Over the span of a few years there have been a few additions to the different ways you can explore the Matanuska Glacier. With the collaboration of a few different local businesses, there is now an experience that stands out amongst the others; The glacier overnight luxury camping experience.
Cultivating a Dream
This dream was cultivated with the expertise of MICA Guides, Alpenglow Luxury Camping, and Matanuska Glacier Helicopters. These professionals were able to form the trip of your Alaskan dreams. First you fly out over the incredibly scenic Matanuska Valley in a helicopter. Then, you’re off to some of the most secluded spaces of the glacier. Perfect for a private experience for families, couples, or a vacation with old friends.
Once you get to the ice, your glacier team will meet you and get you going on the ice adventure of your choice. Simultaneously, these professionals are there to get you settled in to your own luxury canvas tent. In addition to the epic views and plush bed set up, this team will serve you gourmet food and top shelf cocktails around a bonfire on the ice.
A New Arrival
Sounds pretty excellent right? It truly is one of the coolest Alaskan experiences out there. Seeing how glacier camp works and is supported by the glacier camp managers is an experience in itself. That is why this summer, when the temperatures were warmer, and the ice changes more rapidly, the camp staff had to act quickly when a crevasse started to form right next to camp.
The camp itself is made up of semi-permanent structures. These structures get moved every other day to manage the changing features and meltwater that can quickly accumulate. As the summer rolls along in Alaska the days get hotter the ice moves even quicker.
A Moulin Sized Problem
Once the crevasse nearby was noticed, it wasn’t long to see that this crevasse was starting to create a moulin. Click here to read more about just what and how moulins work. And this growing moulin wasn’t going to quit getting bigger anytime soon and was becoming dangerous.
Additionally, since it was nearing the end of July the midnight sun was making it’s departure. And the crew wasn’t willing to risk having someone make the wrong moves in the dark of the night. The team needed to make a plan, and fast.
Making a Plan
After putting their minds together, the team had a pretty simple idea; barrier the feature and create awareness. Glacier camp is beautiful and awe-inspiring, and still, dangers exist by simply being on the ice. So, when guests arrive, the team breaks down the do’s and don’ts of what to do while at camp. That’s when the team of camp managers decided to invest in their skills of boundary setting.
When on the ice it is often hard to know exactly where to go and how far is too far until it is too late. Unless, you have a team of glacier professionals. The team made a boundary around the moulin with wood boards.
When guests would arrive at camp, they used the wood barrier to help people orient the sides of camp and where it was safe to go. And, no matter what language you say it in, everyone understands “if you go over there, you die”. Pretty simple and easy communication for hazard awareness I’d say.
A Glacial Art Addition
The silver lining to this quick and simple fix to a big problem was the ability to see the mystery and spectacles of a glacier in action. During the day you could see that the moulin in camp was empty, opening to deep blue ice, and the new etchings the meltwater had left behind.
But then at night, the moulin would fill with water, pooling to the edge. This was an experience in problem solving and observation, with an added element of glacier art. The glacier crew doesn’t expect the glacier to stop changing anytime soon. And, this team is ready for the challenges to adapt and move with this river of ice, no matter the amount of melt water.