Tracy Arm, Southeast Alaska

Aug 21, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

The final day of our voyage was dedicated to Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness Area, a remote and rugged spot south of Juneau with the highest level of federal ecosystem protection. Local glaciers have advanced and retreated numerous times within this fjord network since the last Ice Age, carving the distinctive round-topped peaks, U-shaped valleys, and resulting vegetation patterns. Our destination, South Sawyer glacier, flows out of the Stikine Icecap and features a jumbled, crevasse-filled face reaching several hundred feet above sea level. Following four days of stunning, sunny weather, late-afternoon rain and fog introduced an important part of the character of southeast Alaska. Without this precipitation, the ecosystems, wildlife, and landscapes we have come to know would cease to exist. We concluded our day—and our expedition together—with a preview of the voyage chronicle as well as a post-dinner slideshow highlighting the week’s discoveries.

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About the Author

Deb Goodwin


Passionate about creating opportunities for explorers of all ages to engage with wild and under-studied places, Deb embraces the power of immersive experiences to inspire curiosity and conservation. Extended backcountry expeditions as a teen jumpstarted this commitment and continue to motivate her travels. No matter the location, she observes the natural environment with a detective’s mindset, seeking to understand how local history, geology, weather, and ecological processes together shape the coastal land- and seascape. 

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