A winter trip to Juneau isn’t complete without a walk to the face of the Mendenhall Glacier on frozen Mendenhall Lake. After an especially cold spell earlier in the month that captured a few icebergs in awkward places around the lake, Carl, Jane, his canine companion, and I set off early one morning. We were looking for ice caves we could explore. Several of my colleagues, along with a Russian guest scientist, were also coming to Juneau for a conference, and I wanted to make sure ice was thick enough for me to take them on this walk later in the week. I suspected the consequences of loosing them in the lake would not reflect favorably on my annual evaluation.
After moving out of Juneau, I get too see our glacier only once or twice a year, and I am shocked at how fast it is melting away. It is only a matter of time, probably a decade, at most, the glacier will retract beyond the lake and we won’t have any more icebergs gracefully floating around the lake.