On glaciers and aprons

And why it makes such a good name

And time is crucial, because without time, great heaping swaths of time, there can be no glaciers and no glacial landscapes.

Glaciers speak to me of ancient forces. There is something primeval about them; they evoke images of cavemen and mastodons and a time before history. And time is crucial, because without time, great heaping swaths of time, there can be no glaciers and no glacial landscapes. To climb up a great glacial valley is to lose oneself beneath sheer mountain heights like battlements from an age of warrior giants that’s faded into legend. On my path beneath these ancient ice-carved ramparts I am powerless with awe at what has gone before.

The above is an abstract from the “Glaciers and Goldilocks: a tale of three planets” chapter as found in the Stars Above, Earth Below book (2010). The book, subtitled “A Guide to Astronomy in the National Parks” is written by Tyler Nordgren. An astronomer who spent 14 months traveling across the US, visiting 12 national parks and wrote a diary about his experiences of the unique aspects of the night sky at each site.

If you have come this far you might be wondering what the connection between glaciers and aprons is, as hinted in the title of this post. Well, to my own surprise we can even speak of the existence of so called Ice Aprons. Ice aprons are small, steep glaciers that cling to high mountainsides. They are often wider than they are long. Tell me, ever heard of ice aprons? I for one did not, but after reading about it I decided that our very first apron model should be called ‘The Glacier’.

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