Thursday, August 26, 2010

The International School of Blablabla

Ok, so this post comes a bit late... From 7-17 June we organized the First International University of Alaska Fairbanks McCarthy Summer School of Glaciology or the 'International School of Blablabla' as it came to be known. It was hosted at the wonderful Wrangell Mountains Center, in the old hardware store, which is a leftover of the copper mining era that came to a sudden end in the late 1930s.

McCarthy must be one of the prettiest towns in Alaska. It is one of the access points to the Wrangell-St.Elias National Park, a park the size of Switzerland. Conveniently for a glaciology summer school, it is located right at the foot of the Kennicott Glacier. From the nearby Kennicott, which was the location of the copper mining activities, one can easily access the Root Glacier and enjoy the view of the enormous Stairway Icefall.The mountain sides are host to many rock glaciers, which are ice-cored talus slopes that slowly creep out of their valleys.
We had a one-day excursion to the other side of the Root Glacier to Donohue Lake which drains every year through the bottom of the ice. There was a nice channel cut into the ice, which was now empty and would have been big enough to park a car in (if you could get it there).

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