Tracy Arm, South Sawyer Glacier

Aug 19, 2019 - National Geographic Venture


Scenery beyond words surrounded National Geographic Venture as we sailed to the far reaches of Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness. True wilderness is a rare and special opportunity to find yourself surrounded solely by trees, sky, granite cliffs, wildlife, and solitude. There are no roads or houses, no timber cutting or mining industries, no vehicles or man-made noises. Humans are only temporary visitors resulting in the highest degree of protection possible for federal land. We saw black bears right away this morning and large, blue chunks of ice drifting out of the fjord. Mountain goats climbed high up on the cliffs and harbor seals rested on the ice. We took Zodiacs on a twisting and turning cruise to the face of South Sawyer Glacier! Floating in an ice garden, listening to the snap, crackle, and pop of the growlers and bergy bits melting around us. We witnessed several calving events and talked about the quickly changing climate driving the rapid retreat of the many glaciers in Southeast Alaska.

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About the Author

Emily Pickering

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Emily was raised by two veterinarians in the mountains of Central Oregon, where she spent much of her time on the back of a horse dreaming about the sea. Her fascination was solidified by visits to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and summers spent gazing into tide pools and listening for killer whales off the coast of British Colombia.  

About the Videographer

Matthew Ritenour

Video Chronicler

Matthew grew up on the Gulf of Mexico, where a love of geography, culture and history were instilled at a young age. He studied anthropology at California State University, Chico, and soon began working at the Advanced Laboratory for Visual Anthropology (ALVA), a documentary production studio that focuses on sharing the results of anthropological research with the public. As a cinematographer and editor at ALVA, he documented research on everything from the effects of drought in California, to looted petroglyphs in the Sierra Nevada high desert, and the global trade in emeralds.

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