Glacier Bay – Alaska

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I must admit, I am going to have to try and do the impossible by telling you how absolutely incredible Glacier Bay is. Hopefully my photos and video will tell most of the story!

What is a glacier: a glacier consists of heavily compressed snow. So when it snows high up on the mountains, and the snow slides down the slopes and piles up, glacier ice is formed. This process is repeated many many times, and this force the glacier ice to move down the slopes as it gets heavier and heavier. Because the glacier is so heavy and harder than the rocks it moves over, the glacier will also carve a valley through the area it is moving over. It is when the glacier reaches the water that calving is seen.

Before entering Glacier Bay National Park, there are Park Rangers that comes on board the ship.  They give a short, very informative presentation about Glacier Bay in the theatre after which everyone rushes outside to see the glamour of Glacier Bay National Park. The Rangers will be on decks to answer questions and one of the Rangers also uses the ships’ broadcasting system to give information about what you see as we sail through Glacier Bay.

And then you arrive at Margerie Glacier. The star of the show! With a width of 1,6km, length of 34km, and total height of 110m (of which 76m is above the water) this glacier is absolutely spectacular. The main reason why Margerie Glacier is so famous is that the glacier is stable. This means that the glacier is not receding, even though there is regular calving (breaking off of pieces of the glacier ice from the face/front of the glacier). And the calving is the attraction that every visitor hopes to see. Your chances appear to be pretty good to see calving, as the Margerie Glacier can move up to 3m per day!

Below is a short video of some of the calving I managed to capture! Notice the big splashes, and the tiny seagulls at the base of the glacier. This gives an idea of how big the glacier actually is. Remember, the height of the glacier above the water is almost 80m! Enjoy 🙂

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