Worthington Glacier Fall Survey Yields Interesting Find
Really interesting last weekend on my annual Worthington Glacier Terminus survey. Every fall I walk the terminus of the middle moraine built of ice-slickened rock as the glacier continues it’s unrelenting melt. It’s quite profound loosing a 100 yards a year of ice nearly 3 stories high. I have placed rock tarns marking the retreat over the years on this glacier and 27-Mile Icefall hang in above the Pass.
We hiked up the middle moraine after crossing the creeks below the visitor platform. Its tricky to access except at one spot and you should be good at route finding. After an alder belay to get off the valley floor you begin a series of wanderlusting traverses to the high point following a 1/2 dozens slot canyon of slick rock. If you want more challenge, there is plenty of nice 40-80 foot rock problems that have yet to be addressed in any technical way since it’s mostly new earth. The newest slot canyon near the top is the deepest of all having opened fully in the last year. These canyons are masked in rock and not visible from the visitor areas or the highway. What looks impossible is actually what makes this hike so amazing.
As Jessica, Taylor and I walked my survey course, we found more of the wire from last year. I have no idea how it got in the ice. Last year, I yanked at it and it broke as it was protruding from the ice. This year revealed the coil. It’s insulated wire so it’s fairly recent, at least after 1960. There was an 8′ section of galvanized 2″ pipe laying near the coil.
Then we found the remains of a moose who sometime ago fell in a crevasse. At first we thought we had made a major dinosaur discovery and were ready to call the Discovery Channel! But, after poking around and adding 2+2, we determined it was a moose.
Who know what this and other glaciers may reveal in future fall seasons? One way to find out is to simply gohave a look for yourself. Thompson Pass offers great day hikes this time of the year and of course, the freshly dusted peaks add spice to any day in the Chugach.
On a side note, congrats to Taylor Brown. He got first Chugach tracks on Monday, hiking up and then skiing Loveland finding a few feet of settled snow and good skiing.