Wednesday, August 24, 2016

AK - Playing in the Snow on Top of Mt. Alyeska & Disappearing Land




Me sitting in the snow on top of
Mt Alyeska!!! 

Snowball fight in
August!!!

    SNOW....in August?!  You bet!  After riding the tram up 2300' from the Alyeska Lodge to the upper terminal where skiers catch a ride to the tippy-top in the winter, we decided to hike up a trail for another mile to the SNOW!  This trail was fraught with single track switchbacks and pretty steep runs.  There were a few 'stop and check the scenery' moments...LOL  We actually had no idea that we would encounter snow when we started...we just heard the view from the top of the trail was amazing and it was one of the few no-rain days we had so far in August...so we went for it!  When I heard a kid say there was snow, I got all the more excited.  So each time I was ready to be satisfied with the current view and my thighs were screaming at me...I pushed ahead.  It was soooo worth it!  To be standing at one of the mountain crests, seeing snow in August AND the breathtaking view, well.....what else can I say...except Thanks!












A bee looking for a snack



The opposite direction tram car getting
 ready to pass us

From our tram car

Hanging glaciers in the distance

Trail shot taken from our tram car

Almost to the upper terminal

Views from the upper terminal



"Peek-a-boo"

Nice?!

Glacier run-off

The observation deck from the first leg
of our climb to the snow

"I SEE IT...SNOW"
We can make it!!!


   









































Back at the upper tram terminal, the view was not too shabby either.  The endless peaks of the Chugach mountain range, 'hanging' glaciers, sparkling streams, towering spruce and gorgeous flowers were all part of the vista.





























We even saw a para-glider and a helicopter giving tours! No critters though...boo hiss...lol  We had a great lunch at the cafe then continued to enjoy the panoramic view from the observation platform. The entire experience was wonderful.
     We arrived 'on the ground' just in time to drive up the highway toward Beluga Point to witness a bore tide.  A tidal bore tide is a rush of seawater that returns to a shallow and narrowing inlet from a broad bay.  There are about 60 in the world.  Only a few are large enough to be noteworthy.  The 'waves' can reach up to 30' tall with movement up to 20 mph!  Also, the best time to see a larger bore is the few days before and after a new or full moon.  We caught one early on so no big waves...but nonetheless an amazing phenomenon to witness.  What was once was dry land, within a brief period of time, disappears right before your eyes getting swallowed up by a steady influx of water.   I hope the pics will at least provide a glimpse of what we watched that afternoon.
Keep an eye on the point of land to
the right and the amount of water this
side of it

Point smaller...waterway larger

Point much smaller...waterway widening

Land vanishing

Land completely covered by water...
pretty cool, huh?



On the other side we watched the rocks
as a reference point
See a large one and then a few smaller
ones in the water?

Tide rolling in covers the smallest rocks
and diminishes the visible land

Small rocks under water and
minimal visible land

Along Seward Hwy at one of the mileposts,
people were lined up to fill containers with
fresh and COLD glacier water...
delicious!
 

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