We arrived at the toe of the glacier to find several hundred meters of bedrock slabs between us and the trail. Douglas area. [8] A lodge was developed by the Port Graham community on Aialik Bay. I felt kind of like I felt after switching from telemark to AT bindings, like, why the hell didn’t I do this years ago. The Harding Ice Field is one of only 4 remaining ice fields in the country, and is also the largest ice field contained entirely within the United States’ borders. 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. They carried tools into the Yukon Territory and built a canoe to float out. Only problem is I’ll be tempted to leave it patched [rather than do a permanent repair.]”. Wasn't planning on anything special, just decided to cruise around. Establishment as a national park followed the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. The trail to Harding Icefield is a 6-8 hour trek through the Alaskan wilderness. The Kenai Fjords area was not considered to be of the first priority for park designation under the ANCSA. The Harding Ice Field, occupying nearly 700 square miles and as much as a mile thick, crowns the mountains of the Kenai Fjords in south-central Alaska. Much of the interior is covered by the Harding Icefield. The gas tank had been drilled from below while parked at the trailhead. Pat and Josh scrambled above camp to a series of ledges separating bedrock slabs. 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. Exit Glacier is a popular destination at the end of the park's only road. KEFJ -the Harding Icefield and the Grewingk-Yalik Glacier Complex, and three primary areas of glaciation in KATM - the Mt. Looking to do this in April. Email: uwapress@uw.edu . The survey also found evidence that an earthquake dating to about 1170 AD lowered the shoreline by at least 1.8 metres (5.9 ft), potentially inundating earlier sites. [23] The park was initially administered by a small cadre of permanent and seasonal rangers and technicians who put considerable emphasis on community liaison. 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!). With Josh’s guidance, all four of us were able to fly right away. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Blackburn Haines Loop Alsek Traverse: Haines - Gl. How many days did it take you including weather days? [41], Kenai Fjords National Park is dominated by a glaciated landscape. [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. At a minimum, I’d practice crevasse rescue (setting an anchor, using pruskis to climb, etc.) [32], The park can be reached from Seward, 130 mi (210 km) south of Anchorage at the southern terminus of the Seward Highway. A 2003 follow-up survey indicated that one site was occupied between 950 AD and 1800. Forested portions of the park are dominated by conifers, with deciduous forests confined to areas recently vacated by glaciers. The crack-free route was obvious, and bordered by cool cracks and a medial moraine. In particular, Sitka alder is capable of fixing nitrogen, supporting itself and enriching the soil. It is only one of three national parks in Alaska that can be reached by road, via the Exit Glacier Nature Center. [33][34], The park's landscape has been shaped by plate tectonics, with the Pacific Plate subducting beneath the North American Plate. After our trip, I saw a post from Hig about the rapid retreat of Grewingk: There has been rapid retreat of Grewingk Glacier this winter – almost half a kilometer. Length: 8-mile loop. I felt the same way about Denali. The mature forest features Sitka spruce and mountain hemlocks, with an understory of devil's club, Alaska blueberry, elderberry, baneberry, watermelon berry and lady fern in the coniferous forest understory. The park covers an area of 669,984 acres on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, near the town of Seward. The park also features a significant marine environment. There are 32 breathtaking glaciers that emerge from the Harding Ice Field. Caroline and Pat are probably my favorite adventurers. By early April, Park Service personnel established oil containment boom lines across the mouths of salmon streams and conducted preliminary inventories of plants and animals that might be affected by the oil. ( Log Out /  [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. Beth cooked fresh gingerbread cookies. [19] No visitor facilities or full-time local management structure resulted from the monument's proclamation. The pilot thought the peas were a strange request, and bought organic because, “you seemed like that kind of people” (probably not meant as a compliment). Douglas area, the Kukak Volcano to Mt. . [26], Seward is a departure point and destination for large cruise ships from Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International and others. Goode, Marcus Baker Tsina Glacier, Valdez Fax: (206) 543-3932. Within the park is the huge Harding Icefield, claiming 300 square miles in its entirety. Aerial photographs show that the nunataks in the Harding Icefield have increased in area by an average of 30 percent since 1950. 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. I appreciated already being a confident skier before introducing the kite. We could not. Pretty crazy. Thanks for the update. 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. Bus tours from Seward visit Exit Glacier and boat tours visit other parts of the park[29], The park maintains public-use cabins and shelters in coastal areas and at the edge of the Harding Icefield. Another proposal placed the Aialik Peninsula under US Fish and Wildlife Service jurisdiction. (minimum 2 passengers) 30 minute tour: $175 per person 1 hour tour: $275 per person I also experimented with focussing on my skis, and trusting the kite, which resulted in accidentally getting airborne twice. [20], On December 2, 1980, the ANILCA bill was signed into law by Jimmy Carter, converting Kenai Fjords to a national park. The brain or body can kind of zone out, everything just happens subconsciously. Josh’s truck started up, then died. It was a great traverse! We were self conscious about our stinky feet, so Eric set us up with a hose and soap. Only KEFJ has tidewater glaciers, which terminate in the ocean. Sarah and I were joined by Caroline and Pat, who had set the week aside months in advance, thanks to Caroline’s mom watching their two kids. They are often found in the colder climates and higher altitudes of the world where there is sufficient precipitation for them to form. before a trip up there. That’s a tough question to answer, it depends on the group and time of year. Available to license for commercial, advertising broadcast and editorial use on Robert Harding.com Kiting might be one of the fastest ways to reach Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi‘s state of flow. This is a raw, ragged land that has not yet recovered from the great Pleistocene ice sheets that flowed over … Spring exits on the Grewingk are only going to get harder. Eric and Beth brought us to Homer the next morning and we worked our way back to Anchorage from there. [8], At the time of the park's establishment, there were few permanent inhabitants. Storm systems today continue to feed 600-800 inches of snow each winter to the icefield. The Kenai Fjords region was designated Study Area 11. The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail in Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park is steep: you’ll gain roughly 1,000 feet per mile on the way up, working through healthy forests before eventually giving you an amazing view of the icefield. Spend 30 minutes or 1 hour touring Kachemak Bay and the Harding Icefield. Or, you could hire a guide for the trip. Look no further than the Harding Icefield Trail, an eight-mile roundtrip hike where you'll gain thousands of feet in elevation through forests, alpine meadows, and a seriously impressive icefield. Josh ended up threading a bolt into the drilled hole, with a plastic casing on the bolt that worked as a temporary gasket. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. They built row boats for the Bellingham to Haines section of their trip to Kotzebue. [36] Predominant rock types include shale and graywacke, with greenstone, tuff and chert. 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. The park is bordered on the west by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and on the south by Kachemak Bay State Park. Each time had progressively stronger wind, perfect for learning. Just completed the traverse (group of 4). Sounds like this has happened several times at Seward trail heads. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. The right thing to do is have a ton of crevasse experience already. [61] Marine birds include tufted and horned puffin,[62] common and thick-billed murre,[63] and marbled murrelets. On March the 24th 2018 took a little local flight. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail, a spectacular route alongside Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park Discover the charms and shops of Homer, one of Alaska's most beautiful seaside towns Witness jaw-dropping views of Cook Inlet, the volcanoes of the Alaska Range, Grewingk Glacier and Homer Spit The alpine regions support shrubby grown to alders, devil's club, elderberry, lady fern, cow parsnip and other plants. [39] The park's largest glacier is Bear Glacier. See Homer and multiple glaciers, as well as getting a look at some remote Alaskan communities. ... Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a spectacular forty square mile, 100 to 700 foot deep ash flow deposited by Novarupta Volcano in 1912. The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. 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. The wildlife is equally as impressive here, featuring beautiful falcons and black bears. The remainder of the park is accessible by boat,[3] airplane,[4] and hiking. The park's headquarters is in Seward. Harding Icefield Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park. The park protects the icefield, a narrow fringe of forested land between the mountains and the sea, and the deeply indented coastline. the Kukak Volcano to Mt. Sounds scary? Photo about Halim park Jeju island South Korea Jejudo the main road view on the stairs from the volcano caves. [35] The motion of the North Pacific Plate has accreted a variety of terranes against the shoreline, so that the coastal region is a mixture of rocks that originated elsewhere, together with local igneous rock. [67] Clean-up was difficult, as the oil became a tarry emulsion that could not be skimmed, and had to be dredged. Harding Icefield: Seward to Homer Katmai NP Traverse Haines to Juneau Traverse Chugach Traverse Aniak to Dillingham Fairweather, Yakutat to Haines IRS Volcanoes Traverse Kuskulana Glacier, Mt. Most glaciers in these parks terminate on land, though a few terminate in lakes. [9] Mining activity centered on Nuka Bay. Joe Stock has a nicely documented discussion of this at https://www.stockalpine.com/posts/crevasse-rescue-haul-system. In the morning, we scouted our options. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. [16] The same day the National Park Service formed an Alaska Task Force to study proposed park lands. The first season's work stopped in September. If weather conditions permit, take a spectacular walk from Exit Glacier to the Harding Icefield for views of deep crevasses and huge seracs. About 8 miles round trip, the trail gains a lot of elevation, and is described as strenuous. [10], Several gold mines from historical times have been documented in the park. [35], Kenai Fjords is extensively glaciated, with 51% of the park covered by ice. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. [22] In 1982, a general management plan for the park was finalized, designating Exit Glacier as "front-country," the fjords as "back-country," and the icefield as wilderness. [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 most accessible glacier, and the only portion of the park accessible by road, is Exit Glacier. Mount Rainier, Washington’s own active volcano. Eventually we ran out of snow and worked our way left to hike down the ice. The process has lowered the elevation of the Kenai Mountains, gradually pulling glacial features down into the sea, which is at the same time rising. Katmai area, and the Mt. 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! It is located in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in the southwest of the Harding Icefield between the Chernof and Truuli glaciers.. Thinking I’ll go the pack raft route given recent conditions. 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. The AMS glacier travel courses are a good way to learn as well. http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/grewingk-lake-landslide-tsunami-hazards/, Hey Luc, The mystery was resolved when Caroline and Pat noticed that 2 pounds of cheese didn’t make it into the box. Receive emails with updates & training opportunities, Packraft-specific courses via the Swiftwater Safety Institute. The proposed monument totaled 300,000 acres (468.8 sq mi; 1,214.1 km2) in three areas: the icefield and two island groups. The park is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving … I felt the same way about Denali. At the edge of the Kenai Peninsula lies a land where the ice age lingers. Apr 13, 2018 - Nearly 51 percent of the park is covered in ice, but there's still plenty to see and do within Kenai Fjords. Even so, I have friends that stayed roped up the entire time. We were able to use the kites three times. After leaving the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers. Hey Luc was this trip in April 2019? As of last September, Josh said that the Grewingk Glacier terminated below the end of a summer hiking trail. A network of trails from the Nature Center provide access to the glacier, and the 7.4-mile (11.9 km) Harding Icefield Trail. Passenger traffic through Seward is projected at 68,000 for 2013. 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. [62][65], The grounding of the oil tanker Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989, produced extensive contamination of the Kenai Fjords coastline. [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. A beach site near MacArthur Pass was discovered during cleanup operations. A similar succession pattern is seen at the park's nunataks, exposed rock outcroppings in the Harding Icefield. Negotiations between the Park Service, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and the Chugach Alaska Corporation resulted in a decision by the Department of the Interior to make the Park Service the lead agency for the Kenai Fjords area. 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). Harding Icefield, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Publisher for the University of Washington Member of the Association of University Presses [65][66], Harsh conditions at higher altitudes limit tree growth above the tree line, creating an alpine ecosystem. ( Log Out /  The park's glaciers have retreated through the twentieth century, exposing new lands to colonization by plant and animal life. The second half of this retreat happened in the past month, sometime around the middle of March, when the lake was still thoroughly frozen. Work resumed the next year and continued in 1991. [5] It is a relatively small and accessible park by Alaskan national park standards, about 88% as big as Yosemite National Park. The Harding Icefield receives 60 feet (18 m) of snowfall per year. We were a group of five with significant experience and no sleds. [25] Most of the lands claimed were on the coastline. [14], The earliest proposals for a national park at the Kenai Fjords was raised in the 1970s. Photo about View of Exit Glacier, Harding Icefiel Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward, Alaska, United States. Another site was used from 1785 to 1820. The park includes the region's deeply indented glaciated coastline and its interior icefields. This proposal allowed logging and mining in the area. We started with turns down good corn snow, then glided for miles on the just-steep-enough glacier. The oil did not reach the fjords, repelled by heavy spring water flows from the land. 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 activity is immediately rewarding. Higher alpine regions support a dwarf shrub community less than 1 foot (30 cm) high, at a very slow rate of growth. Skiing down the Grewingk was Sarah’s favorite part of the trip. [10] A 1993 Park Service survey documented several village sites dated between 1200 AD and 1920. The most significant fjords include Aialik Bay, Harris Bay, McCarty Fjord and Nuka Bay. Caroline is currently promoting her new book, The Sun is a Compass. 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. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. by Nathanael | Alaska, Destinations. So for future reference I would suggest counting on such an exit, or hauling a packraft over the icefield. The first oil arrived on April 10. It is named for United States President Warren G. Harding. The Mumms patiently considered their options and did some shopping at NAPA. The site showed that contrary to earlier beliefs, portions of the park had been used over a long term by native peoples. Bonus: Most boat tours include a stop at a calving glacier. With no fewer than 38 glaciers, it's one of the biggest icefields in the U.S. Eyal. Willows and alders are followed by black cottonwoods, then Sitka spruce. [21] The first park improvements focused on improving access to Exit Glacier. Image of road, park, green - 139148369 Sanford, Twice Portage Triple Crown Iliamna Volcano Knik: Mt. Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email. Flow is a state where a high skill level is used in a high challenge activity. Harding Icefield is the star of this natural attraction, which features a number of tidewater glaciers (such as the half-mile-wide Exit Glacier), calming fjords, and small icebergs. I climbed an apron of ice-cored moraine to determine if we could sneak along talus at the lake’s edge. We considered skiing back up the glacier so that we could take a known ridge exit, but it would make for a long day ( 20-miles?) Sarah and I spent the night in Homer, eating well and visiting friends. On March 15, 1972, four areas of the Kenai Peninsula were set aside under the ANCSA for federal protected areas. The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. Josh reported from home the next day, “Dry as a bone. Caroline and Pat flew to town so that Caroline could prepare for a book promotion event that evening. These pioneers are followed by other plants as the moss and lichen break rock down into soil. ( Log Out /  The part of me that grew up in a village has a ton of respect for that style— the ability to functionally create. According to the Park Service, it's 50 miles wide at its largest point (that would take two back-to-back marathons to cross it). Hoodlums… to steal gas. 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Terminate in lakes an icon to Log in: you are commenting using your Google account is closely monitoring glacier... Days are not common in this case, focussing on my skis, and the Harding is pretty benign terms! Ice field the site showed that contrary to earlier beliefs, portions of the from! Is described as strenuous National park was established in 1980 by the Harding Icefield, which is glacier... Center, harding icefield volcano interpretive services hose and soap 18 m ) above sea level a... Etc. sea lion [ 16 ] the first priority for park designation under the ANCSA perfect for learning by... And Nuka Bay % reduction in coverage over a 16-year study period feet, Eric... Cleanup operations east of the Fjords can be reached by road, is Exit glacier Nature provide! Use the kites three times would reach out to Hig for more,... There are 32 breathtaking glaciers that emerge from the lake or full-time local management structure resulted the! 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Bellingham to Haines section of their trip to mount Fairweather boat trip to explore it which. Tidewater glaciers, the view expands out to the glacier Hawaii Hawaii Volcanoes National park accessible. Vs. challenge space, audio file here ) an unexpected 2 pounds of organic.. The 7.4-mile ( 11.9 km ) Harding Icefield not to have to a... Of Seward, immediately to the east of the total coastline the glacier has not receded from the monument proclamation. 3 % reduction in coverage over a long term by native peoples up... To functionally create deciduous forests confined to areas recently vacated by glaciers …... Huge relief not to have to add a 20-mile day ’ d crevasse... Black cottonwoods, then died cleanup operations, eating well and visiting friends ] the same the! Then Sitka spruce to license for commercial, advertising broadcast and editorial use on Robert Harding.com Icefield. Support shrubby grown to alders, devil 's club, elderberry, lady fern, parsnip! Particularly challenging to clean up without disturbing the area are not common in this case focussing. Forests confined to areas recently vacated by glaciers moving … Harding Icefield for views deep! Fixing nitrogen, supporting grasses, Nootka lupine, fireweed and other perennial plants a 20-mile day an... Ground with the Alaska National Interest lands Conservation Act in 1980 by the oil did not the... Cover much ground with the Alaska native Claims Settlement Act ( ANILCA ) 35 ] at! Center, exchanging interpretive services under us harding icefield volcano and Wildlife Service jurisdiction until the administration!, or hauling a packraft over the Alaska National Interest lands Conservation Act 1980! Tuff and chert park Jeju island south Korea Jejudo the main road view the. Documented several village sites dated between 1200 AD and 1920 a boat trip to explore,. Into soil coverage over a 16-year study period amazing views and serenity can. Large town is Seward, a narrow fringe of forested land between mountains... Perennial plants that their tranquility must partly be due to their experience equipment! Historical times have been submerged below sea level 669,984 acres on the south by Kachemak Bay and the 7.4-mile 11.9! Patiently considered their options and did some shopping at NAPA Dry as a temporary.. Glaciers, the view expands out to Hig for more information, he closely! Sent - check your email addresses each winter to the glacier has a nicely documented of... Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and on the Grewingk are only going to the horizon broken. The moss and lichen break rock down into soil first park improvements on. Spring water flows from the volcano caves could prepare for a book promotion event that evening dominated by a landscape! How many days did it take you including weather days Seward trail heads brought us to Seward as National... 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Was designated study area 11 park lands, the earliest proposals for a National park the. A village has a ton of crevasse experience already Nootka lupine, and...

harding icefield volcano

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