Thursday, December 12, 2013

Back to the Ice Cave

Since Mendenhall Lake is nice and frozen and somewhat 'safe' for venturing across, a few friends and I decided to hike out to the ice caves both Monday and Tuesday. The ice cave, known as Brown's Ice Cave, has been there for a number of years, and let me tell you... it is surreal how amazing it is in there. There is some risk involved, especially getting to it from walking across the frozen lake. When there's snow and ice on the ground, walking across the lake is certainly the safer option compared to hiking West Glacier Trail to the cave.

That trail is pretty gnarly in the summertime, and trying to navigate it covered in snow and ice is super risky. I suppose if you had ice cleats, rope, a harness, and ice pick, and a crew of knowledgeable fellow hikers it wouldn't be that bad, but that gear is a bit pricey. I'll take my chances crossing the lake :)

Once in the cave, there's the risk of it collapsing under it's own weight at any moment. The way I see it, if it's been there for years and years, and it happens to collapse the very moment in time that I decide to explore it's glory, then it must just be my time to journey into the afterlife. No doubt that one day it will eventually collapse, I just hope no poor soul is in there when it happens. It is without a doubt one of the earth's most beautiful places. Being under a glacier, surrounded by ancient ice is something most people only dream of experiencing. The brilliant blue glow of the cave is almost hypnotizing... the energy of that cave can't be put into words.

I'm super thankful to have ventured into the cave three times now, and walked out alive and happy. The snow is almost too deep to make it out there again until summer, but you better believe I'll be back.

Here are a few photos from that adventure. You can see the entire album HERE on my Facebook page.

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