Day 8: Worthington Glacier and Valdez

Trip Start Jul 24, 2008
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Trip End Aug 08, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Thursday, July 31, 2008

Today, although it was very cold and very cloudy, there was no rain. We were very happy about it, since we were scheduled for the hiking trip at the Worthington glacier.
When we got to the company's office, we were offered to join the hiking/climbing trip rather than just hiking. Apparently there was another guy there, who wished to do some climbing, but he was the only one - meaning it would cost the company quite a bit to send him alone with a different guide and a different vehicle (since the climbing trip is longer). Since they said we wouldn't have to add the difference in price, we decided to go for it (well, I'm not such an enthusiast of climbing in general, not to mention climbing in the ice, but there was no problem for me looking at the other guys climbing and taking pictures of them as they do so).
First we had to get the adequate outfit for such a kind of trip, including hiking boots, crampons, gloves, helmets, ropes etc. After about a 45 minutes drive we got to the parking lot near the Worthington glacier, where we wore our crampons and the helmets and started climbing up. WOW! This was AMAZING! Hiking on the steep glacier was completely different from hiking on rocks. The views of the glacier itself, as well as the views of the valley it formed, were stunning. From time to time we found very small streams caused by melting ice. Those streams made some wonderful shapes in the ice.
Standing at the top of the glacier looking down felt like being on top of the world. For me, having passed an open heart surgery less than two years ago, it was not obvious being there. Two years ago I found it hard to even climb the stairs at home, and now here I am on top of a glacier in Alaska.
After a few hours of hiking and climbing on ice, we returned to Valdez late afternoon. After having an early dinner at a local fast food place we walked around for a while, but on one hand it was too cold for us to stay out, and on the other hand we started feeling all the fatigue muscles, so we went back to the hotel.
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