Glacial ice is super-old, compressed, and gives off a brilliant blue hue. My kayak trek to Alaska involved hunting for the bluest ice I could find, and on this particular day the clouds were thick, the rain settled in and according to Ron my guide, these were perfect conditions for really blue ice to be found.
Of course, I had to get over the fact that outside our camp, and importantly, outside the electric fence around our camp, were fresh bear tracks and bear poop. And there was a good 200m walk through bush to get from the camp to our kayaks – a path that also showed signs of bear usage. I could not get in my kayak quickly enough!
Paddling on this day was wet, and cold, and I was pretty happy that I’d put on an extra layer of thermals underneath my drysuit. We decided to paddle down the right-hand arm of the lake and into the salmon creek at it’s end, and hopefully find blue ice on the way. It wasn’t long before we found it.
It’s hard to put into words what it was like being around 10,000 year old blue ice, surrounded by low-level cloud, cold winds blowing off the glacier, and the gentle fall of rain in your face. It’s beautiful and yet stark, mysterious. And not something I’m likely to see again any time soon.
For the rest of the day I paddled amongst the blue icy giants in the rain before setting off in the afternoon for the pick-up point at the original glacial morraine. My time in the Alaskan wilderness at Bear Glacier was coming to an end, and I had succeeded in my quest. 🙂