A Lamplugh Ridge Ramble
By an Expedition Guide on the Wilderness Discoverer
I’ve been coming to Lamplugh for the past two years and every time it is different. The changes from last year to this year have been substantial, and I have noticed that the ice is not as high up the sides as it was in years past.
I don’t get to do the ridge hike very often, and in fact, this was the first time (and the last time) this season that I got to lead a group up it. We initially discovered that since the last high tide, there had been some calving events on the side where we land, and large slabs of ice were all along the glacier face, waiting for the rising water.
As we climbed up the ridge, the signs of autumn were shining yellow and gold all around, both willows and the lone cottonwood with bright colors of fall. We found ourselves along a section that had recently (I believe this year) been uncovered, with smooth rock and no plant life yet. Perhaps all the rain we’ve been having has melted a lot of the low-lying ice.
Lots of very unstable sandy gravel, piled on rocks waiting to be washed away by more rain, showed that the ice was recently gone. I’ve also noticed that there are the beginnings of a central terminal moraine in the face, an island of dirt.
We hiked down to near the glacier and peeked underneath for a view of the deep blue and looked up at Mt. Cooper for a breathtaking view. It is one of my favorite hikes to this day.