Hoff's Aliner Travels
A Travel Blog for US and Canadian Parks with Geological Notes

1970 Gerstle Glacier Trip – Day 1
Through the woods and across the river.
We started our trip after a four wheel drive vehicle dropped us of at the south corner of the Gerstle River Test Site, which is on the west side of the river. From there, it is about 12 miles to the base of Gerstle Glacier.
As I stated before, this land was as close to a wilderness as I had ever seen. There was no sign that anyone had ever been there before. Not only was there no roads or fences or signs or trash, there was not even any old fire pits.
As the river that year was running close to the north west side, we hiked through the woods following the game trails (caribou and moose) until we finally had to cross over July creek to head towards the glacier.
We used a rope for safety to cross July Creek and we all made it through without any problem. The water is very cold since it runs off the glaciers and doesn’t get much chance to warm up in just a few miles. Later, when we got to Gerstle River, we split up. My companions linked arms and made it across without any problems, using their ice axes to stabilize themselves. I tried it on my own because I had read somewhere that it was a good idea to take off your socks since you would have dry socks to put back on. That turned out to be a mistake. The plentiful sand in the river gets in your boots and rubs against your skin; quite painful when the water is that cold. To add to the fun, I slipped and went face first in the water with my pack driving me down. After some fumbling, I made it out but I was soaked and very cold. We camped early that day so I could dry off. We only made 6 miles.


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