Ice Cave Vanished! Mendenhall Glacier

Ice Cave in Mendenhall Glacier vanished, a casualty of climate change
CLICK IMAGE Video as I explore a Fabulous Blue Ice Cave. Feel the satin of ice, strangely warm to touch.

Click image for video: This fabulous blue ice cave that I explored in 2017 has vanished. Feel the satin of ice, strangely warm to touch. Look through 1.2 meters (4 ft.) of clear ice. Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska.

I mountain biked across frozen Mendenhall Lake in February 2017 to visit this ice cave.

Completely alone in the cave, I had time to sit quietly with the sound of flowing water, surrounded by shimmering blue walls. Eventually, I narrated this short reflection on a place that would disappear forever.

I visited the cave several more times in February, finding crystal boulders of ice that had fallen from the roof.

The cave has completely vanished as the glacier melts and retreats, melted into water that fed Mendenhall Lake and river last summer, an ephemeral creation and ghost of changing climate and rapid glacial retreat.

Over the next couple of Alaska Billy Blog posts, I’ll continue with more photos and thoughts about this cave and the Mendenhall Glacier.

For additional photos and stories, please visit me on Instagram. I post one photo and story each day.

Instagram: @bhfootloose





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William Arthur Hanson (Bill Hanson) is an Alaskan writer who searches for the roots of life in landscapes and the inhabitants they shape. He draws on 30 years as a biologist, forester, and ecologist. He has worked from the rainforests of Southeast Alaska to the subarctic taiga of the Interior. His writing mixes his deep knowledge of Alaska with people and places from his worldwide travels to Vietnam, Russia, Mexico, Ecuador, Europe, Malaysia, and much of the United States.

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