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

Gerstle Glacier Trip – Day 5
To our highest point on the glacier.
We used camp 4 as a base camp and went to explore without taking our packs. At this height the glacier was about a third of a mile across. The surface was reasonably flat and the crevasses were not a problem until we got to the glacial bowl at the top. The snow covered more and more of the crevasses and we took a break. While Bill and Tom stayed behind, Jeff Weih and I decided to scout ahead. We roped up and I borrowed an ice axe to walk towards the highest part of the glacier. There was an unbroken blanket of snow about 2 feet deep and I used the ice axe to probe the snow in front of me to make sure I was not walking over a crevasse. I decided it was too dangerous at that point and we turned back at about 6,000 feet which was about 4 miles from our base camp. All we could see was black or white or gray.
We had thought about climbing a mountain on our trip but I decided against trying it because of the deep snow, risk of avalanche, and overhanging cornices in the mountains around us. Some risk makes it an adventure, foolish risk leads to tragedy.
We made about 8 miles round trip that day as we returned to camp 4.


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