Thursday, November 21st, 2013
One Of The Coolest Adventures In Alaska

Coolest Adventure In Alaska - Photo (c) Laurent Dick - Wild Alaska TravelRappelling deep into the heart of a glacier must be one of the coolest adventures in Alaska! Here, my friend Franz Mueter rapels into a moulin in the Mendenhall Glacier yesterday. How cool is that? By the way, a moulin is  a cylindrical, vertical shaft that extends through a glacier and is carved by meltwater from the glacier’s surface.

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Saturday, July 16th, 2011
Tokositna Glacier Moulin

This aerial view of a tiny portion of the Tokositna Glacier reveals how meltwater is carried from the surface of glacier through a moulin and eventually to the base of the glacier. Moulins are often referred to as being part of a glacier’s internal “plumbing” system. They can be up to 30 feet wide and typically form in flat areas of a glacier.

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Monday, March 28th, 2011
Do As I Say Not As I Do

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Some of the regular followers of Alaska365 have been giving me a hard time for not walking my talk. Let me explain. The other day I quoted a regular lake user as saying that an area of the Mendenhall Glacier would be ‘off limits’. That area, as far as I am concerned, is the terminus and the huge glacier caverns in front of it. I also mentioned that the window to explore the glacier caverns and much of the lake had closed. I stand by this statement, which did, however, not include the lateral moraine on the west side of the Mendenhall Glacier, and it’s this area that Doug Sturm and I explored last week. Most of the calving happens at the terminus where the glacier meets the lake, and much less calving happens on the lateral moraines. Inevitably, there are still risks involved. So if you think there is a little bit of contradiction in my actions, please don’t imitate my behavior but obey my instructions! By the way, this picture illustrates a beautiful moulin. This tubular chute visible in the center allows meltwater to enter the glacier from the surface, exiting it at the glacier’s snout at base …

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