2 guys & a dog flew to Juneau Icefield in Alaska in old Cessna aircraft

It’s one of the local landmarks that I still hadn’t checked out so I couldn’t refuse.

BHPian AKTransAM recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

This one is from a few years ago, and showed up in my FB memories and reminded me of a fun day. When a friend calls you out of the blue and asks if you want to play hooky in his 50’s vintage Cessna, you say yes (as an aside, the Cessna is actually more fuel-efficient than my 77 Trans-Am that’s in the 1st pic). He was about to fly up to the Juneau Icefield since he hadn’t removed the skis from his Cessna yet and wanted to do one last trip up there before removing them. I let the boss know I was taking off from the office and left work for the day. I hadn’t been up there yet, so figured it’d be fun.

Since Wikipedia can describe things much better than I can:

“The Juneau Icefield is an ice field located just north of Juneau, Alaska, continuing north through the border with British Columbia, extending through an area of 3,900 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi) in the Coast Range ranging 140 km (87 mi) north to south and 75 km (47 mi) east to west. The icefield is the source of many glaciers including the Mendenhall Glacier and the Taku Glacier. The icefield is home to over 40 large valley glaciers and 100 smaller ones. The Icefield serves as a tourist attraction with many travellers flown in by helicopter for quick walks on the 240-to-1,400-metre (790 to 4,590 ft) deep ice and the massive, awe-inspiring moist crevasses. The icefield, like many of its glaciers, reached its maximum glaciation point around 1700 and has been in retreat since. In fact, of the icefield’s 19 notable glaciers, the Taku Glacier is the only one presently advancing. Much of the icefield is contained within the Tongass National Forest. Since 1948, the Juneau Icefield Research Program has monitored the glaciers of the Juneau Icefield. On the west side of the icefield, from 1946-2009, the terminus of the Mendenhall Glacier has retreated over 700 metres (0.43 mi).”

Anyhow, it’s one of the local landmarks that I still hadn’t checked out, so I couldn’t refuse. After gassing up his plane, me, my colleague and his dog squeezed in and after flying over a few glaciers and amazing valleys, made it up to the Icefield for lunch and a ski/snowshoeing day. I don’t care for skiing, so I used snowshoes and was thus considerably slower than my athletic colleague who was upfront skiing. Quite an amazing place. The peaks in the icefield don’t convey the scale-those were mountains.

Cessna and Trans-Am

On the way

Shadow of the Cessna

Valley

Generic glaciers

Landing run 1

Landing run 2

Our ride

Another pic of our ride

Icefield snowshoe walk/ski

Friend skiing ahead way in the distance

Icefield mountains 1

Icefield mountains 2

Icefield mountains 3

Old and still functional

The pooch in the back

Mountains and sun on the icefield

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