Warm Weather Snowmelt Creates Additional Hazards on the Muir Snowfield

DATE: 8/25/09

For Immediate Release

Chuck Young, Chief Ranger, 360-569-2211, ext. 3300 < /p>

The annual snowpack on the Muir Snowfield has melted out unusually early
this year. This has exposed bare glacier ice and crevasses on the route
from Paradise to Camp Muir. From about 8,200 feet and up on this route,
which is popular for climbers and day hikers to Camp Muir, the terrain
often exceeds a 25-30 degree slope. The steepness, coupled with the
exposed glacier ice, make for extremely slippery and hazardous walking.
The glacier ice is not kind to exposed skin if you should fall and slide on
it. There have been numerous cases this year of slips that have caused
fairly severe abrasions. Also this year, the exposed ice from 9,500 feet
to 10,100 feet has opened up crevasses that require skill and care in
safely picking out circuitous routes which avoid the open cracks in the
ice. Over the years, people have found themselves injured by falling in
the crevasses or left dangling above them.< /p>

The trek to Camp Muir can be an enjoyable hike in these conditions if good
judgment and proper precautions are taken. Please follow these helpful
hints for safe hiking up to Camp Muir:< /p>