Juneau Icefield, Part II: Hiking On A Glacier

I know there are ‘travellers’ out there who think that cruise ships are for the old, the infirm and the boring. They’ve clearly never been cruising with me…

Last week, I described our helicopter ride up onto the Juneau Icefield. But this was to be no mere flight-seeing jolly. In fact, there was some serious adventuring to be done… down on the ice itself.

Our own little airport on the Hole-In-The-Wall Glacier

Our own little airport on the Hole-In-The-Wall Glacier

Our helicopter landed on the Hole-In-The-Wall Glacier, a spur of the Taku Glacier, the thickest and deepest glacier in the entire world. Northstar Trekking had already kitted us out with all the necessary equipment back at the airport, and once their guides had strapped on our crampons, it was time to head out across the ice.

Ready to go?

Ready to go?

Not yet, Sue... you have to have your crampons fitted first

Not yet, Sue… you have to have your crampons fitted first

A final safety briefing

A final safety briefing

I say ‘our crampons’, although crampons are some of the many things not made in my size. To be fair, for those of you who aren’t aware, I am only 3½ inches tall! Thankfully, Rich and Sue were happy to act as pack mules for me and my fellow Ses, as usual.

Downstream the Hole-In-The-Wall was quite flat (beside our landing site, at least)

Downstream the Hole-In-The-Wall was quite flat (beside our landing site, at least)

Upstream the ice-terrain was much rougher... Can you guess which way we went?!

Upstream the ice-terrain was much rougher… Can you guess which way we went?!

A meltwater stream flowing across the glacier's surface

A meltwater stream flowing across the glacier’s surface

And a meltwater pond, too

And a meltwater pond, too

Say 'Cheese'(y)

Say ‘Cheese'(y)

We spent an exhilarating couple of hours hiking across the glacier in a loop that eventually brought us back to our helicopter. Along the way ‘we’ climbed steep slopes using ‘our’ crampons, crossed ice-covered crevasses and stared down deep, well-like moulins. We even got to taste some of the meltwater flowing across the glacier surface.

IMG_4791IMG_4792IMG_4803

Looks boring, huh? I think not!

Looks boring, huh? I think not!

Mind the gap!

Mind the gap!

It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!

It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!

What's down there?

What’s down there?

Oh, it's a moulin

Oh, it’s a moulin

Sue's feeling a bit parched after all the exertion

Sue’s feeling a bit parched after all the exertion

Now that's re(fresh)ing!

Now that’s re(fresh)ing!

Looking down this moulin required a safety rope!

Looking down this moulin required a safety rope!

Lean out carefully...

Lean out carefully…

And stare down a moulin's throat

And stare down a moulin’s throat

And at the end of our hike, we still could still look forward to the helicopter flight back, not to mention an afternoon exploring Juneau. It certainly was a day I’ll always remember!

Our steeds await

Our steeds await

Group photo!

Group photo!

Our ride back to Juneau

Our ride back to Juneau

This post was inspired by this week’s Cee’s Which Way Challenge.

If hiking across an Alaskan glacier is the sort of thing you have on your Bucket List, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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21 Responses to Juneau Icefield, Part II: Hiking On A Glacier

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    You got some amazing photos. WOW!!!! and WOW!!! again.

  2. jpeggytaylor says:

    What an amazing trek! The glacier landscape looks quite ‘other-worldly’ like it is on another planet … and those moulins look very d-e-e-e-e-p! Wonderful photos – I really enjoyed them 🙂

  3. We’ve never hiked on a glacier but it’s something we would LOVE to do! You make it look like a lot of fun 🙂 Fabulous photos!

  4. DailyMusings says:

    Amazing. That’s all, just amazing

  5. cocoaupnorth says:

    Outstanding! I’m green with envy:-)

  6. afairymind says:

    What an incredible trip! That must be a great experience. Your pictures are really impressive. 🙂

  7. Ruchi says:

    This looks amazing and adventurous. I am sure you had great fun!

  8. vannillarock says:

    photos are amazing! please tell me you were not there in winter. i have done the alaska cruise in summer- i didn’t think it could go up there in winter

  9. El Rolyat says:

    Fantastic shots and what an amazing adventure!

  10. Pingback: Columbia Icefield Glacial Adventure | Jaspa's Journal

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