Sunday, January 01, 2017

Solo Mission

We've had some clouds. This has slowed down my search for water on and flowing off of glaciers. Yesterday was partly cloudy and promising so I set out to sample the LaCroix Glacier.  A 15 mile round trip... I only walk like this for science. 

My plan was to approach the Suess Glacier and to keep walking past it up valley if there was any melt.  If one glacier is melting, why not the next? The daily rhythm of glacier melt depends on the circling of the sun, altitude, and the presence of warming soil and rock. I set out knowing my mission might be a failure.  But, I also wanted to visit Mummy Pond and retrace my 2001 steps around the north shore.  This was a lesson in climate change. The pond formerly known as mummy...  Many of the seals I saw more than 15 years ago were completely submerged by the rising lake. No longer photogenic.

While the mummies of my memories are gone, I did get a picture of another mummy near the Suess Glacier.  I feel bad because my kids always ask me about the animals I see. Here in the valleys, there is a lot of life if you look closely, or use a microscope.  But larger mammals like seals and penguins have traveled the wrong direction from the sea only to die near the false seas (lakes) in this dried up valley.

My LaCroix Glacier water hunt was narrowly a success. I grabbed water just as the glacier was shutting down as the sun moved behind the Asgaard Range. I'm eating homemade biscotti today & stretching.

A mummified seal on my way to & around the Suess Glacier.

Taking pictures for the kids.  Rose, the unicorn, tends to eat all of my Snickers.

Water flowing near and on the Suess Glacier means this hike is not over.

I always feel like a geologist in this environment.  Sediment transport.

The Suess Glacier has sediment piles over much of the terminus (end).

Walking around the Suess, the melt features change. 

I reached the LaCroix around 3 p.m. & sampled.  The water was shutting down as the sun went behind the Asgard Range.  I had to work fast.
Now I have to walk back.  Home by 9 p.m.

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