030 there will be no glaciers in
Glacier National Park.
- There she is, the object of all our sweat, the Grinnell Glacier (or a small part of her)
excitedly took this shot of the little lake, thinking this was it -
hah! (See below.)
- How glaciers contour stone
- The three glacial lakes in a line - one formed after the other.
Glacier is fast becoming a lake (can't name it Grinnell Lake, that
already exists...) - chunks of ice floating
- Almost a Martian landscape, the milky sediment-rich glacier lake with the imposing forms of
the ice blocks floating around.
- Standing back a bit
- Salamander Glacier
up top, Grinnell down below. They used to be one glacier.
- The lake expands
- A baby
ptarmigan in a bush, doesn't know what to do surrounded by so many
humans, just coos and coos.
- Glacier oogling
- Stromatolites: fossils of blue-green algae
that date back 1.5 BILLION years. Perhaps the oldest living thing
that we have a record of. (Void in Kansas and where prohibited.)
- Mike: this is another one for you - geologic formations after glacier action.
- And this one also for you, Mike: pulling back a bit on the above snapshot, to show the rippling.
- Waterfall between glaciers
- Waterfall Art Shot (tm).
- Incredible view of the valley, to the east.
Last modified: Sunday, August 8 - was I really there 3 days ago?