Ten Must See Glaciers

I’ve got another one of those “Top Ten” lists for travelers, which seem to be pretty popular of late. This one once again comes from Forbes Traveler who has put together a list of Top 10 Gorgeous Glaciers.

The list kicks off with Biafo Glacier in Pakistan, which is located in the Karakorum, amongst some of the tallest mountains on the planet. Reaching this one requires several days of hiking, but you’re rewarded with a glacial lake more than ten miles across. Glacier Bay in Alaska makes an appearance on the list as well due to the fact that visitors can see several large glaciers in one area, enhancing the already stunning scenery.

Furtwängler Glacier on Mount Kilimanjaro is also listed, as it’s amongst the most iconic in the world. Hemmingway made the Snows of Kilimanjaro famous, and now those snows are disappearing at an alarming rate.

In fact, that’s a central theme to this list. The glaciers, for the most part, are disappearing, and if you want to see them, you’ll want to do it fast. I know Kili’s glaciers are expected to be gone by 2015, although some reports dispute that, but as global climate changes continues, it’s pretty clear that most of the world’s glaciers are retreating. Many will disappear altogether, so of course that means a lot of adventure travelers are making pilgrimages to explore them. In doing so, lets make sure we remain environmentally aware enough to not speed up their demise. The next generation of adventure traveler may want to see them as well.

Kraig Becker

6 thoughts on “Ten Must See Glaciers”

  1. This type of list featuring glaciers always makes me a little bit sad because as you said, some are disappearing fast. 2015 is right around the corner. These are some of my favorite landscapes to look at in photos, etc. and I have yet to visit them.

  2. Yeah, 2015 isn’t as far away as it sounds. But as I said, there are some disputing reports on that date, and there was still quite a bit of snow on Kili while I was there. Still, it is a glacier in Africa, that’s located just 3 degrees off the Equator. Any time the temperature rises, it’s one glacier that will definitely shrink.

  3. Well it’s definitely good to hear that there was still quite a bit when you were there but yes, the fact that there’s any at all is quite amazing considering its location.

  4. I just got back from a 10-day backpacking trip to Auyuittuq National Park on Baffin Island. The glaciers there once reached down to the valley bottom of Akshayuk Pass, but have seen rapid recession, right back up to the Penny Ice Cap in some cases, over the last 30 years. (I compared pics with an uncle who had hiked it in the 70s.)

    A week after we left, unusually warm weather and subsequent glacial melt caused the Weasel River to rise so much it wiped out the one bridge that let trekkers cross the river. (Never happened before in the 30-year memory of one parks staffer.)

    A week after that, erosion around a moraine now threatens to collapse the rim of Crater Lake and flash-flood the whole valley, so Parks Canada has cleared the whole area of visitors for the foreseeable future.

    Amazing glacial landscape. Shocking to see it changing before one’s very eyes.

  5. Thanks for the first hand report David. I think you’re right. It’s not just about the fact that these glaciers are retreating, but also the alarming rate that they are doing so.

    I hadn’t even considered what the rapid melting is doing to the erosion rates in those areas as well. It really is scary to see our landscapes changing so dramatically around us.

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