An extensive labyrinth of "firn caves" exist beneath the twin craters
of 14,411' Mount Rainier in Washington state.
In a large "ice room" measuring 120 by 120 feet, TWO rather unusual objects
were discovered beneath the larger crater's ice several years ago.
Lying on the floor was a badly decomposed shore bird, tentatively identified as a Greater Yellowlegs (Totanus melanoleucus), and protruding from the ceiling ice was a red woolen glove. Both objects were originally deposited on the surface and gradually worked 260 to 300 feet downward as the ice melted from below.
The glove was probably dropped less than 50 years ago by a climber, and the
bird could have been a storm casualty.
Is anybody missing a red woolen glove???
Public domain photo courtesy of USGS photo library, taken from a plane
above Mount Rainier on 09/03/1964.
(View is looking SOUTH over the summit craters, with the prominent East Crater to the left, and Point Success at the upper right edge of the summit plateau.)
The size and complexity of Mount Rainier is difficult to comprehend without
personal experience on the mountain, and even then its bulk is often
grossly underestimated. The early geologist Bailey Willis in 1883, wrote
fittingly, "It is the symbol of an awful power clad in beauty."
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