National Geographic : 1891 May 29
Former Height of the Ice-Flood. plateau of ice which stretched toward the south and west farther than the eye could reach. This is the Malaspina glacier, shown on plate 8. Its borders, like the expanded extremity of the Lucia glacier, are covered with debris, on the outer margins of which dense vegetation has taken root. All the central portion of the ice-sheet is clear of moraines, and shone in the sunlight like a vast snow-field. The heights formerly reached by the nearer glaciers were plainly marked along the mountain sides by well-defined terraces, sloping with the present drainage. When the Lucia glacier was at its flood the ridge on which I stood was only 200 or 300 feet above its surface; now it approaches 1,000 feet. Turning toward the southeast, I could look down upon the waters of Yakutat bay, with its thousands of floating icebergs, and could distinguish the white breakers as they rolled in on Ocean cape. Beyond Yakutat stretches a forest-covered plateau between the mountains and the sea, and the eye could range far over the mountains bordering this plateau on the northeast. In the distance, fully a hundred miles away, stood Mount Fair weather, its position rendered conspicuous by a bank of shining clouds floating serenely above its cold summit. The mountains directly east -of Yakutat bay rise to a general height of about 8,000 feet, but are without especially prominent peaks. In a general way they form a rugged plateau, which has been dissected in various channels to depth of 2,000 or 3,000 feet. Nearly all of the plateau, including mountains and valleys, is covered with snow-fields and glaciers; but none of the ice-streams, so far as can be seen from a distance, descend below an elevation of about 4,000 or 5,000 feet. This region is as yet untraversed ; and when the explorer enters it, it is quite possible that deep drainage lines will be found through which glaciers may descend nearly or quite to sea-level. After drinking in the effect of the magnificent landscape and endeavoring to impress every detail in the rugged topography upon my memory, and having finished writing my notes, it was time to return ; for the sun was already declining toward the west. Wishing to see more of the wonderful land about me, I con cluded to descend the western slope of the ridge upon which I stood, and to return to camp by following a stream which issues from the Atrevida glacier directly below my station and empties into Yakutat bay a mile or two south of our third camp. 1-1-NAT. GEOG. MAG., VOL. III, 1891.
1892 Feb 19