Michelle Paver: Alaska's ice cave left me fizzing with ideas


Michelle Paver

The children’s author remembers an exhilarating hike to a glacier north of Juneau as research for one of her Wolf Brother books

We’d flown over the ice field on the approach to Juneau, and my spirits had soared. Ice was what I’d come for. I needed a giant ice cave for the book I was writing, and I’d arranged a guided hike to a glacier the following day.

I was on a month-long research trip for the latest of my Wolf Brother books, taking in Alaska’s Inside Passage and the remote Canadian islands of Haida Gwaii, where there’d be plenty of ice, even in early summer. When the plane landed, I was disconcerted to find the temperature around 30C. Tourists ambled around in T-shirts (I’d only brought one). Ravens – Juneau has lots – panted on rooftops with their wings half-spread to catch the breeze.

But from my room at the Goldbelt Hotel, I could see snow on the surrounding peaks, and I had a glorious view of the harbour, just across the road. While I was unpacking, a whale spouted and dived, right in front of my window.

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