Photoblog: Walking on Ice at Baird Glacier, Southeast Alaska

Posted on September 23, 2010 by

The cold glacial wind howls ferociously as our skiff races towards the imposing Baird Glacier. In the distance, the giant slab of white crusty ice seems to crackle with rage. As our group of travelers land on the rocky beach, we find ourselves on a seemingly different planet. Oddly-shaped giant pebbles strewn all over the alien terrain, carpeted by green velvety moss: a setting resembling Mars more so than Planet Earth.

Day 2 of our Southeast Alaska expedition and we have already kayaked through a narrow fjord, watch a pod of whales breach simultaneously and now, we’re hiking up an icy glacier. Someone pinch me please.

Hiking towards Baird Glacier, Alaska

Bay of Death

The previous evening, we had sailed through Frederick Sound into Thomas Bay. The legendary bay is also known as “The Bay of Death” due to a massive landslide that buried an entire native Tlingit village in 1750. Later on around 1900, several people claimed to have seen devil creatures in the area, thereby giving the bay another nickname, “the Devil’s Country”.

Thomas Bay, Southeast Alaska

At Baird Glacier, we find ourselves walking on outwash plains and unearthly mud puddles. Meltwater and sub-glacial water in Thomas Bay had moved rock flour pebbles and larger rocks beyond the terminus to form this extraordinary terrain.

Walking on outwash plains at Baird Glacier

From Greenery to Ice

Making our way towards the glacier, the green rocky terrain quickly transforms into wet, spongy mud-baths that spring into life. Our guide Kevin tells us about the therapeutic use of the mud and demonstrates the use of it as a face-mask.

muddy terrain at Baird Glacier

Soon enough, we find ourselves walking on ice, errr, real ice. All of us are now ice-skating on the slippery surface, slipping and falling to each other’s amusement. A layer of silt covers the crusty ice, but once we examine what’s underneath, we can see clear blue water running in the form of mini-waterfalls right under our feet.

waterfalls running underneath the ice

My first experience walking on ice: exhilarating and definitely one of a kind. So I’ve walked on an active volcano and now an icy glacier, what’s next?

Walking on ice, Baird Glacier

Baird Glacier, Thomas Bay

————————————————————————————————————————————–——————–———–

The glacier hike was part of the InnerSea Discoveries itinerary. Stay tuned for more updates on my adventures in Southeast Alaska.

Disclaimer: My experience was sponsored by American Safari Cruises and InnerSea Discoveries, but all opinions are my own.

————————————————————————————————————————————–——————–———–

Related Posts:

Comments

comments

About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is the co-founder of WildJunket. As a professional travel writer with a special interest in offgrid destinations and adventure travel, she scours through the world in search for a slice of undiscovered paradise. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Guatemala, swam with sealions in the Galapagos and built a school in Tanzania.

8 Responses to “Photoblog: Walking on Ice at Baird Glacier, Southeast Alaska”

  1. Donna Hull September 23, 2010 8:34 pm #

    This was one of the best cruise excursions that I've ever experienced. Your photos and text are a vivid reminder. Nitakuwa, our guide, didn't show us the theraputic use of the mud, maybe that's we our group walked farther up the ice :-).

  2. Abi September 29, 2010 4:13 pm #

    Ah, I remember the green, velvety moss very fondly! Great post – a great reminder of a great day!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Baby Boomers Find Adventure with InnerSea Discoveries - September 24, 2010

    [...] reborn from the glacier’s retreat. Rocks littered the ground as we made our way onto the glacier’s icy surface. At Leconte Glacier, skiff rides took us right next to icebergs for photographic opportunities or [...]

  2. Baby Boomer Adventure on Baird Glacier - October 8, 2010

    [...] wide crack, Nitakuwa, our guide, tossed in a pebble as we judged the deepness of the small crevice. Walking on Baird Glacier was like hiking on a scenic mountain where each new bend in the trail begs to be explored, causing [...]

  3. Photoblog: An Iceberg Tour in Southeast Alaska | Wild Junket - November 1, 2010

    [...] in the heart of Southeast Alaska, the aqua blue icebergs of Le Conte Fjord crackle. Unlike one would imagine, it sounds more like [...]

  4. Arctic Highlights: Polar Bears, the Midnight Sun and Crackling Glaciers | Wild Junket - August 18, 2011

    [...] hiked on a glacier before, but this was definitely something else. The 14th July Glacier, named after the French [...]

  5. Photoblog: Flying Above the Skies of Alaska - Wild Junket - August 4, 2012

    [...] were nearing the end of our Southeast Alaska expedition onboard InnerSea Discoveries; after days of hiking glaciers, encountering icebergs and sea-kayaking, this flightseeing program was one of our last activities. [...]

  6. Top Adventurous Activities in North America | The Looptail, The Travel Blog Powered By G Adventures - October 22, 2012

    [...] glaciers and most of them are easily accessible. On a voyage through Southeast Alaska, I went on a hike up Baird Glacier, and it was my first but definitely not the last experience on ice. We navigated gravel-covered ice, [...]

Leave a Reply