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Top 5 Coolest  Glaciers

As far as ice goes, glaciers are pretty cool. Some of the most breath-taking natural scenery comes from glacial landscapes, but which ones are at the top of the list? Here’s five to get us started:

1. Eyjafjallajökull

Don’t worry, no one’s going to ask you to pronounce it (but if you did want to- it’s something like ‘Ay-uh-fyat-luh-yoe-kuh-tuhl’.) The Eyjafjallajökull glacier resides next to the volcano of the same name, and together they make up one of the most famous sites in Iceland. As well as a popular tourist destination, this glacier is best known for being one of the prime locations to witness the famous Northern Lights- an amazing display that is only magnified by the glacier’s reflective surface.

Wikimedia Commons | Andreas Tille2. Rainbow Glacier

Adequately named, Rainbow Glacier has been known to reflect light at just the right angle so that rainbows often appear against its surface. The third largest glacier in Montana and part of the National Park around Quartz Lake, Rainbow Glacier has one of the slowest declines observed in the US today. With Climate Change increasing rapidly, most glaciers suffer higher rates of ablation to attrition per year (they’re melting faster and faster)- but thanks to Rainbow Glacier’s location next to the snowy Bowman Lake, this decline is significantly less and the glacier has been observed as ‘stable’.

Flickr | Siegfried R3. Upper Grindelwald Glacier

More than just a character from Harry Potter, the Grindelwald Glacier in Switzerland is famous for its many appearances on BBC programmes such as Frozen Planet and Planet Earth II. With its position as the lowest glacier in the alps in addition to the vegetation that surrounds it, it’s easy to see why this glacier may have been so often visited by Sir David Attenborough and his crew. Looking like a setting from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, this Glacier is also a huge tourism destination- along with its twin, Lower Grindelwald Glacier.

By Jphoto (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons4. Canada Glacier

Don’t be fooled- whilst the name ‘Canada Glacier’ may suggest otherwise, Canada Glacier is not, in fact, in Canada. Located in the Antarctic as part of the Ross Dependency (a section of Antarctica officially claimed by New Zealand), Canada Glacier is one of the smallest glaciers in the arctic regions- which doesn’t stop it from being one of the most breath-taking. This glacier only receives around 10cm snowfall every year, yet hosts one of the highest rates of biodiversity across the Dry Valleys region- an impressive feat or such a small section of land!

By Joe Mastroianni, National Science Foundation (From Antarctic Photo Library: LAKEFRYXELL.JPG) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons5. Margerie Glacier

The stunning site of Margerie Glacier in the Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, is one favoured by tourists- although the frequent collapse of ice (known as ‘calving’) may deter them from getting too close. However, for every person who would rather stay back and admire the view from through a camera lens, there are an equal number who would rather make use of the surrounding body of water for extreme sports, such as kayaking and canoeing. Margerie Glacier sits perpendicular to the Grand Pacific Glacier- one of the biggest glaciers in America.

By Eric E Castro from San Francisco [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsSummer may be fast approaching but that doesn’t mean these glaciers are going anywhere! They’ll be here all year round for you to visit and admire at your leisure.

By Kayleigh Crawford - Frontier Workshadowing Student

Frontier runs conservationdevelopmentteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!

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