Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Helicopter up to Mendenhall Glacier

Today was epic.

Helicopter on Mendenhall Glacier

As a reward for all the employees and interns that stuck it out until the end of the season, we treated everyone to a once in a lifetime experience: riding a helicopter to Mendenhall Glacier. We got a sweet deal through Temsco (THANK YOU!) to make this possible.

Here's a video of the entire experience, and then read below for more details and photos.

We had to split the team into two helicopters. Here's chopper 1:

Chopper 1

Isa and I were in chopper 2 (along with three others), which meant we were able to follow them and get some sweet pics of the helicopter with the mountains to really show some scale.

Juneau Snow and Mountains

Helicopter and Mountain

The views were amazing and so drastically different from one minute to the next. From lush green valleys to jagged cliffs to the beautifully serene Juneau Icefield.

Juneau Valleys and Mountains

Helicopter and Mountains

Helicopter over Juneau Icefield

The Juneau Icefield was a highlight for me. I saw it briefly on a flight to Skagway back in July, but the weather wasn't nice like today. The sheer size and beauty of the icefield is astounding.

We had arranged to land on the icefield, but as you can see, there was a fresh blanket of snow across it so the pilots couldn't tell where a safe place to land would be. So we turned and headed over toward Mendenhall Glacier.

Helicopter over Mendenhall Glacier

The pilots found a good spot to set us down and we disembarked and wandered the glacier with our crampons for grips (although they still weren't super trustworthy).

Brisa on Mendenhall Glacier

Disembarking the Helicopter

We tried not to fall into any crevasses, but at the same time we tried to get as close to them as possible to see how deep they went (DEEP!).

Waterfall in Mendenhall Glacier

We took lots of pictures and drank the COLD water right from the streams (that's in the video).

Del Sol Juneau Team on Mendenhall Glacier

Isa and Del Sol Camera

Del Sol Juneau team on Mendenhall Glacier

Brisa with Temsco on Mendenhall Glacier

After about 30 minutes of playing around on the glacier, we got back in our helicopters and flew straight down Mendenhall Glacier for some more sweet views.

Temsco Helicopters on Mendenhall Glacier with Mountains

Helicopter View of Mendenhall Glacier

Helicopter View of Mendenhall Glacier and Lake
Mendenhall Glacier with Mendenhall Lake and Auke Bay in the distance.

And then back towards the airport for the end of a fantastic adventure.

Helicopter View of Airport and Auke Bay

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