Before I knew it, only 12 hours after my arrival and a restless night, I was up in the air on a bushplane, admiring glaciers from above. Would you hike to the Harding Icefield? Elevation Gain of the Harding Icefield Trail. Icefields vary in size and connect a series of glaciers. I went in mid-July and there was still some snow at … Also, a wind forecast map is available, the map includes all changes of wind for a 10 days period by 3 hours steps. He was headed for Kachemak Bay, where he intended to take up residence, but was so intrigued by the icefield he had seen from the steamship that he vowed to cross it before long. Most scientists accept the Milankovitch theory (see climate change section of this manual) of orbital forcing—that cyclical changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun are a principal cause of the ice age and long-term changes in the Earth’s climate. Conditions on the icefield overwhelmed him however, and a week later he was back in Seward. The numerous fjords carved by these glaciers give the protected area its name. The trip took eight days. The icefield spawns more than 38 glaciers some of which are tidewater, some of which terminate in lakes, and others terminate on land. In 1980, the founding legislation for Kenai Fjords National Park included a segment to protect and preserve the Harding Icefield and its out-flowing glaciers. After securing a homestead, he returned to Seward, and in late July he hiked up the Lowell Creek drainage toward the icefield. Ten people were involved in the crossing, which went from Chernof Glacier east to Exit Glacier. Created more than 23,000 years ago during the Pleistocene Epoch, the Harding Icefield was a small piece of the vast ice sheet that covered much of Southcentral Alaska (Figure 1). This website uses cookies. 3 Days later I was on my first real challenge, called the Harding Icefield Trail near Seward. They are free to join. Icefields also exert their own influence on local and global climate, changing pressure systems and wind directions, serving to keep adjacent land and water cold. How to hike harding icefield exit glacier trail. The Exit Glacier, however, is the most accessible of the glaciers being reached by a spur road off of the Seward Highway. Part of this group, including Yule Kilcher, continued across the Harding Icefield and skied down Exit Glacier. The flora and fauna of the Kenai Fjords National Park vary with altitude above sea-level. The icefield is also one of four remaining icefields in the United States and is the largest contained entirely within the United States. In the mid-1960s, two parties attempted but failed to make the crossing. OVERVIEW: The Harding Icefield Trail is an 8.2-mile, 5-hour hike round trip with a 3,150-foot elevation gain.Hiking conditions are best from June to September. Length of the Harding Icefield Trail. Bedrock can show through the ice of an icefield. The Harding Icefield is thousands of feet thick, but it does not completely bury the underlying mountains. 2002). The forecast shows local time for Harding Icefield. The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. 8.2miles or 13km return. They hiked from Bear Glacier west to Tustumena Glacier. "Sights To See." The NPS plans to repeat this study every ten years to monitor further changes. Naming the Ice Expect a vast, glittering snowfield, and an epic view of the mountains and glaciers that surround the Harding Icefield. The Harding Icefield is located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. For more details about cookies and how to manage them, see our cookie policy.cookie policy. Review of Harding Ice Field Trail. In 2004, the NPS installed an automated weather station at 4,200 feet on a nunatak in the northeastern part of the Harding Icefield (Figure 2). In 1968, a mountaineering party departed Homer on horseback, traveled up Chernof Glacier on foot and skis, and completed the first ascent of Truuli Peak, the highest point on the Kenai Peninsula. Satellite retrieval of snow algal discoloration in the Harding Icefield has also been achieved using similar techniques by Takeuchi et al. Harding Ice Field Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park: See 190 reviews, articles, and 281 photos of Harding Ice Field Trail, ranked No.1 on Tripadvisor among 8 attractions in Kenai Fjords National Park. The Harding Icefield and its outflowing glaciers cover 700 square miles of Alaska's Kenai Mountains in glacier ice. As noted above, Yule Kilcher, Dave Johnston, Vin Hoeman, and Grace Hoeman were veterans of previous attempts; of the ten, only four–Bill Babcock, Dave Johnston, Yule Kilcher, and Vin Hoeman–hiked all the way across the icefield. The trail is an extension of the Exit Glacier hike, passing through alpine meadows and craggy, bushy terrain before reaching the Harding Icefield. Studies of glacial deposits on land indicate at least four major periods of glaciation. The morning of May 11, we loaded our still-damp gear into the APU vans and made for the Kenai Peninsula, where we were to embark on a 13-day traverse of the Harding Icefield. Before the early 1920s, local residents paid little attention to the huge icefield in the mountain range behind the town. Along the way, the party made a first-ever ascent of Truuli Peak, a 6,612—foot eminence that protrudes from the northwestern edge of the icefield near Truuli Glacier. At the top, the view is unlike any other: Mountain peaks enshrouded with ice stretch off into the distance and many must be tempted to come back someday, like Kilcher, and go further. In 1983 Roman Dial and Jim Lokken skied from the edge of the Skilak Glacier to the Tustumena Glacier edge in a single day and in 1984 Dial skied from the Skilak to the Chernof solo in one day as part of the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic. Up to this point, however, people had walked only on the icefield's margins. Skilak Lake, on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge where our journey began, did not appear to be anywhere near an icefield. Some of the more notable glaciers include the Tustumena Glacier, Exit Glacier, and McCarty Glacier. Harding Icefield, named for former U.S. President Warren Harding, is located in the mountains of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Sun and moon, 27/11/2020; Sun Moon; Sunrise 09:27; Moonrise 15:42: Sunset 16:06: Moonset 05:59: Latitude/longitude: 60°01′05″N 149°59′09″W Decimal coordinates: 60.0181 -149.9861. Very excited! Ice as Far as the Eye Can See By continuing to browse our website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Over 30 glaciers of different size and type flow outward from the Harding Icefield. Harding Icefield between Bear and Skilak Glaciers, Nunatak Plateau in background, Last edited on 23 February 2020, at 20:33, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Alaska Science Forum: "Harding Icefield's Loss is the Ocean's Gain." Aerial view of Harding icefield and Nunataks. Icefields are sensitive to climate change, growing and melting in response to changes in temperature and snowfall. Seward residents generally ignored the huge icefield west of town before 1922. Evidence from deep-sea cores suggests that a dozen major glaciations may have occurred during the Pleistocene Epoch. Access to the Harding Icefield is exceptional in comparison to other large icefields. Today, during the warmth of the mid-summer season, many people climb the Harding Icefield Trail to see the ice firsthand. A National Park Service (NPS) study using aerial photographs and satellite imagery measured a three percent reduction in the surface area of the Harding Icefield over a period of 16 years. The forecast shows local time for Harding Icefield. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area.Starting on the valley floor, the trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes though heather filled meadows and ultimately climbs well above tree line to a breath-taking view of the Icefield. Harding Icefield Hike: This spectacular hike is one of our favorite challenging hikes in Alaska, and takes you through some of the most incredible landscapes in the region. Several glaciers originate from this icefield like the Bear Glacier. Retrieved December 14, 2006. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Harding Icefield,, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 23 February 2020, at 20:33. The expedition left Homer on April 17, bound for Chernof Glacier; eight days later, they descended Exit Glacier and arrived in Seward. The construction of the Spruce Creek trail that year, however, made it possible to view the upper portions of the icecap, and President Harding's promise to visit the territory was sufficient to bestow his name on the feature. However, in Seward Alaska, it’s easier than ever to get right up to the glacier and see the vast expanse of the Harding Icefield as well. The Lure of the Icefield Harding Icefield Hike: One of the best challenging hikes in Anchorage, and indeed, the whole of Alaska, the Harding Icefield trail takes you up past Exit Glacier to the permanent snowfield. The Harding Icefield and its outflowing glaciers cover 700 square miles of Alaska's Kenai Mountains in glacier ice. Because of the cooling effect of the visible ice, but more importantly the immense Harding Icefield, the tree line altitude remained suppressed. Current weather observations and summary reports can be viewed at the Western Region Climate Center’s website: Yule Kilcher, a 27-year-old Swiss immigrant, had heard of the icefield and seen its edge from the steamer that had dropped him off in Seward. The Harding Icefield is 777 square km and one of the largest non-polar icefields in the world. Alutiiq and Dena’ina Natives were no doubt familiar with the ice and had accessed it, but there is no record of any attempted crossing until 1936. What is the best hike in alaska. Antarctica and Greenland are the only present-day ice sheets. Both attempts were unsuccessful. The Harding Ice Field is a bit more boring in its uniformity, in that most of its glaciers are retreating, he said. [2] The icefield itself receives over 400 inches of snow each year.[3]. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. There are Ranger led Harding Icefield hikes from 9am on Saturdays in July to August. During the first three full years of operation, the lowest observed temperature was -21 degrees F, the highest observed temperature was 68 degrees F, and the maximum observed sustained wind gust was 117 miles per hour. Recent scientific studies are documenting significant short-term changes in Alaska glaciers and the Harding Icefield. Climate Change Past and Present Sun and moon, 01/10/2020; Sun Moon; Sunrise 08:07; Moonrise 20:04: Sunset 19:29: Moonset 07:33: Latitude/longitude: 60°01′05″N 149°59′09″W Decimal coordinates: 60.0181 -149.9861. Dense clouds hung low, and fingers of fog crept up the valleys. The weather station records and transmits weather observations (temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, precipitation, snow depth, and solar radiation) hourly. Geography. Between the mid-1920s and the early 1930s, the increasing popularity of aviation had given a lucky few the opportunity to soar over the icefield. Their trip remained a virtual secret for more than twenty years after they completed it. It feeds at least 38 glaciers, including Exit Glacier. Dense clouds hung low, and fingers of fog crept up the valleys. He headed up Lowell Creek but returned within a week, having learned a crossing like this would be more of an expedition than a hike. It was typical weather for a temperate rainforest, I kept reminding myself, but gloomy all the same. Remnant from the last ice age the Harding Icefield feeds over 40 glaciers like Exit Glacier across the Kenai Mountains. The Harding Iccfield is located on tlie southeast side of the ICenai Pcninsula, with elevations reaching 1500 ni above sea level. Ice sheets are huge and continental in scope. Retrieved December 14, 2006", Kenai Fjords National Park - Exit Glacier (U.S. National Park Service). Indeed, at the time, ice blanketed one third of the Earth's surface. Dense clouds hung low and fingers of fog crept up the valleys. 3000 feet or 914 metres. Created more than 23,000 years ago during the Pleistocene Epoch, the Harding Icefield was a small piece of the vast ice sheet that covered much of Southcentral Alaska (Figure 1). The first known crossing of the icefield occurred in 1940 when two Alaskans, Eugene “Coho” Smith and Don Rising, crossed from Bear Glacier to Tustumena Lake. Notable recent explorations include a 14-hour solo crossing of the icefield from Skilak Glacier to Chernof Glacier and a kite-skiing expedition from Exit Glacier to Grewingk Glacier. Where is the trail head for harding icefield exit glacier hiking trail in alaska.

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