The inclination of the glacier is quite moderate at the head, and, as the sun had softened the névé, I made safe and rapid progress, running and sliding, and keeping up a sharp outlook for crevasses. About half a mile from the head, there is an ice-cascade, where the glacier pours over a sharp declivity and is shattered into massive blocks separated by deep, blue fissures.
There had been many columns of ice from fissures in the rock, but all had fallen except one large ice-cascade, which flowed from a hole in the side of the cave on to the main stream, about two-thirds of the distance down from the snow. One particularly grand column had stood on the very edge of the ice-wall, and its remains now lay below.
It was 40 feet long, and at the farther end, which would not have been visible from the entrance, on account of a slight bend in the ice-gallery, even if there had been any light, it was closed by an ice-cascade 7 yards high and 4 1/2 feet broad at the bottom.
Again I see the gray flying clouds with their rain-floods and snow, the ice-cliffs towering above the shrinking forest, the majestic ice-cascade, the vast glacier outspread before its white mountain fountains, and in the heart of it the tremendous crevasse, emblem of the valley of the shadow of death, low clouds trailing over it, the snow falling into it; and on its brink I see little Stickeen, and I hear his cries for help and his shouts of joy.
In an hour or so, after passing a massive headland, we came suddenly on a branch of the glacier, which, in the form of a magnificent ice-cascade two miles wide, was pouring over the rim of the main basin in a westerly direction, its surface broken into wave-shaped blades and shattered blocks, suggesting the wildest updashing, heaving, plunging motion of a great river cataract.
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