Located in the west arm of Glacier Bay National Park, Lamplugh Glacier is one of the park’s most frequented glaciers and certainly one of its most glorious.
Lamplugh is not quite as large as the nearby Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers but it offers remarkable adventures in a myriad of ways, as those aboard the Wilderness Adventurer discovered.
Lamplugh is a tidewater glacier that stretches nearly 180 feet towards the sky and dips 40 feet below the water. It’s three quarters of a mile wide and extends 16 miles back to the Brady Ice Field.
According to GBNP, the glacier is slowly thinning but remains stable and flows an average of 1,200 feet per year.
On Thursday, the Wilderness Adventurer cruised into range of Lamplugh to anchor near the glacier for the afternoon. The guests and crew geared up and set off toward the glacier for a day full of adventures activities.
The kayakers set off toward the glacier to enjoy this natural wonder from a different perspective. Several groups saw chunks of the glacier’s face sheer off and crash into the water below.
In one instance, a calving ice chunk hit the water below and the massive crashing noise bounded off the glacier forcing another large piece to come crashing down. This rare treat was relished by the kayakers, who cheered in excitement and amazement at their luck.
Several brave souls chose to hike alongside the glacier, trekking over rocks, scampering across bushes, sinking in small patches of ice and bearing down against the wind.
As the hikers traversed the rocky ridge, wind ripped across the valley. The wind here is strong and icy as the surrounding peaks funnel air into the U-shaped valley while the glacier chills the wind. It was an incredible adventure. At the top of the hike, we couldn’t stop spinning around, trying to take in all the beauty from every direction.
Tall, jagged peaks raised resolute all around the inlet with white tips arching in stark contrast to the crystal blue skies above. Far below, the Wilderness Adventurer was a mere speck among the ancient mountains.
As the day at Lamplugh Glacier came to a close, guests and crew alike were enthralled with the day’s adventures. Regardless of one’s chosen activity, Lamplugh offered incredible views, challenging excursions and a sense of wonder that can only be found through the wilds of Alaska.