Helicopter Glacier Trekking in Juneau, Alaska

in Pinmapple11 months ago

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Incredible beauty and adventure ontop of a glacier

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I am all dressed up and ready for a helicopter ride ontop of a glacier for some extreme trekking
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These landscapes have to be seen to be believed

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Over the last fifty days I have been implementing an expedition style program on one of Silversea's classic fleet ships called the Silver Muse. It can hold around 600 passengers and is far and away the largest ship I've ever worked on. Figuring out the logistics of where the expedition equipment would go, like all of the zodiacs and kayaks, and other gear was only one of the many challenges that my team and I faced with this assignment.

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The vastness of the glacier is awe-inspiring as we fly over it

Now that we are all packed up and can relish in the success I can finally look back at the few times I did get off the ship for some pretty fabulous adventures in Alaska. When the ship was in port, and not all the expedition team was needed for our excursions, I would try to send the team out as escorts on shore based trips. This was one of my favorites.

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Special equipment like these crampon spiked boots are needed for safety on top of the glacier

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On one rainy day in Juneau I watched the poor shore concierge team as flight after flight of sightseeing helicopters postponed and outright canceled. There was a lot of confusions as some of these calls to cancel come at the last minute. On this day though I would get very lucky. All of a sudden a young girl called my group to head towards a waiting van. I really couldn't believe my luck. We jumped in and drove north out of town towards the airport. Once there we got all geared up with waterproof layers, boots, survival packs in the form of fanny packs, gloves, and even waiters. We walked out to a waiting helicopter and off we went!

The clouds were pretty dark and low, but we had enough of a ceiling to fly up the face of Mendenhall Glacier. After a few scenic turns we touched down on lookers left of the glacier. Here our guide Jaydan met us and equipped all of us with crampons that fit snugly underneath our boots. I had experienced wearing crampons once before when I walked on Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand. The grip they give you on the ice, and the ability to walk up and down almost vertical slopes gives you the feeling of being a wild animal.

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The adventure was called Glacier Trekking with NorthStar trekking based in Juneau. We climbed around the ice marveling at sky blue streams running through the glacier, holes that seemed to have no bottom, and caves just big enough to squeeze through. Even though it was raining back down in Juneau, it was nice enough up on the glacier to take my camera along for the ride and score some amazing photo opportunities.

We walked and explored for about an hour and a half before the helicopter came back for our pickup. Instead of flying straight back to the airport we spent a good half hour flying up Mendenhall glacier, over a few dog sledding camps high on the ice field, and then down Herbert glacier out to Auk Bay. The drizzly rain greeted us again down at the airport where apparently it had never stopped. We all felt quite lucky to have had such an amazing experience.

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These rocks are sitting atop ice, giving the illusion that they are floating in mid air.

Enjoy scrolling through the rest of the pictures. Glaciers can be some of the most photogenic areas in nature. Juneau, Alaska happens to be a great place to access quite a few of them. I'm looking forward to more glacial mountaineering adventures in the future!

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Rivers of beautiful blue water flowed everywhere through the glacier

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An adventurous spirit is necessary for today's itinerary

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Me standing over a crevasse, which I couldn't see the bottom of.

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View from the landing spot

Check it out pinmapples interactive blog map: [//]:# (!pinmapple 58.47515 lat -134.49030 long Heli Glacier Trek d3scr)

-Dai Mar

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Manually curated by ackhoo from the @qurator Team. Keep up the good work!

Wow, how beautiful! This clear water fascinates me! It seems to me that this place is not real! A very interesting adventure indeed! But I don't quite understand: it's cold there for sure, but the water doesn't turn into ice! Can you explain to me how it is? 😅

Hey Darine. Thanks for the comment and I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. The air temperature stays above freezing quite often here during the summer. The sun beats down on the top layer of ice and it melts. But even as this happens, more snow might be falling way up in the mountains where the glacier is coming from. If the snow accumulates faster than the bottom of the glacier melts, then the glacier will grow. Unfortunately the opposite is happening all around the world to our glaciers. So go see them now!

Hiya, @ybanezkim26 here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made it into our Top 3 in Daily Travel Digest #1914.

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While other parts of the world are already so hot...there is still in snow ...😅..

That's an incredible experience! Perhaps amongst the top experiences for any travel and adventure lover out there! 💕