Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, Alaska

Greetings from Glacier Bay, Alaska! After 3 weeks of traveling in Southeast Alaska, finally I arrived at my destination Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve at the end of May.

I've been staying in Bartlett Cove which is located near the entrance of Glacier Bay for this summer in order to follow the short season in this spectacular wilderness. Typical to Southeast Alaska, it rains a lot! Because of the moisture the whole area is covered with thick vegetation like moss covered Sitka Spruce trees, ferns, and thick moss carpeted on the forest floor. During the Ice Age, Southeastern Alaska was covered with ice. The ice sheet was slowly melted and broke into thousands of glaciers, and those glaciers have been receding.

To observe and photograph these magnificent glaciers, I have to go on a boat for 25 miles. One beautiful day, I explored the West Arm of Glacier Bay from the boat. The Fairweather Mountain Range was clear under the blue sky, highlighted by Mt. Fairweather at over 15,000'.

Glacier Bay is rich in marine wildlife and seabirds. Seabirds were following along the boat.

At the end of the West Arm, the Margerie Glacier flows down to the ocean from Mt. Fairweather. The white ice wall is towering!

The Grand Pacific Glacier, which has taken up the entire Glacier Bay historically has retreated fast, and now it is covered with the dark colored terminal moraine of rocks and sediment.

John Hopkins Glacier is still actively calving ice bergs...

A dead humpback whale was beached on the remote shore... bears and wolves were feeding on it for a long while.

Mt. Fairweather from the Bartlett Cove.

It was a good introduction into Glacier Bay... I would like to spend more time at those glaciers.