National Geographic : 1892 Mar 21
The Dying Glacier. lower than the surface of the ice when at its greatest flood. It is now without supply, and is rapidly melting away. Another element of the diminution of the glacier, and one which would appeal much to most persons, is the retreat of the ice-front. In the four years between Professor Wright's visit, in 1886, and my own, in 1890, the ice-front receded more than 1,000 yards (see further, page 41). Extent and Date of the last great Advance. On the northeastern side of Tree mountain the lower slopes are covered' with moraine debris and with very slight vegetation. At a height of about 2,000 feet above tide large trees (spruce) are found growing, some of which are quite a foot in diameter and must be over a hundred years old. Above this limit the moun tain is free of erratics. On the opposite side of Main valley there is a very noticeable line about the same height, marked by a variation in the shrubbery, although there are no trees on these mountains. This, then, is the highest point reached by the glacier in this part. The rounding and scratches show that nunatak G, 1,855 feet above tide, was covered, as were also the islands in Glacier bay, one of which (Willoughby) is 1,000 or 1,500 feet high. The height of scratches and erratics in the neighborhood of the glacier's mouth we did not determine, but the height given by Professor Wright (2,500 feet) seems to me a little too high. At V (3,000 feet) no erratics were found, and as the ground here is well adapted to retain them we must conclude that the glacier did not rise to this height. I am inclined to think the scratches observed by Professor Wright at a height of 3,700 feet* are due to local causes. The advance of the ice from Muir and other glaciers of Glacier bay must have been near its maximum at the time of Vancouver's visit, 100 years ago, for it seems probable from his narrative that the ice extended below Willoughby island, and the large trees on the islands in the lower part of Glacier bay show that it did not extend that far. That the height given, 2,000 or 2,500 feet was that of the last great advance seems pretty certain from the freshness of the scratches up to that limit. Moreover, if at the * This would make the ice at this point several hundred feet higher than at Tree mountain, which is extremely improbable. Probably only a small error would be made if we take 2,000 feet as the maximum height of the ice near its present ending.
1892 May 15
1892 Feb 19