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Mendenhall Glacier

A cache by chiefsfan19 Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 03/10/2008
Difficulty:
1.5 out of 5
Terrain:
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: not chosen (not chosen)

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Mendenhall Glacier is a glacier about 12 miles (19 km) long located in Mendenhall Valley, about 12 miles (19 km) from downtown Juneau in the southeast area of the U.S. state of Alaska.

The following coordinates will get you to the parking area for the Visitor Center. (N 58° 25.003 W 134° 32.840) At this point, you will have to find the Map of trails on the websites or at the Visitors Center. To post the picture needed, find the #1 Photo Point Trail. As its name implies, Photo Point Trail is the best vantage point to capture panoramic shots of Mendenhall Glacier and the surrounding peaks. The entire trail is accessible, with benches and interpretive information spaced along it.
Length - 0.3 miles
Time - 20 minutes
Elevation gain - 10 feet

The United States Forest Service administers the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center as part of Tongass National Forest. Inside the Visitor Center is a natural history bookstore run by the Alaska Natural History Association which is a non-profit organization supporting the public lands of Alaska.

Appointed by President Harrison, Thomas Corwin Mendenhall (1841-1924) served as Superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1889 to 1894. A noted scientist, Mendenhall also served on the Alaska Boundary Commission that was responsible for surveying the international boundary between Canada and Alaska. In 1892, this glacier was renamed to honor Mendenhall. Naturalist John Muir first named the glacier Auke Glacier in 1879 after the Aak'w Kwaan of the Tlingít Indians.

The base of Mendenhall Glacier works like a giant piece of sandpaper. As the ice flows towards Mendenhall Lake, the glacier plucks rocks that become imbedded in the ice from the valley floor. The glacier scrapes these rocks across the bedrock creating grooves and striations. The glacier's erosive power changes the landscape and scrapes much of the soil and rock from the valley walls. Rocks scoured from the surrounding valley walls create dark debris lines called moraines on the edges and down the center of the glacier.

As the glacier continues its path towards Mendenhall Lake, it grinds rock to a fine powder call rock flour that escapes with glacial melt water and creates the lake's murky color. Mendenhall Glacier's retreat exposes its trim line, slightly sloping changes in vegetation on the valley walls that indicate the glacier's height at its point of maximum advance. As the glacial ice melts or calves icebergs, the glacier drops geologically misfit rocks called erratics that its ice either quarried further up the valley or that fell onto the ice from rock walls above the glacier. These granite boulders can be seen lying on the metamorphic rock around the visitor center.


To get credit for this cache e-mail chiefsfan19 the answer to the following questions:
1. What shape valley does a glacier carve?
2. Estimate the distance across from left bank to right bank of the Glacier.
3. Find Photo Point Trail and post a picture of yourself or group with the glacier at your back.(optional)

 

Photo Point Trail

http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/districts/mendenhall/images/pptrail.jpgEasy trail with scenic glacial views
Length - 0.3 miles
Time - 20 minutes
Elevation gain - 10 feet

As its name implies, Photo Point Trail is the best vantage point to capture panoramic shots of Mendenhall Glacier and the surrounding peaks. The entire trail is accessible, with benches and interpretive information spaced along it.

 

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