Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Exploring Glaciers in Alaska

Mont Alto alumnus, Eric Straley, who works on forest inventory for the USDA Forest Service in Alaska, sent us this message with an accompanying video:

A few days ago I did a plot next to the Hole-in-the-Wall Glacier north of flows off the Taku. After Jon and I were done we went out on the ice and explored around for an hour or so before we called the helicopter. We found this sweet ice cave that went back into the glacier for 50 or so actually went further but we could only make it a little way.

1 comment:

ejs said...

Here is a little more info from that day...our plot was actually a few hundred feet off to the side and up slope from the lateral moraine. We landed the helicopter next to the glacier on a gravel bar and hiked up to the plot. The plot turned out to be mostly 30-50 inch sitka spruce that were better than 130 ft tall. We only tallied two trees because of the spacing of the trees...the rest of the slope was mostly devil's club and salmon berry with some sambucus and probably 80% slope. On average the stand was just over 100 years old. Even at that diameter, the trees were still growing almost half an inch a year in radial growth. On the way back to the LZ we hiked out by the ice so we could get an upclose look...we did measure trees that day...honestly =)