At the head of a tunnel driven to bedrock in Blue Glacier, Washington, the mechanism of sliding of the glacier over bedrock has been investigated. This mechanism involves (1) regelation-slip, which operates through the combined action of heat transport and mass transport (liquid and solid) in the immediate neighborhood of the glacier sole; (2) plastic flow, promoted by stress concentrations in the basal ice. We have observed and/or measured the following features of the basal slip process: 1. Slip rate in relation to internal deformation of the ice; 2. Time-variations of the slip rate; 3. Freezing of basal ice to bedrock upon release of overburden pressure; 4. Formation of a regelation layer in the basal ice, and detailed behavior of this layer in relation to bedrock obstacles and to incorporated debris particles; 5. Local separation of ice from bedrock and continuous formation of regelation spicules in the open cavities thus created; 6. Plastic deformation of basal ice as recorded in the warping of foliation planes and of the regelation layer. Simple experiments to test our interpretation of the regelation layer have been carried out, in which regelation flow of solid cubes of different materials frozen into blocks of ice was produced. The field measurements and laboratory results are used to test the theory by Weertman (1957, 1962) of the basal slip mechanism. It is found that the theoretical “controlling obstacle size” and “controlling obstacle spacing” that should correspond to our observations are about an order of magnitude too small. This quantitative failure represents an overemphasis in the theory on the importance of plastic flow as compared to regelation. A new theory has been constructed which gives results in better agreement with observation.