Posts Tagged "glacier national park"

A New Ingredient to Whiskey: Glacial Water

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in All Posts, Art/Culture, Featured Posts, News, Tourism | 0 comments

A New Ingredient to Whiskey: Glacial Water

Spread the News:ShareGlacier water’s remarkable range of uses has just been expanded in a new direction: whiskey production. The Glacier Distilling Company, a locally-owned distillery located in Coram, Montana, next to Glacier National Park, uses glacier water in the production of their craft whiskeys. The distillery uses pure glacial water from the Northern Rockies and locally grown grains to produce an alpine whiskey that brings out the local flavors of the distillery’s surroundings. The company was founded in 2011 and has been steadily growing, with their production doubling each year. The distillery’s success has been attributed to their passion to produce the highest quality of whiskey. The genesis of alpine whiskey was during the cold winter of 2009-10 when Nicholas Lee, founder of Glacier Distilling, and a group of his friends, were convening around a fire in North Fork, Montana. As they were sipping on whiskey, the group began debating how they would get whiskey if faced with Armageddon. The simple answer – make it themselves. Glacier Distilling’s first product was an un-aged white whiskey called Glacier Dew. Lee was inspired by a story of a woman named Josephine Doody who built her own moonshine business in Glacier National Park in the 1920’s, straight through Prohibition. Lee, originally from North Carolina, was drawn by the allure of making homemade spirits. “We need to be self sufficient out here just in case!” Lee said in an interview with NBC Montana. As Lee’s business grew, the company’s liquor collection also expanded to 19 different products, including gin, vodka, brandies, absinthe and other liqueurs. Glacier Distilling is just six miles away from Glacier National Park, which hit a record breaking 2.36 million visitors in 2016. The park’s popularity attracts tourists and locals to the Coram area and the distillery. The company’s collection starts with a simple ingredient, glacier water. Lee told GlacierHub that the company “found an old barn with a good well on a glacial aquifer with pure, cold water, and started distilling.” The glacier water is later transformed into a multitude of infused liquors such as Glacier County Honey and Flathead Lake Cherries. Why use glacial water to make liquor? “Glacial water is considered to be purer, as it is frozen and then thawed, which removes some contaminants,” said Anthony Caporale, producer of “The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking,”a music and comedy show about the history and science of cocktails and spirits, in an interview with GlacierHub. “Water absolutely affects the taste of the liquor, as it makes up 60 percent of what’s in the bottle (the other 40 percent being ethyl alcohol). That’s why distillers are so crazy-protective of their water sources.” But the question remains – how does one make whiskey with glacier water? Glacier Distilling relies on an old-school technique to distill their whiskey – fractional distillation. It’s a multi-step process where ethanol and water are separated due to the difference in boiling points, according to the company’s website. The company starts by mashing and fermenting the grain by cooking 500 lbs. of grain in 200 gallons of water in a mash tank. Later on, the cooled mash is transported into a fermentation tank for about 3-7 days. This allows for the yeast to consume a majority of the sugar, making the mash into a 10-12 percent ABV, alcohol by volume, which is a standard measure of how much alcohol is in a given volume, “distiller’s beer” or “wash.” Once the wash begins boiling, due to the difference in boiling points, alcohol (which boils at 173º F while water at 212º F) will start to boil out...

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Historic Glacier National Park Murals Restored

Posted by on Jun 29, 2017 in All Posts, Art/Culture, Featured Posts | 0 comments

Historic Glacier National Park Murals Restored

Spread the News:ShareChange is a constant theme in the dialogue surrounding Glacier National Park in Montana. Glaciers are retreating rapidly, reducing streamflow and threatening flora and fauna. Sometimes, however, change comes with renewal. One striking case is the recent restoration of a set of murals from the historic Glacier Lodge. Railroad tycoon Louis Hill, president of the Great Northern Railway in the early 20th century, deeply appreciated the beauty of the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains in northwestern Montana and sensed the financial opportunities the area offered. He pushed for it to become a national park and hoped to bring visitors by train to the new attraction. In 1910, President William Howard Taft signed a bill creating Glacier National Park, and Hill finished construction on the lodge in 1912. To add grandeur to the main lobby, a multi-story space lined by 40-foot fir pillars, he commissioned 51 murals depicting the new park’s landscapes and glaciers. When the lodge was remodeled in the 1950s, a few of the murals were left up, but most were thrown away. Local grocery store owners Robert and Leona Brown of East Glacier saved 15 of the murals, storing them in their garage, where they were discovered by their granddaughter Leanne Goldhahn in 2000, after the Browns had passed away. Leanne and her husband Alan donated the murals to the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, Montana. Donations to the museum supported the murals’ restoration, which the Missoulian reported cost between $3,000 and $5,000 per painting. Ethan McCauley, a Boy Scout from Polson, Montana, took the project on and raised $10,000 in under a year to help pay the restoration costs. The museum is still collecting funds to restore the remaining murals. The murals offer visitors not only simple beauty, but an opportunity to connect with the Glacier landscape, across both space and time. This is especially true for the painted vistas that visitors can see today by driving or taking a short hike, according to Tracy Johnson, executive director of the Hockaday. “People will come to the museum after a weekend in the park and say, ‘I was at that lake, I saw that waterfall,’” she said in an interview with GlacierHub. But just as apparent is how the landscape is different than when the vistas were painted. “By looking at the murals you can also see what’s changed—glaciers that have receded, a new lodge that was built. The murals are a documentation of that space. We can compare and see that the lake level dropped a bit, or rose,” Johnson said. Connection to the natural and cultural history of these landscapes may be important to the park’s future, says Lisa McKeon, who works to document glaciers in Glacier National Park with The Repeat Photography Project. “Helping visitors make the connections across the landscape is where the stepping stone of understanding glacier loss leads to a greater understanding of the whole system. Having a deeper sense of the place, visitors become engaged on a level that has more meaning, and perhaps creates a lasting impression that translates in to some kind of action,” she told GlacierHub. Three of the fully restored murals are on display at the Hockaday, two are on loan to the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish, and another is being displayed at the courthouse in Polson. This generosity is appreciated by the communities playing host to the murals, and Johnson reported that visitors from these towns often thank the museum for sharing the murals with them. These murals— in effect, historical documents of a visual nature— have profoundly affected out-of-state visitors...

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Roundup: Greenland Earthquake, Mural Restoration, and Phytoplankton

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in All Posts, Art/Culture, Featured Posts, Roundup, Science | 0 comments

Roundup: Greenland Earthquake, Mural Restoration, and Phytoplankton

Spread the News:ShareGreenland Earthquake Triggers Landslide-Induced Tsunami From Temblor: “Over the weekend, a M=4.1 earthquake on Greenland’s western coast caused a massive landslide, triggering a tsunami that inundated small settlements on the coast. At this stage, four people are feared to have died, nine others were injured, and 11 buildings were destroyed. Glacial earthquakes are a relatively new class of seismic event, and are often linked to the calving of large outlet glaciers.” You can read more about the glacial earthquake in Greenland here. Mural Restoration at Glacier National Park From Hockaday Museum of Art: “Early visitors to Glacier Park Lodge were treated to architectural and visual grandeur inside the building that was almost as expansive as the surrounding landscape. The scenic panels covered hundreds of square feet and appeared in a 1939 Glacier Park Lodge inventory as ’51 watercolor panels.’ In September of 2012, Leanne Brown donated the murals to the Hockaday in memory of her grandparents, Leona and Robert Brown, who had saved and restored 15 of the murals.” Learn more about the restored murals here. Phytoplankton Growth in Alaska From AGU Publications: “Primary productivity in the Gulf of Alaska is limited by availability of the micronutrient iron (Fe). Identifying and quantifying the Fe sources to this region are therefore of fundamental ecological importance. Understanding the fundamental processes driving nutrient fluxes to surface waters in this region is made even more important by the fact that climate and global change are impacting many key processes, which could perturb the marine ecosystem in ways we do not understand.” Read more about phytoplankton growth in the Gulf of Alaska here.   Spread the...

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Roundup: Glacier Park, Lahars, and Glacial Ecosystems

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in All Posts, Featured Posts, News, Roundup | 0 comments

Roundup: Glacier Park, Lahars, and Glacial Ecosystems

Spread the News:ShareRoundup: Glacier Park, Lahars and Ecosystems Glacier National Park Embraces Sustainability From Xanterra: “Just 150 years ago, 150 glaciers graced these spectacular alpine summits. Only 25 remain large enough today to be considered ‘functional,’ say scientists who expect the park’s glaciers to vanish by 2030, with many disappearing before that. People heeding the advice to visit soon will find a variety of national park lodging and dining spots that are making environmental stewardship part of the park experience.” Read more about it here.     Washington State’s Lahar Preparedness From Journal of Applied Volcanology: “As populations around the world encroach upon the flanks of nearby volcanoes, an increasing number of people find themselves living at risk from volcanic hazards. How these individuals respond to the threats posed by volcanic hazards influences the effectiveness of official hazard mitigation, response, and recovery efforts. Ideally, those who are aware of the hazards and concerned should feel motivated to become better prepared; however, research repeatedly shows that an accurate risk perception often fails to generate adequate preparedness… This study explores the barriers that people in the Skagit Valley of Washington face when deciding whether or not to prepare for lahars as well as the impact of participation in hazard management on household preparedness behaviors.” Read more about Washington’s lahar preparedness here.   How Changing Climate Affects Ecosystems From Environmental Research Letters: “Climate change is undeniably occurring across the globe, with warmer temperatures and climate and weather disruptions in diverse ecosystems (IPCC 2013, 2014). In the Arctic and Subarctic, climate change has proceeded at a particularly breakneck pace (ACIA 2005)… However, climate warming is forecast to be even more extreme in the future. In order to predict the impacts of further global change, experiments have simulated these future conditions by warming the air and/or soil, increasing CO2 levels, altering nutrient fertilization, modifying precipitation, or manipulating snow cover and snowmelt timing (Elmendorf et al 2015, Wu et al 2011, Bobbink et al 2010, Cooper 2014). Changes in biodiversity at high latitudes are expected to have profound impacts on ecosystem functioning, processes, and services (Post et al 2009).” Read more about how changing climate affects ecosystems here. Spread the...

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Photo Friday: Sperry Glacier

Posted by on Feb 24, 2017 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Images | 0 comments

Photo Friday: Sperry Glacier

Spread the News:ShareSperry Glacier is located 25 miles south of the border between the United States and Canada, in Montana’s Glacier National Park. It is a winter-accumulation glacier, as more snow falls during the winter than is lost during the summer. The moderate-sized glacier can be reached by foot or on horseback, rising to an elevation of around 7,800 feet. The glacier was named for doctor Lyman Beecher Sperry, who in 1894 reasoned that the glacier was the cause of the cloudiness of the water in Avalanche Lake. When Sperry and his party first reached the glacier in 1897, his nephew Albert Sperry had this reaction after viewing the glacier: While standing upon that peak overlooking the terrain above the rim wall, we got the thrill of thrills, for there lay the glacier, shriveled and shrunken from its former size, almost senile, with its back against the mountain walls to the east of it, putting up its last fight for life. It was still what seemed to be a lusty giant, but it was dying, dying, dying, every score of years and as it receded, it was spewing at its mouth the accumulations buried within its bosom for centuries. Today, you can visit Sperry Glacier and walk along the same route that Sperry and his party traveled 120 years ago, although the glacier looks very different today. Join us on this visual tour of the glacier’s past and present. We hope that concerted action on greenhouse gas emissions will assure that this beautiful glacier has a future.                       Spread the...

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