JUNEAU ON FOOT

Today's port of call is Juneau, the capitol of Alaska. I'm heading out this morning to catch a helicopter to a glacier, where I'll be hiking for a few hours. Of the thousands aboard the ship, only three of us have signed up for this excursion. We meet up with another couple at the airport, along with our guide, who reminds me of Adam on Mythbusters.

Also at the airport we are fitted with boots, waterproof gear, gaiters, and a harness. It's then a scenic flight over Herbert Glacier to Mendenhall Glacier, where we set down. Once off the helicopter it's helmets, ice picks, and crampons, then off to explore the glacier. It is cold and rainy but the views are simply incredible. I could spend all day exploring the area, though I am hoping that my camera doesn't freeze.

As we begin our return, our guide asks if we'd like to use ropes to get down. We're all in agreement, so we rappel our way down a steep drop before getting in a little more hiking, where I get in a few more shots of the glacier. Once the helicopter arrives, it's off with the helmets, ice picks, and crampons and back to Juneau proper.

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All text and photographs Copyright © 2006-2014 by Jeremiah A. Gilbert.
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