It’s one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. At the terminus of the Castner Glacier in the highest mountain range in North America is this frozen cave. I’m sure it’s easier to get to in the summer. But with 2 feet of snow covering the trail, and moose tracks outnumbering those of humans, I almost gave up on finding it. The cave is not visible until you’re standing right at the entrance. Inside is a world of ice reflecting every shade of blue. Rocks and gravel were locked in the ceiling just waiting to fall. It felt like I was in the belly of a giant beast, examining what it ate for breakfast hundreds of years ago. Down the middle flowed a silty stream. Further back very little light reaches and a water crossing prevented further exploration. Eery booming sounds came from deep within the darkness. But at least I felt safer visiting during the cold season when the glacier wasn’t actively melting. Many maps and descriptions of this place are no longer accurate. Glacier caves are temporary features which change from year to year, and as the Castner Glacier recedes there’s no telling how long this cave will last.
- Kevin Palmer
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2019, Alaska, Alaska Range, Castner Creek, Castner Glacier, October, United States, autumn, blue, cold, creek, fall, flowing, frozen, glacier, glacier cave, ice, ice cave, icy, inside, kevin palmer, nikon d750, sigma 14mm f1.8, snow, snowy, stream, underground, underneath, water
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