With that said, the valley itself, the creek that runs through it, and the persistent cones of avalanche debris that often linger well into the summer are all beautiful in their own right. Byron Peak is located in the Chugach National Forest at the head of a short, steep-walled valley, and rises above Portage Lake. Much of this debris is from the early April avalanche cycle. What a mighty lookin' glacier. No- seriously. The Byron Glacier Trail in Portage, Alaska is an uncomplicated trail with fabulous views that the whole family can easily hike. The hike to Bryon Glacier is a short and easy hike. This happened today! Weather reports today announced that the Byron Glacier Trail is closed due to many avalanches. The last portion of the trail is completely covered in old avalanche debris. Sadly, in June of 2018 a woman lost her life when ice from above fell on top of her. On the West side of the valley (East facing slopes) there is no avalanche hazard as most of the snow already avalanched and the terrain has melted out and is almost snow-free. Head south from Anchorage on the Seward Highway, to the end of the 5-mile Portage Spur Road. It is a beautiful hike but be alert for avalanches at this time of year! We set out on an adventure back to Byron Glacier to check out the ice caves. Right now it is covered in avalanche debris from this season. The trail conditions are easy. Avalanche Debris near Byron Glacier Originally uploaded by merrymaryallegra Yup, an avalanche happened here in late June...we weren't wearing our snow gripping shoesies...so, we didn't go too far out, but just far enough to glimpse 'ole Byron. Byron Glacier trailhead with two avalanche warning signs. Walked up the Byron Glacier Trail to assess the avalanche hazard as we head into May. The afternoon and evening hours are generally the warmest part of the day and hence the most dangerous. The cave becomes visible when the snowpack melts out enough to exposes the creek that tunnels under years of avalanche debris. Walked up the Byron Glacier Trail to assess the avalanche hazard as we head into May. If you think a public avalanche center is important please support our organization. The Byron Glacier trail is a great hike near Anchorage. Adventurous ones can extend this trail a bit to approach this stunning glacier closer by scrambling a bit higher to explore the natural ice caves and beautiful permanent snowfield. 2- Warm sunny springtime/early summer days. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Rescuers roped together to reach his body. Please upload photos below. A series of storms from March 7th-24th dumped 27″ of rain at the Bear Valley (Portage) DOT RWIS weather station. The large avalanche debris pile that sits in the bottom/middle of the photo is where the ice cave begins once the snowpack melts down enough. This is where the avalanche hazard is that can be accessed from the trail. Be careful not to go to high up on the avalanche chutes since the snow underneath collapses and some point during the summer. The exception is the East facing slope above the summer trail where little snow exists, hence no avalanche concerns. The last portion of the trail is completely covered in old avalanche debris. Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place. Byron Glacier Trail. (People have been killed walking through ice caves there multiple times so be smart) The sun can melt the snow on the slopes above and trigger avalanches that run to the valley floor. Just as I was arriving at the Glacier an avalanche came roaring down from the left side of the Glacier. Light variable winds. The cave can be extremely dangerous. You then break out onto the outwash plains of Byron Glacier and behold a majestic sight. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. North facing slopes with plenty of snow still hanging above the valley and debris piles from the recent avalanche cycle. This area has popular snow and ice caves where Byron creek runs through the old debris. Byron Glacier Trail, Girdwood Picture: avalanche snow in August - Check out Tripadvisor members' 8,975 candid photos and videos. The cave becomes visible when the snowpack melts out enough to exposes … Warm weather was blamed for an ice-cave collapse that killed a women and injured five other people in the Big Four Ice Caves of Washington state’s Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest only about a year ago. A look up at the Byron Glacier with avalanche hazard on all sides higher up the valley, A look at the East side of the valley and where the caves form over the creek (hidden in the picture). Cold environments, such as glaciers, are large reservoirs of microbial life. For those who are inclined to scramble around, there’s an enormous pile of boulders left by the glacier’s passage. Even a rain storm in spring and early summer is dangerous if there is still snow on the mountainsides that the rain can wash down. Byron Glacier trail is fairly flat, gravel packed, and 1.6 miles round trip. The first photo looks right at the ‘ice cave’, which is now covered in avalanche debris from this season and not visible. If choosing to head this way, steer clear of being under any slope that still has snow. Most likely times for natural springtime avalanches are during sunny afternoons/evenings or during warm rainy periods. I hiked the Byron Glacier Trail this morning and had a good workout in deep snow most of the way. No need to register, buy now! Essentially 2-6' of wet and unsupportable snow if venturing off the beaten path (post-hole-extravaganza). Temps in the upper 40'sF. A viewpoint for the glacier is accessible from the Byron Glacier Trailhead, by a short 0.8 mile walk along a maintained trail. Byron Glacier trailhead is near Portage Lake. Avalanche debris from the south facing slopes. With that said, the valley itself, the creek that runs through it, and the persistent cones of avalanche debris that often linger well into the summer are all beautiful in their own right. This hike is an easy, fun, fully accessible family-friendly trail that leads to overlook of Byron Glacier through lush forest. He had suffered massive injuries, troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson said. Another photo looking up drainage taken near the official end of the trail. Hiking on the weekdays or arriving early on a weekend is preferable in order to guarantee a parking spot. Snowpack is isothermal along trail. Enjoy An Easy Family Friendly Hike To The Gorgeous Byron Glacier In Alaska. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. The cave is safest when temperatures are below zero. The trail is approximately.7 miles in length and it is a moderate walk on a well-established trail. It's not long before you enter … I know the risks and choose to … Have me a good scare. It's a beautiful spot to have lunch and glacier-gaze. However, the East side of the Valley (West facing slopes) still has enough snow cover and over hanging cornices to be a threat. For those who are inclined to scramble around, there’s an enormous pile of boulders left by the glacier’s passage. The entire Byron valley is full of avalanche debris from the huge avalanche cycle that occurred in mid March. Many families are constantly on the lookout for great hikes to do with kids of all ages. A wider angle look at the avalanche terrain that sits above the cave. wonderful day trip with Bryce and Sierra's class to Byron glacier - fabulous walk across an old avalanche shute :) It's a one-mile scenic walk to the glacier face along Byron Creek. The helicopter and rescuers returned Sunday and sighted a dark spot in the avalanche area that turned out to be Neale. Remember the Byron Glacier trail is in avalanche terrain. "Today was the day we outran an avalanche. This amount of rain is equivalent to ~30+ feet of snow in the upper elevations. Loved this glacier...its easily accessible and if you are daring and its the right conditions you can concievably hike right up to the glacial morain. Photos from the Byron Glacier trail and surrounding avalanche terrain. Be aware that during the summer this trail head can be packed, especially on the weekends. Additionally, snow free slopes may have a rockfall hazard. Just because it's a nice day, don't forget there is avalanche hazard! Rain weakens the already unstable crusts of melting snowpack and is known to trigger wet slab avalanches, the most deadly kind. I could not see any signs of recent avalanche activity in the area (avalanches or cornice falls that have occurred within the past 48 hours). From here, it is possible to access the ridge and head to Byron Peak, however this is … The weather was not ideal and was worsening by the minute. Remember that portions of these caves can collapse at any time – which can be unsurvivable. The Byron Glacier ice cave is the most popular and most visited in the state, but this is a dangerous time to approach or enter it, too. Not only is the cave dangerous, this valley is also exposed to avalanches from both sides. Make a purchase from our Affiliate Partners and CNFAIC will receive a portion of the sales. The trail is still snow covered but folks have been walking most of the way up the trail before splitting off where the trail becomes lost under snow. By the time they got to Byron Glacier, it was dark and too dangerous for a ground search, troopers said. Several hikers on old avalanche debris and away from any avalanche concerns. The present study employed 16S rRNA gene amplicon metagenomic sequencing to survey the prokaryotic microbiota on Alaskan glacial ice, revealing a rich and diverse microbial community of … This slope on the West side of the valley (East facing) has lost most of its snow and there is no avalanche hazard - however rockfall hazard exists if close to the cliffs. Cornices and snow covered upper slopes on the East side of valley (West facing slopes). This has been officially crossed off our bucket list. You parallel the waterway created by the glacial run off. Please upload photos below. 10 reviews of Byron Glacier Trailhead "Glacier, Glacial or Glaciation...noun, adjective or verb...they are cool! Meander along through the trees and then the trail follows the creek that flows from Byron Glacier. The first photo looks right at the ‘ice cave’, which is now covered in avalanche debris from this season and not visible. Byron was known to be a bad avalanche zone, particularly this time of year, and had I known it would have been raining prior to setting out, I would have never gone. Bottom line: There is enough snow remaining that natural wet avalanches could occur at anytime during the month of May and possibly longer. The Byron Glacier Trail near Girdwood, Alaska is a beautiful hike for trekkers of all ages. Find the perfect byron glacier stock photo. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. 1- Stormy weather (snow and/or rain). Sunny and warm! Answer 1 of 8: Visiting Portage Valley and Byron Glacier Valley this summer should be spectacular. Byron Glacier is one of the easiest to access glaciers in the Anchorage vicinity, about an hour and 10 minutes drive south of Anchorage, not far beyond the beautiful town of Girdwood. Make a purchase from our Affiliate Partners and CNFAIC will receive a portion of the sales. Note the significant amount of debris. We got close but it was so warm that there was still considerable avalanche and rock slide activity. Remember, nice warm days can melt the snowpack and cause avalanches. Byron Glacier is now a “hanging” glacier, as opposed to a “tidewater” glacier like Portage that ends in the water. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/alaska/byron-glacier-trail Avalanche terrain that sits on the other side (west side) of the valley that can threaten the Byron Glacier Trail itself. This grassy ridge overlooks the entirety of Byron Glacier, along with Portage Glacier and 3 other glaciers across Portage Lake. Bring a light jacket, as winds tend to pick up around the face of the glacier itself. Snow and ice caves. If you think a public avalanche center is important please support our organization. Photos from the Byron Glacier trail and surrounding avalanche terrain. In the heart of winter when the cave is frozen solid and there hasn’t been recent snowfall (meaning low chance of avalanche) I’ll consider going in the blue ice cave. The trail is still snow covered but folks have been walking most of the way up the trail before splitting off where the trail becomes lost under snow. Please enjoy these next few photos of our first 2 days of our… Outdoor Recreation [ edit ] Due to relative ease of access and proximity to the major population centers of Alaska, Byron Peak and the surrounding area is a popular destination for mountain climbers, hikers, and, occasionally, skiers. Further up the valley, past the point where the summer trail is maintained, there is avalanche hazard from all slopes/aspects. We couldn’t walk all the way to the toe of Byron Glacier, because the path was blocked by the remnants of a snow avalanche the previous winter. There is a small parking lot located at the trail head. A cornice fall or wet avalanche on this slope can send debris to the valley floor and overrun areas people may choose to travel. In April 2018 a group narrowly escaped an avalanche on the Byron Glacier trail. Avalanche danger is highest during two types of weather.
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