American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Rocky Mountains of Canada, Freshfield Glacier

  • Notes
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1938

Freshfield Glacier. Observations made on July 5th, 1937, complete a fifteen-year period since the first measurements were undertaken (1922). Photographs from Camp Station and Station C afford further evidence of the subsidence of the tongue through ablation, about one-third of the total volume of the tongue having been lost in fifteen years.

The total retreat of the tongue since 1922 amounts to 1312 ft.,

as follows :

Retreat

Feet

Average per day inches



1922-26 

330

2.67



1926-30 

253

2.09



1930-34 

317

2.60



1934-37 

412

4.50



The great boulder on the ice has advanced 1551 ft. in fifteen years, and is now exactly on the line surveyed in 1922 :

Advance

Feet

Average per day inches



1922-26 

505

4.01



1926-30 

426

3.52



1930-34 

345

2.78



1934-37 

275

3.0



It is apparent that the tongue’s retreat, uniform from 1922 until 1934, is now accelerating, seemingly due to additional stream erosion and greater rainfall. The advance of the great boulder diminishes progressively as the ice terminus is approached.

Variations in distance between the great boulder and the glacial erratic marked “1922,” due to side-slip from ice-pedestals, are as follows: 350 ft. (1922), 440 ft. (1926), 429 ft. (1930), 410 ft. (1934), 411 ft. (1937).

In 1937 plates 6 and 8 of the 1922 line were still on the ice, just above the upper margin of the terminal dirt-zone of the tongue, and about 1200 ft. below the surveyed line A-B of 1922.

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