Tuesday July 26th. By Jodie.
McBride glacier is one of the few tidewater glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park. That means the toe of the glacier is partly below the water line. The glacier calves into a lagoon with a narrow entrance through which the ice then collapses into the inlet where we are paddling. The ice flows with the tides and wind, so sometimes the “icebergs” are numerous in the area near the lagoon entrance, sometimes the entrance is blocked, sometimes the ice travel quite a distance up or down the inlet before melting.
We are paddling past McBride glacier amongst the ice in the inlet. It is calm and still, with misty clouds. It’s beautiful. We feel so lucky to be here. It is also very cold, with the light rain and mist. As we get closer to McBride there is an icy cold breeze coming off the glacier. I’m so cold but it’s totally beautiful. I am motivated to keep paddling.
Opposite us is the wonderfully named White Thunder Ridge, swathed in lines of mist. Fairly often there is a rock fall coming off the steep ridge. We almost never see the rocks fall but they sound like thunder. All around us are mountains with steep rock faces and waterfalls endlessly streaming down. This feels like one of the wildest and beautiful places that we have been.
We make our way past McBride towards Riggs glacier. We stop to warm up with tea and chocolate then arrive at Riggs. We weren’t planning to camp here but it’s a great site with no icy breeze so we decide to stay.