Words, video, and photos by Cameron Sanders (@renaissance.cyclist)
It’s glacier riding season again in Alaska. Only, it’s currently 41°F for the next three days. The effects of climate change permeate the world all around us. These changes are on full display as we bear witness to the decay of Spencer Glacier as we cycle out to it year after year.
The short video above showcases what an approach to an Alaskan Glacier feels like through a singular shot. Great lengths were taken with additional overlays and information conveyed via subtitles rather than spoken words to give viewers a sense of what this environment feels like to a cyclist interfacing with it. Prolonged riding in the cold, snow blindness, a lack of visual contrast, intense exposure to the elements, isolation, and your bike not functioning as it normally does because of the cold often results in waves of feeling like you’re riding in a dream or hallucinating.
This short was shot by bikepacking out to this glacier for the videography setup (see the basecamp tent in the final few seconds of the film). Battery management was a huge concern as the cold drains the batteries quickly. Hand warmers were used throughout the journey to keep batteries topped off.
I feel compelled to tell the stories of these glaciers as it is no longer a question of, “How can we save these glaciers?” but rather, “How will we remember them?” The human climate change-induced recession of these behemoths is already all but certain and happening at remarkable speeds. We are among the last generations of humans to experience this kind of cycling.
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