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In the year 1898, an expedition made its way up the long narrow reach of a fjord located on the northern shore of Prince William Sound, about 20 miles east of what is now the tiny port of Whittier and 30 miles west of Valdez. The expedition was searching for a 'all-American' way to the Klondike gold fields, which could only be reached via an arduous passage over Chilkoot or White Pass to Canada's Yukon Territory. The expedition didn't find a way to the gold fields. Instead, they found an enormous ice field, the mother lode of more than 16 tidewater glaciers.
In a flight of fancy, the expedition leader decided to name the glaciers after well-known American colleges, such as Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Williams and Vassar. Although this odd bit of history might explain how the glacial alumni of College Fjord were named, it can't convey what it is like to see the vistas across these truly awe-inspiring tidewater giants.
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