You now get a chance to walk among the mysterious bright-blue glaciers and see the endless ice continent… the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska!
You’re not going to the Ice Age… you’re going to the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska!
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I had the opportunity to climb this magnificent glacier. It was the first time I ever went glacier climbing, and it was certainly a feat!
See the blue deep, deep down?
As ice climbing is more and more popular in recent years, the Mendenhall Glacier is best to visit in the summer.
You can see a handful of other glacier trekkers near their camp.
Let’s get into the Mendenhall Glacier to help you plan your fabulous trip!
Here is what you should know:
⛰️ Info of the Mendenhall Glacier
The Mendenhall Glacier is located about 12 miles from the southeast town area of Juneau, Alaska. Until 1891, it was called Sitaantaago (“the Glacier Behind the Town”) or Aak’wtaaksit (“the Glacier Behind the Little Lake”).
The glacier is about 13.6 miles long, so it can accommodate hours of ice hiking or climbing.
It is about half-mile wide with ice up to 1,800 feet deep, making the glacier one of the most prevalent visiting place for tourists.
⛰️ Gear to Wear
Warm ski clothes are essential. Even in summer, the temperature around the glacier can be very low, so windproof and waterproof ski clothes can keep you out of the wind and cold.
Gloves, plush hats, earmuffs, and perhaps masks are needed.
They make sure you don’t freeze in cold winds, and masks reduce the intake of cold air, which can irritate the lungs.
In the photo below, you can see me wearing a knit hat, my jacket hood over my hat, a “mask” from the zipped area of my jacket, and sunglasses.
Ice axes, crampons, safety ropes are the three basics to keep your security.
You will get the direction about how to wear them from the trekking guide.
Don’t forget sunglasses!
Sunglasses are not to avoid strong sunshine but the light reflection from the ice.
Ice reflects most sunlight, so looking straight at ice is almost like looking straight at the sun. Sunglasses will help you block the reflected light.
⛰️ Tips You Need When Visiting
You will be arriving at the glacier by helicopter, so if you are airsick, prepare medicine for airsickness.
In addition, airsick passengers should not eat too much before taking the helicopter, so they can carry some convenient food in their backpacks.
Prepare some food energy bars.
Ice trekking is a full-energy demanding sport, and food bars can replenish energy very quickly.
You need inner layers that absorb sweat.
Although the temperature is low, lots of exercises will make you sweat, and sweat-sucking clothes will reduce the loss of warmth.
Choose a sufficiently professional tour. Don’t pick a team with too many people because the guide won’t be able to take care of everyone.
With a small number of people, the team leader can better ensure everyone’s safety.
Now, the ice trekking tour starts!
Be care not to step in the water areas! Have fun!