Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Muir Snowfield

Camp Muir was quiet this weekend, but a few teams made the summit via the Disappointment Cleaver. We'll post our report soon. In the meantime, I've updated the conditions on the Muir Snowfield.

And about that Muir Snowfield... I had a good conversation with a senior RMI guide about the level of the snowpack on the snowfield. We both felt that there was a noticeable drop in how it measured against the rocks. That is, the surface of the snow seems to have lowered, thus exposing more bare ground. It appears to my untrained scientific eyes that the ice mass underneath is melting and diminishing, leaving less ice-volume throughout the snowfield. The surface appearance seems normal for this time of year with ice, some fresh snow, and a few crevasses, but the overall snow level seems to have decreased. In essence, we noticed more exposed mounds of sand, pumice and volcanic rock. I'd be curious to hear if anyone who hikes the snowfield a lot is left with a similar impression.