Saturday, February 28, 2009

A World of White Bliss With a Blue Tint

Today I went back down to the Castner Glacier with Jeff and Celine for a snowshoe hike into the glacier. This spot is hands down one of my favorites that I've been to in AK and even though this is my 3rd time here in the last year, it is different everytime in a different season with different people and in taking a different route. There is just something about this spot that makes me all happy inside.. can't explain it and I'm sure there's more brilliant things out there, but this one is pretty awesome and for whatever reason, makes me content and free of all stress. But before we go into the day, check out our encounter on the highway down in the video below!

Below Celine smiles for her (and I's!) first snowshoeing ever. We were glad to have the snowshoes later in the hike where the snow got deeper. It snowed the ENTIRE day but it was for this trip, the best weather we could have asked for. There is nothing more peaceful than just hearing the flakes of snow patter on your clothes. If there's not clear skies, give me snow anyday.
Below is Jeff - who is visiting from Iraq just for a week on his R&R trip before hitting the slopes in Utah and heading back to Iraq until September. It's been great having him back home in Fairbanks.
Below Jeff and Celine take a break under the first ice cave which is barely a mile off of the road if that! It is so peaceful out here though despite being so close to the road. I am itching to explore some of the other creeks in this area that lead up to glaciers.

We were fascinated by the gold colored silt in the glacier as you can see...
Beautiful.. we hung in and around this cave for awhile. It is pretty unreal that this exists in all natural form with all of this global warming chatter.. I feel so lucky to be able to play on glaciers and maybe that's why I can't get enough of it. Someday I can tell my grandkids, "hey little ones, when I was in my 20s, I wandered around in Alaska and played on big sheets of ice". Pretty cool eh?
Below Jeff attempts to jump on top of a snow pile but as you can see, it looks more like he is doing snow yoga.
We made some friends, Peter and Kyle who were out for a daytrip as well. It didn't take much convincing to have them do a jumping picture with us. ;) They and Jeff, newbie jumping picture-ites, rocked it.After the ice cave we went on aways, exploring into the vast aura of white rolling hills. The depth perception made traveling on some parts tricky.
Below is a pretty sweet shot that Celine took of Jeff and I taking a breather.
OOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! MORE ICE CAVES! Yes!!! New territory for me.. we found 4 or 5 more ice caves but they were too sketchy to get too close to. Too much snow. Next time, we bring ropes, harnesses and ice axes!
And here I leave you with another perfect day in white bliss and great company...

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