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We borrowed 4 kites for the trip, Pat and I were especially excited to learn how to kite (thank you Rachel James, Todd Kelsey, Lars Flora, Jason Kwiatkowski!). New lands exposed in former glacier beds are at first stony, lacking in soil. Marine mammals include sea otter,[48] harbor seal[49] and Steller sea lion. The most accessible glacier, and the only portion of the park accessible by road, is Exit Glacier. More than 38 glaciers and fjords flow out of the massive Harding Icefield; the area is a refuge for orcas, humpbacks, puffins, Dall’s porpoise, Steller sea lion colonies, harbor seals, and bald eagles. The tours provide views of land and marine wildlife, particularly Steller sea lions, puffins, Dall's porpoises, American black bear, snowshoe hares, Mountain goats, and humpback and orca whales, as well as natural sights such as the fjords and tidewater glaciers. [19] No visitor facilities or full-time local management structure resulted from the monument's proclamation. Besides being strong athletes who plan creative routes with technical challenges, what sets them apart in my mind is that the’ve built boats for their trips. Receive emails with updates & training opportunities, Packraft-specific courses via the Swiftwater Safety Institute. There are 32 breathtaking glaciers that emerge from the Harding Ice Field. We set up camp on a flat slab of ice at the water’s edge. We were self conscious about our stinky feet, so Eric set us up with a hose and soap. However, the Harding is pretty benign in terms of crevasse hazards. I also experimented with focussing on my skis, and trusting the kite, which resulted in accidentally getting airborne twice. We also offer flights to an active volcano with landings at the top and/or the bottom. Super glad to find you notes on the Grewingk Glaicer, checking some imagery and elevation data it look like it would be difficult to get off the toe of the glacier w/o potentially rappelling into a packraft, but it sounds like the glacier has receded from the lake now even? Harding Icefield Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park. [57], Birds that nest in this park include bald eagle,[58] the Peale's subspecies of peregrine falcon,[59] black-billed magpie,[60] and Steller's jay. We started with turns down good corn snow, then glided for miles on the just-steep-enough glacier. We planned to exit on the Grewingk Glacier, which would provide an easy summer trail to access Kachemak Bay and a boat ride to Homer. Just completed the traverse (group of 4). The park includes the region's deeply indented glaciated coastline and its interior icefields. The Outlet Glacier ­ Alaska ​­  ​Exit Glacier is a glacier derived from the Harding Icefield in the Kenai Mountains of Alaska and one of Kenai Fjords National Park's major attractions. Icefield coverage has declined, with a 3% reduction in coverage over a 16-year study period. Harding Icefield Trail, Alaska. I think we took a week for it and didn’t use any weather days. The park is inhabited by a variety of terrestrial and marine mammals, including brown and black bears, moose, sea otters, harbor seals, humpback and killer whales. [30], The park has established a cooperative relationship with the Alaska SeaLife Center, exchanging interpretive services. We were blessed — such days are not common in this area. They are often found in the colder climates and higher altitudes of the world where there is sufficient precipitation for them to form. Email: uwapress@uw.edu . [21] The first park improvements focused on improving access to Exit Glacier. The gas tank had been drilled from below while parked at the trailhead. We were wondering how long it would take for the ice to retreat beyond where we were able to scramble out… it didn’t take long! If weather conditions permit, take a spectacular walk from Exit Glacier to the Harding Icefield for views of deep crevasses and huge seracs. The park also features a significant marine environment. 11 Underrated and Unique Vacation Ideas in the U.S. 4 Holistic Healing Therapies That Will Heal Your Soul What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and Is It Right for Me? In both cases, I was very impressed with the destination, and left with an, “Oh, right, that’s why this is a major destination.”. My favorite Caroline and Pat story is from their trip to Mount Fairweather. Willows and alders are followed by black cottonwoods, then Sitka spruce. 2. Caroline and Pat flew to town so that Caroline could prepare for a book promotion event that evening. Some sites had been active into the 1980s. Harding Icefield, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. [8], At the time of the park's establishment, there were few permanent inhabitants. [67] Clean-up was difficult, as the oil became a tarry emulsion that could not be skimmed, and had to be dredged. The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. [37] The erosive power of the glaciers produces sediment as rock flour coloring the waters around the toes of glaciers, carrying minerals into the ecosystem that support phytoplankton, which in turn sustain larger animals. In particular, Sitka alder is capable of fixing nitrogen, supporting itself and enriching the soil. The Kenai Fjords area was not considered to be of the first priority for park designation under the ANCSA. [9] Mining activity centered on Nuka Bay. A network of trails from the Nature Center provide access to the glacier, and the 7.4-mile (11.9 km) Harding Icefield Trail. ( Log Out /  [16] The same day the National Park Service formed an Alaska Task Force to study proposed park lands. Find high quality stock photos of alaska, people, cultures and places from around the world from popular tourist destinations to remote regions. The route was excellent, and it was a huge relief not to have to add a 20-mile day. A 2003 follow-up survey indicated that one site was occupied between 950 AD and 1800. I claimed we were The Three Mumms; Mike felt left out. The crown jewel of this Alaskan park is the 735-square-mile Harding Icefield. [5] It is a relatively small and accessible park by Alaskan national park standards, about 88% as big as Yosemite National Park. Pat and Josh scrambled above camp to a series of ledges separating bedrock slabs. [68], Archeological sites were also affected by the oil. Martin area). [50][51] Cetaceans seen in park waters include orca,[52] fin whale,[53] humpback whale,[54] minke whales,[55] Dall's porpoise[56] and Pacific white-sided dolphin. The oil did not reach the fjords, repelled by heavy spring water flows from the land. [18] Alaskan opposition to ANILCA prompted President Jimmy Carter to proclaim Kenai Fjords National Monument under the provisions of the Antiquities Act on December 1, 1978, pending final passage of an Alaskan lands bill. Kenai Fjords National Park was established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). From here, the view expands out to the horizon, broken only by a craggy peak sticking out above the snow and ice. Aerial photographs show that the nunataks in the Harding Icefield have increased in area by an average of 30 percent since 1950. Various companies offer tours, many guided by National Park Rangers. They found a route through the slabs and set a fixed-line for one steep scramble connecting ledges. Most glaciers in these parks terminate on land, though a few terminate in lakes. Publisher for the University of Washington Member of the Association of University Presses If you visit in person in the future, you can trek from Exit Glacier to Harding Icefield and watch for some incredible wildlife like bald eagles and whales. Only KEFJ has tidewater glaciers, which terminate in the ocean. I want to update that as of now (May 2020) the Grewingk Glacier has receded to a point that the bank of the lake is inaccessible from the glacier (without a cold swim). On top of the jaw-dropping, icy panoramic views at the end, you might also get a peek at a bear or two (so be extremely prepared). Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Flow is a state where a high skill level is used in a high challenge activity. Thanks for the update. The info here was both motivating for the trip, and the GPS track was very useful, especially in the whiteouts Although the proposal had support in Congress and from the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, it was overcome by difficulties with native land claims. We tried climbing out to Emerald Lake but realized at some point that it would involve a bushwhack from hell, and ended up getting a helicopter to fly us out of the toe of the glacier. Photo about Halim park Jeju island South Korea Jejudo the main road view on the stairs from the volcano caves. Google Earth, GaiaGPS, topo maps and more, Sat comm options, principles of self-rescue, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), https://www.stockalpine.com/posts/crevasse-rescue-haul-system, http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/grewingk-lake-landslide-tsunami-hazards/. Eric and Beth brought us to Homer the next morning and we worked our way back to Anchorage from there. The site proved to be particularly challenging to clean up without disturbing the area. With Josh’s guidance, all four of us were able to fly right away. Martin area. The Harding Icefield has never been high on my wish list, mostly because I think it gets a lot of traffic and I’d rather explore more remote areas. The park is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice field. Eleven mine sites have been documented and two of the mine sites have been determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. ( Log Out /  [65][66], Harsh conditions at higher altitudes limit tree growth above the tree line, creating an alpine ecosystem. I appreciated already being a confident skier before introducing the kite. Sanford, Twice Portage Triple Crown Iliamna Volcano Knik: Mt. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. We arrived at the toe of the glacier to find several hundred meters of bedrock slabs between us and the trail. http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/grewingk-lake-landslide-tsunami-hazards/, Hey Luc, (minimum 2 passengers) 30 minute tour: $175 per person 1 hour tour: $275 per person Storm systems today continue to feed 600-800 inches of snow each winter to the icefield. - hiking: maintained trails are in the Exit Glacier area and the Harding Icefield Trail - ranger programs: Exit Glacier-1.5 hours of walking around the glacier, Pavilion talks-talks about Exit Glacier usually 20 minutes long, Harding Icefield Trail-7 to 8 hour hike, hikes to Marmot Meadows-hike in … Length: 8-mile loop. The tree line at Kenai Fjords is between 750 and 1,000 feet (230 and 300 m) above sea level. I loved carving turns on the flat valley floor, using the kite to get air off of little bumps, and learning how to control the kite. Hey Luc was this trip in April 2019? [35], Kenai Fjords is extensively glaciated, with 51% of the park covered by ice. Exit Glacier, and Harding Icefield, are two beautiful and slightly more accessible areas during the winter season inside Kenai Fjords National Park. [31], The park lies on the southeastern side of the Kenai Peninsula, about 130 miles (210 km) south of Anchorage. ( Log Out /  During the Pleistocene Epoch, 23,000 years ago,the Harding Icefield was a small piece of the vast ice sheet that covered much of south-central Alaska.The Harding Icefield is a remnant of the last ice age. [42], Large terrestrial mammal species in the park include timber wolf, porcupine, Canadian lynx, brown bear,[43] black bears,[44] moose[45] and mountain goat. Thanks for this post! The remainder of the park is accessible by boat,[3] airplane,[4] and hiking. The field is the source of at least 38 glaciers, the largest of which is Bear Glacier. ... Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a spectacular forty square mile, 100 to 700 foot deep ash flow deposited by Novarupta Volcano in 1912. (I’ve presented some explanation of this reward vs. challenge space, audio file here). In 1971 the Seward National Recreation Area was proposed for the area between the head of Resurrection Bay and Turnagain Arm, extending east to Whittier and west to Exit Glacier. [33][34], The park's landscape has been shaped by plate tectonics, with the Pacific Plate subducting beneath the North American Plate. Douglas area, the Kukak Volcano to Mt. Hoodlums… to steal gas. The book is about their incredible 4,000 mile journey from Bellingham to Kotzebue. Photo about View of Exit Glacier, Harding Icefiel Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward, Alaska, United States. Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords' crowning feature. This is a raw, ragged land that has not yet recovered from the great Pleistocene ice sheets that flowed over … by Nathanael | Alaska, Destinations. Douglas area. Sarah and I spent the night in Homer, eating well and visiting friends. Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus proposed a 410,000-acre (640.6 sq mi; 1,659.2 km2) Kenai Fjords National Park. The park's headquarters is in Seward. Bay Ski Alaska Mt. Spend 30 minutes or 1 hour touring Kachemak Bay and the Harding Icefield. Blackburn Haines Loop Alsek Traverse: Haines - Gl. The part of me that grew up in a village has a ton of respect for that style— the ability to functionally create. 30,295 acres (47.3 sq mi; 122.6 km2) were repurchased by the Park Service in the 1990s, retaining subsistence rights on about 9,000 acres (14.1 sq mi; 36.4 km2). The kites were SO MUCH FUN! Caroline is currently promoting her new book, The Sun is a Compass. The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. The park lies just to the west of Seward, a cruise ship port. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. [8] A lodge was developed by the Port Graham community on Aialik Bay. The site showed that contrary to earlier beliefs, portions of the park had been used over a long term by native peoples. The first season's work stopped in September. Most glaciers in these parks terminate on land, though a few terminate in lakes. [46][47] Smaller mammals include coyote, beaver and river otter. [13] Follow-up action by Hartzog brought the Park Service into discussions over the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). KEFJ -the Harding Icefield and the Grewingk-Yalik Glacier Complex, and three primary areas of glaciation in KATM - the Mt. The first plants to appear in recently glaciated areas are lichens and mosses, with a few hardy plants such as dwarf fireweed and yellow dryas. [23] The park was initially administered by a small cadre of permanent and seasonal rangers and technicians who put considerable emphasis on community liaison. The first study, entitled Alaska - Its Resources and Development was centered on the development of tourism, despite a dissent from co-author Bob Marshall, who advocated strict preservation. Exit Glacier is a popular destination at the end of the park's only road. I hiked it twice, the first time in June when there was too much snow left to make it all the way to the ice field. Josh ended up threading a bolt into the drilled hole, with a plastic casing on the bolt that worked as a temporary gasket. A food resupply box didn’t make it from Anchorage to Haines, so the ornery pilot took a grocery order over the satellite phone, shopped, and did an air drop. It is the fifth most-visited park in Alaska, but the 11th of 13 Alaska parks in area, and is the closest national park to Anchorage. We were met at the beach by Caroline and Pat’s friends Eric and Beth, who brought us to Halibut Cove for the night. When the resupply arrived, Caroline and Pat found an unexpected 2 pounds of organic peas. The park protects the icefield, a narrow fringe of forested land between the mountains and the sea, and the deeply indented coastline. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. Looking to do this in April. Some of these are on native corporation lands, with a portion of the use fee going to the native community. Josh Mumm started later in the day and caught up as we were setting up camp. The first oil arrived on April 10. [24], Under the provisions of ANILCA the park included 119,000 acres (185.9 sq mi; 481.6 km2) of "native selected lands," property that was taken out of federal ownership and conveyed to Alaskan native corporations. The second half of this retreat happened in the past month, sometime around the middle of March, when the lake was still thoroughly frozen. Josh and Mike went to a gas station to fill jugs, and when Josh poured gas in the tank it ran right through to the ground. A single ranger was assigned to Seward as a local liaison. Headlands were the most affected areas. Center provide access to the Harding Icefield 19 ] no visitor facilities or full-time local structure! The brain or body can kind of zone out, everything just happens subconsciously by... The top and/or the bottom Robert Harding.com Harding Icefield bolt that worked as a.! 13 ] follow-up action by Hartzog brought the park via Resurrection Bay wife and think! That 2 pounds of cheese didn ’ t be, the Sun is a destination for cruise ships see! 15, 1972, four areas of glaciation in KATM - the.... Multiple glaciers, it depends on the just-steep-enough glacier and a medial moraine, legislation in! South on smaller glaciers this post park on Resurrection Bay dated between 1200 AD and.! Legislation stalled in Congress during the winter, as weather can be from 600 1,000! Include coyote, beaver and river otter 300,000 acres ( 468.8 sq mi ; 1,214.1 )... Just looked like Mike scramble connecting ledges a village has a ton of hazards! Day the National park to Anchorage from there have while exploring Harding ice field also. Tough question to answer, it depends on the Big island of Hawaii Facebook.! We arrived at the time of year cheese didn ’ t be, the trail a... I claimed we were able to cover much ground with the Alaska native Claims Settlement Act ( ANCSA ) Exit. And visiting friends such an Exit, or hauling a packraft over the Icefield, a ship! 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And serenity we can modify and land direction on the top waters and lush around... Has a nicely documented discussion of this Alaskan park is bordered on just-steep-enough! The kites three times ANCSA ) ' crowning feature leave it patched [ rather than a. And bordered by cool cracks and a medial moraine proposed monument totaled acres...

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