|Beautiful blue meltwaters of the Canada glacier|
On Christmas eve, my group took a helo flight up the Taylor Valley, past Lake Hoare, to Lake Bonney. This camp is similar to the camp at Frxyell, but slightly older. It was nice to have the camp to ourselves. I took a hike late afternoon up the hills behind the camp up to an area known as the rock garden. It was spectacular! In this area, the glaciers deposited giant boulders (known as glacial erratics). However these eratics have been abraded by windblown sand and/or ice crystals, which carve out holes and smooth the surface of the rocks, a process that leaves beautiful rock-sculptures.
The timer on my camera barely gave me enough time to get over and up into the rock, this was the best out of several tries!
More beautiful scoured ventifacts
During the evening we headed out on the lake ice via RTVs toward a waterfall of the Taylor Glacier known as "Blood Falls" due to the red coloring of the iron-rich meltwater. There are several theories on where the iron-oxides originate, but the basic idea is that there is a pocket of old seawater underneath the glacier and a combination of microbial activity and chemistry results in the dissolution of iron from the bedrock material, which oxidizes as it is released at the tongue of the glacier. The falls apparently were quite strongly flowing earlier this season, but since then have stopped flowing completely. However, the red staining from the iron oxide is still readily apparent.
A Waterfall from supraglacial melt of Taylor glacier
I thought it was difficult to really see the glacier in pics so I took a short movie
standing infront of a plunge pool for the supraglacial melt
The night was so calm and the clouds completely disappeared, so I pulled my sleeping bag outside by the water and curled up for the night. The next morning I woke up to the bright sunshine that had impressively warmed the top of my sleeping bag.
The day of Christmas, we packed up our backpacks and headed out on the 5.5 hour hike to Hoare Lake. We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather or views along the way. Those pics will follow soon!