Kluane’s Surging Glacier

[by Fritz] A couple of weeks ago I joined a team from Parks Canada and Yukon Geological Survey going to Lowell Glacier in Kluane National Park. The Lowell is a stunningly photogenic glacier that spills into the Alsek River, and it’s currently surging. Normally glaciers move at a “glacial pace,” but occasionally some glaciers surge. Scientists are following its movements using time lapse cameras and webcams, and they were installing a monitoring station. Apparently the Lowell has advanced 1.5 km since last October. If a glacier can gallop, this one certainly is.

Teresa and I first visited the Lowell in 2001. It was gorgeous, and we stayed a few extra days. One day we got a surprise from the other side of the world. At the time we attributed the pink glow in the sky to forest fires but we found out later that global wind currents had carried clouds of dust to northern Canada from a desert storm in Mongolia. The Lowell was bathed in desert dust—a photographer’s dream. Mountain Goats and Glaciers won the Landscape category in the Banff Mountain Photography Competition in 2003. We also made a poster of Kluane National Park featuring this photograph.

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2 Responses to “Kluane’s Surging Glacier”


  1. Nicolas Dory says:

    Your picture “Mountain Goats and Glaciers” is one of my favourite of your portfolio.
    Do you know where we can follow the glacier’s movements?

  2. Fritz says:

    Hi Nicolas
    Every two hours a low-res webcam uploads to http://lowellglacier.blogspot.com/. Yukon Geological Survey also has info about the surge on their web page.


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