This is part of Lizzie and I's trip to Worthington and Valdez Glacier, you can read about the first half, here.
Since I have also written about the Valdez once before after my first trip there, we'll keep this short and focus on the fun part: ice caves!!
We awoke after a rainy night to terrific views of Valdez Lake and steep, foggy mountains all around. Lizzie and I had spent the night just outside of the parking area and boat launch for Valdez Lake, in anticipation of paddling around the lake and hunting for ice caves.
While we geared up in the parking lot, a friendly guide from Anadyr Adventures arrived with several clients, getting ready to head out in the company's inflatable kayaks for a day on the glacier. A super nice fellow from Montana, he was working in Alaska for the summer, like us, guiding first timers on ice and sharing the beauty of glaciers with the world. We talked briefly while his clients got themselves ready to head out, and he gave us a hint of where we might find what we were looking for. He also warned that their company had ceased to bring clients into the cave because in the very back was a very thin section of the roof, dark with rocks and debris overhead. We thanked him and invited him up to the Matanuska for some ice climbing before heading out in the canoe. We quickly located the hidden entrance to the cave, something we probably would have overlooked without help from the friendly guide. It looked too small to even fit a canoe or kayak into at first.
|Narrow entrance to the flooded cave|
|Paddling inside the pure blue Valdez Glacier|
We kept our time inside short, not wanting to take a swim if something did fall. Even after a short time, the bright light of a cloudy day came as a shock as we neared the exit. We made a stop onto the top of the glacier to explore and saw many cool features, but nothing could compare to the experience of paddling inside the glacier.
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