Seeing a glacier collapse is a rare, majestic, impressive event, but it is also incredibly dangerous. Andrew Hooper and Josh Bastyr have a bit of first-hand experience of this. While they were calmly out on a kayaking trip on a glacial lake in the Chugach National Park in Alaska, the two men witnessed an enormous glacier collapsing, only just escaping tragedy.
Calving in the distance
It was a Saturday just like any other for the two American tourists. They were on a kayaking trip over the frozen stretches of Alaska when they heard the sound of calving in the distance. Curious, they decided to approach where these noises were coming from and they then came face to face with the Spencer glacier, dozens of meters tall.
The glacier collapsed
Armed with their camera, the two tourists filmed the amazing ice towering in front of them, when suddenly, an enormous chunk of the glacier broke away, causing an enormous wave and a gust of ice debris to fall straight at them. The two men, hit by bits of the ice, quickly turned to paddle away at full speed from the waves. Miraculously, they managed to escape this near death experience practically unharmed and with just a few little scrapes:
‘After the burst hit […] we both turned our boats around and paddled as quick as we could, trying to ride the wave out. Luckily everything turned out OK. To say we are lucky to be alive is an understatement. […] Very very blissed to have seen it (and survive it). […] We learned our lesson and will give glaciers the space they deserve next time we are out exploring.’