Published: January 31st 2010October 31st 2009
We camped in the woods behind the beach. While it seems appealing to camp in the upper intertidal meadows next to the ocean they are often frequented by brown bears, so we go inland a bit and sleep a little better. In the morning we started uphill, through the rainforest. It was wet with fog, dew and light rain so we hiked in our raingear through huge spruce and hemlock, then through open muskeg, then more rainforest. Eventually we reached the ponds that signaled the end of the uphill. On the outer coast the fog often stops just a little ways inland, but you never know. Hot and sweaty in our rain gear we looked out over the pond to blue skies. At the far end of the last pond we stopped and pulled out our gear to dry in the sun.
We´d been worried about the decent to Crillon Lake. The topos showed it to be very steep, but it was thickly wooded with a minimum of alders in the understory so it was an easy downhill. But the lake edge had no beach, just a 4 foot drop into the water. While standing on a rock in the
water with my backpack resting on shore at chest height I pumped up the pack raft, then launched.
South Crillon Glacier is what I call a ´lakewater glacier´. It is a glacier that ends in a body of fresh water, Crillon Lake. Most definitions for a ´tidewater glacier´ specify that the glacier ends in the ocean. Tidewater or freshwater, photos may look the same but as a kayaker-packrafter they sure have a different ´feel´. As we paddled toward the face of the South Crillon Glacier I was struck by the silence. No flocks of kittiwakes, no gulls, no seals, no whales. The waves were small and the wind low... and not a cruise ship in sight... just us, the lake, the glacier and a whole lot of peace and quiet.
There are more photos below