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Overnight on an Alaskan Glacier
Old 08-29-2008, 02:58 PM   #1
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Overnight on an Alaskan Glacier

I flew as a passenger on an ERA chopper last summer, but we returned to Juneau without this great adventure.

Juneau, AK – Eleven guests from the Seven Seas Mariner participating on a dog sledding shore excursion were stranded overnight on a glacier when their return helicopter was unable to take off from Juneau due to foul weather. The group spent the night of August 16, in tents provided for the dog sled camp employees. According to an ERA Helicopters employee, this was the first time such a thing had happened in twenty-two years of operation.

Prior to leaving Juneau guests on the tour were given thick jackets and snow boots so during the long wait on the glacier everyone remained warm and dry. As evening approached and the clouds grew thicker, the camp employees started to make arrangements for the eventuality of overnight visitors.
Upon their arrival the group unanimously agreed that this was one of the best experiences they had ever had in their lives; they didn’t want to leave and they would pay to do it again. One of the young women was so moved by her experience she applied to work for the camp next year! What could have been a terrible disaster ended up being a wonderful experience that no one will ever forget.
11 Cruise Ship Passengers on Helicopter Tour Stranded on Glacier | Terry Breen’s Cruiser Friendly Blog

And they all lived happily ever after. I'm guessing that there will be a freebie or two that are passed out to comp them for their inconvenience, though the eleven folks seem to be OK.

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Old 08-29-2008, 06:18 PM   #2
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Five years ago last month I cruised the Inside Passage and booked this very trip: helicopter from Juneau up the Mendenall Glacier, then dog mushing, return by helicopter. But El Nino had reduced the snow cover, and the dogs, which live above the snow line, had developed altitude sickness and had to be brought down to sea level. So we couldn't go dog mushing. This was known about a week prior to the cruise. We were contacted and offered the choice of a refund, or the helicopter trip with a partial refund. I took the helicopter trip. It happened to be a particularly clear day, and we were able to fly much farther up the glacier than usually is the case. We landed on the glacier and were able to explore. It was warm enough to go without a jacket. It was spectacular.
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