Voices From the Ice
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We begin with the explanation of the creation of glaciers—Rivers of Ice—how they are born of snowflakes, as storm after storm, layer by layer, the flakes accumulate. Time and pressure fuse them, compressing the snow into dense, jewel-like ice. With the increasing weight of each new snow, the ice moves slowly downslope, forming a flowing sheet.
The story takes place in the Chugach Mountains of south-central Alaska, where rivers of ice have flowed through many ice ages. The Chugach National Forest is still under the domination of moving ice. We see how the end of a glacier breaks off and melts creating a surreal landscape, and explore the icy spires and caves.
We analyze the movement of a glacier, see the evidence of its movement in the rough edges of rock - ground to a smooth polish, and meet the iceworm, an almost mythical creature that lives between the snow crystals near the surface, emerging into the open air to feed on algae and pollen carried by the wind.
We experience the changing of the land, once the ice flow passes over. How the thin veneer of soil starts to create a carpet of nourishment in which plants can flourish.
Animals such as Dall sheep, trumpeter swans, arctic terns become inhabitants. In the created forests and streams, salmon and bear live in the shadow of the glaciers.
The remnants of early people are still visible in areas. We follow history of the Russian fur traders, native cultures, prospectors, experience the change of seasons and how they impact the rivers of ice. Watch grizzly bears with their young, and see how the relationship between the giants of ice and the land continues to evolve.