The Mendenhall Glacier and other glaciers in the Juneau Icefield are an amazing place to experience. In addition to the moonlike landscape, unique features, and scenic vistas they are a natural playground. ABAK’s guides spend their spare time doing some extreme climbing and exploration.
One of the unique and dangerous features on a glacier is a moulin. A moulin can be thought of as the glaciers plumbing system. Melt water and rain runoff flows downhill until it finds a weak point in the surface of the glacier. Once a weak point is found then the water erodes away forming a passageway through the ice to the bedrock. Often the moulin forms a vertical tube that creates an extreme ice climbing wall.
Utilizing the appropriate technical equipment our guides set up anchors and use ropes to rappel into these moulins and climb back out. At times the water is diverted from above and a moulin dries up. When this happens it is possible to explore more safely and access cavernous, blue, horizontal tubes. Enjoy some of our guides personal photos of their adventures.
This video was created by local climber Alan Gordon with assistance from some of ABAK’s guides. Alan has also worked with ABAK on some of our special projects. Watch this video and check out the Blue Obsession website for more information.