Playing badminton on McCall Glacier
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Panoramic photo by Matt Nolan EXPERT Taken 19:22, 10/08/2010 - Views loading...

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Playing badminton on McCall Glacier

The World > North America > USA > Alaska > Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

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On Turner's fifth birthday we steam drilled some poles in the lower cirque.  While the drill was warming up, Kristin and Turner enjoyed an invigorating match of badminton.  The pole seen to their right was installed at the location of the steam drill about 3 years earlier, indicating how much the glacier has moved since that time.

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Nearby images in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

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A: Installing a mass balance pole in the Lower Cirque (080815 1402)

by Matt Nolan, 390 meters away

Jason and David install a 6m pole in the lower cirque, which we will use to track snow melt over the ...

Installing a mass balance pole in the Lower Cirque (080815 1402)

B: The last of the drilling is complete (31 May 08 16:56)

by Matt Nolan, 410 meters away

The drilling is completed and we've lowered down our thermistor string, all the way to the bottom -- ...

The last of the drilling is complete (31 May 08 16:56)

C: Clouds over the confluence (17 May 08 12:42)

by Matt Nolan, 520 meters away

Clouds over the confluence (17 May 08 12:42)

D: Slush flow on McCall Glacier (16 June 08 08:22)

by Matt Nolan, 610 meters away

A slush flow occurred the previous day at this location, marking the beginning of summer on the glaci...

Slush flow on McCall Glacier (16 June 08 08:22)

E: low albedo on mccall glacier

by Matt Nolan, 750 meters away

As the glacier thins and retreats, more and more dirt melts out of the ice at upper elevations.  This...

low albedo on mccall glacier

G: McCall Glacier (11 Aug 07 11:15)

by Matt Nolan, 920 meters away

McCall Glacier (11 Aug 07 11:15)

H: Ice cores awaiting transport from McCall Glacier

by Matt Nolan, 950 meters away

About 50 meters of ice core laid buried under under a white tarp in the snow, awaiting transport back...

Ice cores awaiting transport from McCall Glacier

I: McCall Glacier (08 Aug 07 10:11)

by Matt Nolan, 960 meters away

McCall Glacier (08 Aug 07 10:11)

J: McCall Glacier (01 Aug 07 17:14)

by Matt Nolan, 970 meters away

At the end of our journey to the glacier, after 10 days of hiking, we regroup before hiking up the mo...

McCall Glacier (01 Aug 07 17:14)

This panorama was taken in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

This is an overview of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The biggest city in Alaska is Anchorage, sitting in Cook Inlet on the coast of the north pacific. Suburban expansion in Anchorage means houses are being built up into the mountains behind the city.

People in these new developments complain about "the wildlife" sometimes but you know what? You're gonna get moose in your yard when you build houses on their terrain. They will eat your flowers and sleep in your driveway, and stare at you over the top of a parked full-size pickup truck. They're like cows on stilts. I'm just trying to give you an idea of the scale of things up in Alaska, where there are more small planes per capita than anywhere else in the US. Many small villages get their fuel supply flown in by large aircraft, and that's it for the year.

North of Anchorage there are six hundred miles of mountains with very few roads or people, and then up at the top of that expanse is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It's about nineteen million acres of space, or seventy-seven thousand square kilometers.

If you put a map of the state of Alaska on top of a map of the United States, Alaska would cover half of the country. Alaska by itself is the size of half of the United States. That's an easy idea to miss because most maps shrink Alaska when they show it next to the continental U.S.

Back to the pictures: locals in Kavtovik make use of the natural environment. Whale bones on the beach are an example of the subsistence lifestyle which has been going on here for long before airplanes and panoramic pictures.

Alaska is beautiful in the fall season. Fireweed turns bright red and the birch trees change to gold. You have no idea what air is supposed to smell like until you visit Alaska.

This is a really interesting set of pictures. Scientists get the award for "most thorough documentation" of a spot.

Okay, I haven't personally been up as far as AWNR, but I can tell you just from hiking Girdwood that it's a very very amazing feeling to walk for a while, turn around, and see absolutely nothing man-made anywhere in your field of vision, except your boots.

Mattanuska Thunder!

Text by Steve Smith.

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