Journal I : Expedition to Glacier Bay, Alaska, Summer 1890

August 8th

Friday. Mr. Cushing McBride and I started this morning to ascend Pyramid Pk. We arose at 3:30, got breakfast, and left camp in the boat at 5; we found plenty of ice in the inlet which made our passage long. On landing we crossed the moraine, and struck up the valley of the Dying Glacier; we reached Glacier front at 7:20 and took breakfast. We then ascended the glacier to the divide. This glacier is very anomalous; it has no beginning but two ends. The principle moraines extend from end to end; the smaller moraines extend from both ends to near the middle where they disappear. One of these moraines had its two ends connected under a covering of ice in all respects like the rest of the Gl. ice. The valley runs N 65 W. Probably the ice once came tho' this valley from the N,W, and when this flow ceased, the ice which was left in the valley flowed both ways from the divide; a period of heavy snowfall followed which covered the glacier to such a depth that it was compacted into ice above over the old ice and moraines; this ice is now melting and has exposed nearly all the former moraines. The view from the divide was beautiful. The NW end of the glacier lies on a broad grand bank about 1/2 m. long, beyond which is a most beautiful inlet from Glacier Bay, the water of which is most beautifully clear, with bergs floating about in it. The mountains on both sides slope right down into the water, and beyond one can see Glacier bay and the Fairweather Range. Pyramid Pk rises in a steep uniform grass slope from the water to its summit, 4000 ft. The height of the divide was 860 ft by Bar[ometer]. We descended some 200 ft and had some more breakfast at a stream which poured under the glacier from the right. The valley down which it came was formerly occupied by a glacier of which but a small remnant remains. We then skirted a ridge between us and Pyr. Pk and entered a second valley. This we found [piled?] with moraine and [angular?] debris making the walking very tiresome. Its upper part is piled occupied by a pretty little white glacier, which has its neve in a saddle on the N side of Pyr. Pk. and sweeps around thro' this valley. The valley ends above in high granite cliffs whose junctions with the

(End Journal II)

slates was clearly visible marked. We wound up the left side of the valley, over [a?] small part of the glacier and then struck a now couloir which led straight up the N face. This couloir became steeper and steeper; at first one kick was sufficient to make a step, then two were necessary, and finally the slope was so steep that four or five kicks were needed to make a [sure?] step. We of course were roped on this slope. In the steepest places the slope was certainly 50 degrees. This couloir was about 1200 ft high. We reached its top about 2 pm; had some lunch and pushed on to the summit, some two hundred feet higher. I made one or two sketches of the beautiful view and tried to get some angles on the peaks, but the lower circle of the transit could not be kept stationary and the angles were worthless. We could see where one tributary of Muir Glacier pitched down towards Glacier Bay. We descended the grassy southern slope, starting at 5:25, worked on to the glacier, walked its full length, and reached the large flood-planes of its discharging stream. We walked this over this when it was quite dark and after wandering about for some time, found our boat at 10:15 pm. We soon rowed across the inlet, luckily finding but little ice in the water, and reached camp, a very tired out party. This was is the first peak up which I have ever led a party; it is about seven miles from camp, ab. 4000 ft high, and required some care in the couloir. We were out from camp 18 hrs.

Morse and Adams went to K to observe the flags. The Our former results are confirmed, the fastest motion of the ice being about six or seven ft per day.

No comments:

Post a Comment