Pictures from the Sheridan and Scott Glaciers

A few days after the trip to the Child Glacier, Matt and I went to the Sheridan Glacier. Rather than a 30 mile trip from the airport, the road to the Sheridan was quite close to the airport and the drive was but a few minutes. We arrived in the morning to find a low fog over the glacier. As noon approached, the fog cleared up revealing an outstanding view of the glacier filled valley.

Trip to Sheridan Glacier

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Picture of glacier from car.

Our first look at the glacier from where we parked the car. As this is our first visit, we knew not what the fog concealed.

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Dressed Warmly.

About a quarter mile down the trail, and a hundred feet or so lower, the air was clearer. The temperature was in the fourties and this Florida boy wasn't taking chances.

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Melt pond

Just to the right in the previous picture is a small pond. We think its a melt pond from the glacier. There is a small trickle of watter into it but no obvious exit. We guessed that the water seeps out through the ground.

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Picture of glacier.

About half way to the glacier we popped up at the top of a ridge and could see the glacier again. Where were some quiet sounds of something moving around in brush within a hundred yards of us. Matt and I decided not to investigate too close so we made a bit of noise and moved on quickly.

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Moose scratching tree.

Further down the trail we found a moose scratching tree. It seems the moose like to rub their antlers on the trees.

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Moose poop under tree.

We weren't certain it was a moose tree until we moved in for a closer look. This guy had to turn around and back up tight agains the tree to drop his load here. So, a thousand pound moose drops a pile of little turds like this. Each one is about an inch and a half long and almost an inch across. Some laid in the trail and stepped on show each one has a brown cover and softer vegatation in the middle. These are the weirdest turds I have ever seen. What advantage can the moose get from constructing turds like this? I found someone who stuck little twigs or toothpicks in them to look like horses or the such and sold them to tourists. Some people will buy anything.

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Picture of glacier

After another quarter mile or so, we pop out of the light woods into the clear to find the glacier. The ground under our feet is crushed and worn rock. Where is the edge of the glaicer? We were not sure how far out we could or should walk.

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Glacier covered with debris.

After tenderly walking around a bit, we dug a little hole in the debris to find,..., ice! We were on the glacier, but it is covered in a thick layer of debris. How does this much debris get on top of the ice?

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Crevice in glacier.

We start moving about on the glacier and see our first real crevice. We estimate the bottom is about 40 to 50 feet down. Not very big when writing about it, but rather impressive when there. There is a bit of melt water at the bottom but it was not moving.

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Debris on glacier.

We continue to be amazed at the amount of crushed rock on top of the ice.

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Closer look at large crevice.

After about a half hour on the glacier with no sounds or signs of recent movement, I venture closer to the crevice for some pictures. Matt stayed back a bit to remain clear in case there was a problem.

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Crevice

Another view of the same crevice.

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Size of crevice.

Matt standing next to the crevice provides some perspective for size.

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Debris is crushed rock with sharp edges.

Some of the debris is crushed rock with shart edges. This appears to have been recently crushed, the edges show no sign of being rounded. In other areas the rocks were round as though having been in a river for decades or centuries.

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Rock with copper.

Here is a large rock that appears to have a large concentration of copper.

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Matt with rock.

This one probably weighed 30 to 50 pounds. How much copper do you think is in this rock. Maybe none? If not, what might it be?

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Glacier with mountains in background.

This pictures was taken in the AM, still before noon. The fog was beginning to clear ou. We both wanted to journey out on to the glacier past the heavy debris. Aware that we had no experience of this type, there were only two of us, and we had no climbing equipment, we went no further.

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Odd shaped holes in glacier.

There were a dozen or so oddly shaped holes in the glacier. These look as though someone had stabbed the glacier with a huge and hot sword. After melting its way down, the sword was pulled out leaving these holes. They seemed to be deep but having no stick or other probe, we could not tell. When a rock was tossed in there was a deep plunk sound and the water sloshed as though the hole were quite deep.

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Knife wound in glacier.

Another knife stab. But its just a flesh wound out on the edge.

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Odd shaped melt hole.

This is a different shape. Was this caused by the same mechanism as the first two? What differenes would cause the shape change?

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Clear ice.

There was very little clear ice visible. What little we found was hidden under debris.

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Mud puddle.

Here is an unsual looking mud puddle near the edge of the glacier and close to the top of a small debris hill.

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Mud puddle

The mud in this tiny pond is extremely fine. When rubbed between the fingers, the sensation was as smooth as butter with no grit at all. If it had dried up without coalescing, a sneeze could probably blow away the entire cache.

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Matt the thinker.

It was approaching noon and we had to work the graveyard shift that night. Just a bit more time to think about things.

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View over Glacier.

A few parting shots before we go. This is from the northern edge of the debris field looking out over the glacier. We really wanted to take a stroll out there, but did not dare. Maybe next time.

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Two glaciers joining.

The two glaciers were off to the north of where we stood. Sheridan to the left.

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Scott glacier.

Scott to the right. These two images both appear as rivers of ice, frozen in time.

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Picture of glaciers without fog.

Partway back to the car, the fog had cleared leaving a clear view of the nearby mountains.

July 2007