By sandi | June 17, 2013
Of all the things we did in Alaska the Mendenhall Glacier was the most amazing. We began with a helicopter flight up to the glacier. This was the first time Bill or I had been in a helicopter so we weren’t sure what to expect. I was situated in the front seat with the pilot while Bill was in the backseat with an Indian couple. If I had to sum up what it was like I would say that I felt like I was flying like an insect does—lifting off vertically and hovering the way a bee does.
Being in the front seat was slightly more unnerving. I could see the 20-something-year-old pilot twisting and turning and slightly adjusting tiny knobs with his thick gloves on. He was pushing this button, then that one, all the while driving the helicopter with what looked like a large Atari joystick. Needless to say the flight was amazing and a great rush of adrenaline.
Once near the glacier we saw its beauty, the amazing blue pools of water were stunning.
Once we were on the glacier they got us outfitted in crampons so we would be able to walk about the glacier with ease.
It had snowed the night before on the glacier so there were patches of new snow. It was overcast while we were there but that didn’t take away from the beauty.
At one point there was a crevasse in the glacier and there was no water running in it. The guide used his walking pole to chip a couple of pieces of ice from the top and as they went down the crevasse they made the most melodious tinkling sound, kind of like a rain stick but instead of beans it was like glass on glass. So beautiful. I was so caught up in the moment of it all that I didn’t think to take video of the sound.
Along with the musical crevasse there was another crevasse we walked to that had a beautiful water flow going down it. It was amazing.
On the glacier there was a beautiful blue river of glacier water that fed into a pool. At this point they encouraged us to fill our water bottle with glacier water from the source. The water was cool and crisp and clean tasting. We even brought back the bottle full for the kids to try. They were decently impressed.
This was definitely worth doing, in fact I would absolutely do it again. Exploring the glacier was like nothing I had ever seen before.
What a wonderful way to celebrate our 20th Anniversary.