Meares Glacier, Prince William Sound Did you know Meares Glacier is one of the few glaciers in Alaska that is advancing? Before we travelled north I had the impression all glaciers were retreating and/or thinning so I was surprised to learn that some were currently advancing and/or thickening.
Tidewater glaciers are very dynamic and the advance and retreat cycle seems to be unique for each glacier. For example, Harvard, Yale, and Meares Glaciers are three adjacent tidewater glaciers that we visited. They are all in close proximity to each other. Harvard is located to the west, Yale is in the middle and Meares is to the east. Since the early 20th century, Harvard Glacier has advanced nearly 2 km, Yale has retreated more than 6 km, and Meares has advanced 1 km. I have not been able to find an easy explanation for why this is, so should a glacier expert by chance happen to read this I would be interested to learn more!
The only way to get to Meares Glacier in the end of Unakwik Inlet is with boat, good luck for us were were on a small ship cruise. The glacier was quite active this day and there was lots of rumbling ending in larger pieces crashing off.
This piece crashing into the fjord is huge!
Wouldn’t it be nice to spend the day floating on an iceberg?
Getting close (‘telephoto lens close’) to harbour seals
It was first when we got close to the glacier from land I realised the size of it. This thing is like The Wall (for those of you loyal Game of Thrones followers).
But I am getting carried away, this post was supposed to be about the salmon berries growing next to the glacier. To get to the berries we first had to climb, crawl and slide through a treacherous section of the old Chugach National Forest. This is where I first heard the word bushwhacking being used. Part of the ‘trail’ was covered with old forest that had been crushed by the advancing glacier and was now overgrown with moss. And it was during this hike we came across bushes and bushes with salmon berries. It was my first meeting with the berries I had heard about for several days. Score! And to my pleasure the berries didn’t taste anything like salmon.
Trying to get through old forest crushed by Meares Glacier as it had been advancing
My first salmon berry!