Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bike Trip to the Russell Glacier

Today Pieter Beckman and I rode Mtn. bikes up to the edge of the Russell Glacier. It is about 18 miles one way. Doesn't sound that bad, but the road is a bit up and down and the last part is all on soft glacier till, not fun to ride on. This is about 5 miles into the trip near where the US Military has a bombing practice range. The sign warns you to stay on the road as there might still be some un-exploded ordinance in this area. I doubt there is any unexploded bombs left because the muskox certainly must have accidentally walked over all this area over the past 40 years, but I will not be testing my muskox theory any time soon. I am much happier after this photo was taken as I asked Pieter (a former bike mechanic) to take a look at my bike. I told him I felt like I was riding with the brakes on and indeed both the front and back brakes were way too tight. While there were still many hills to go I felt better after this, and Pieter pointed out I had a good excuse were why I was so tired (and lagging behind Pieter) the rest of the trip.

Here is a neat ice halo a couple of miles later. To learn more about ice halos check out this website on atmospheric optics. Seems to me like this is probably mostly due to high cirrus clouds.

Here is the glacial till part of the ride with the Russell Glacier in the background.

A good view of the glacier river draining the glacier.

Lots of evidence of recent collapses of big chunks of ice from the icesheet edge. That and occasional thunder like nosies caused by nearby collapses made us wary of getting too close.

Looking down the east side.

Rocks recently uncovered by the retreating glacier.

Pieter walking near the ice edge.

Interesting region with blue ice. Note sure why or how this is different.

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