I believe in God, only I spell it “Nature” -Frank Lloyd Wright

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My job this week was to hike out to a glacier and record a video about a glacier course. A group of ten (including myself) hiked roughly 8 miles into the backcountry  and camped in front of the East-Fork Toklat Glacier for four days. I love doing this kind of work. It gets me out into the field which is always amazing and it focuses on science. I was already fascinated by glaciers from my internship last year at Kenai Fjords National Park, so being able to go on this trip and learn even more about them was fantastic. One of the best parts about the trip was walking on the glacier. It was absolutely beautiful. What made it even more special was that I had to earn it. This glacier wasn’t just sitting on the side of the road. I hiked 8 miles over gravel and through brush, crossed through a freezing glacier silt river, and hiked up on to it. I firmly believe that working so hard for this trip made it all the more worthwhile.

The other highlight of the trip was the wildlife. From the get go the wildlife put on a show. On the drive out I saw my first lynx and my first wolves. In the first section of our hike we had to skirt around a bear that had just killed a caribou. For just about the entire duration of the trip a herd of Dall sheep were grazing on the hillside near our camp. One morning after breakfast we spotted a grizzly on the opposite side of the river from us, come to find out later he must of come right through our camp in the night because there was a fresh bear scat not 10 feet from where we stored our bear canisters.

Needless to say this trip was challenging and amazing and definitely a highlight of my time here at Denali.
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The group hiking over the medial moraine of the glacier.

glaiceology_11The second day we hiked up the a tundra shelf to do some repeat photography of the glacier.

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One of the many cuts in the glacier where water went rushing through.

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Three people hike over the a section of dead ice the was left behind by the glacier.

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A small pond left behind by the glacier.

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A wolf on the ridge line and then one slightly below it.

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The sheep that were hanging around our campsite.

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We had the best luck with the weather. It was pretty windy the whole time, but the only rain we got was  just a little on the last night and it produced these beautiful rainbows.

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