Photo: The magnificent Marjorie Glacier which joins the Reid Glacier seven miles inland.
It was good, though extremely cold anchored less than four or five cables from the glacier face which every now and then calved directly into the inlet. We planned to climb up the south side of the glacier and then make our way as far inland into the high mountains that we could, but things were a little against us right from the start... the main problem being the depth of the winter snow given there were no trails, we'd have to break our own trail whilst conscious this was the same location that Henry and I encountered the grizzly bears only a few months before. At this time of the year the bears were hungry from winter hibernation, this region being notorious for grizzlies and for the inquisitive timber wolves that nosed around the shoreline. Nevertheless we got ourselves ashore after some considerable effort dragging our inflatable dinghy through the glacial mud to get up above the high tidewater level. We daren't risk returning after a few hours to find our inflatable drifting off in the rising tide leaving us stranded... seeking any rescue or assistance hereabouts was not really an option. Help was just not gonna happen.
Gary got himself well ahead and we made our way upwards alongside the glacier crevasse, though it meant crossing several fast running creeks in full flow from snow-melt. It was slow work. The creek gullies were steep sided with the eyrie silence of the enormous Reid Glacier mesmerising except for the sudden thunderous booms to remind us this huge eleven mile long ribbon of monstrous ice was moving relentlessly towards the sea. We pressed on as far as we could but knew we would begin to struggle without crampons, ice axes or climbing ropes because we just couldn't carry that amount of mountaineering equipment onboard unless we planned well ahead. So after a couple of miles I turned around and left Gary to press on, he was keen to keep going but I was worried about the dinghy in the rising tide.
Eventually the snow was too deep in the gullies and Gary too began to make his way down. Our inflatable was still securely in place, so my worries were unfounded but after those few exhilarating hours ashore we gladly made our way back to Sänna
still sitting serenely on anchor. The late-in-the day sunshine gave us an incredible backdrop with the deep-blue glacial ice face only a few boat lengths away, I broke open a couple of ice-cold beers whilst Gary prepared our pasta dinner. God, it was cold. When the sun finally dropped behind the high mountain ridge to the west it sent amazing streaks of orange and crimson red light into the absolutely pristine blue sky. What a truly fantastic and memorable sunset to behold.
Just me and my step-brother Gary anchored here in what must be the closest place to frozen paradise.
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