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June 10, 2013

Neve Glacier Retreat, North Cascades, Washington

I have had the opportunity to visit the Neve Glacier on eight occasions, it is not easy to get to. In the North Cascades it is one of a handful of glaciers with a large higher elevation accumulation zone, that is not on a volcano. The glacier feeds Diablo Lake, part of the Skagit River hydropower system. The terminus of the glacier in 1975 was in basin that receives considerable …


June 17, 2012

Suiattle Glacier Retreat and Outcrop Emergence, North Cascades

C.E. Rusk in 1906 hiked right to the terminus of Suiattle Glacier, which is labelled Lion’s Paw in Rusk (1924). The glacier had retreated 1400 m since its Little Ice Age maximum and based on the lack of reported brush below the glacier, this retreat had occurred primarily in the previous 30 years. By 1940 the glacier had retreated another 900 m back to within 120 m of its current …


December 11, 2011

McAllister Glacier Retreat, North Cascades

McAllister Glacier is one of the main headwaters glaciers of Thunder Creek feeding into the Skagit River in the North Cascades of Washington. The North Cascade Glacier Climate Project has examined North Cascade glaciers each summer for 28 years and found all 47 that we visit are retreating and six have disappeared. McAllister Glacier is not a glacier we access. This glacier advanced during the 1950-1979 period. This post examines …


October 23, 2011

Borealis Glacier separation and retreat

The Borealis Glacier in the North Cascades of Washington, descends the north side of Primus Peak. Unfortunately the peak is not in prime condition. The thinning glacier has separated into two ice masses, the lower section has also developed a new lake since 1995. The USGS map for the glacier indicates the upper and lower glacier connected by two ice tongues (top image). This connection has been severed by 1990 …


June 2, 2011

Columbia Glacier Past, Present and Future

For the last 27 years the first week of August has found me on the Columbia Glacier in the North Cascades of Washington. Annual visit pictures up to 2008 can be seen at bottom of post. This is the lowest elevation large glacier in the North Cascades. Columbia Glacier occupies a deep cirque above Blanca Lake and ranging in altitude from 1400 meters to 1700 meters. Kyes, Monte Cristo and …


November 23, 2010

Banded Glacier a new alpine lake

Banded Glacier comparison in 1998 (left) and 2011 (right) Google Earth images.  Red arrows and dots indicate 1998 terminus-margin.  Yellow arrow and dots indicate 2011 terminus-margin The Banded Glacier on Mount Logan in the North Cascades of Washington has retreated since 1950 creating a new alpine lake, that is not evident on USGS maps of the time. In 1960 the glacier was 450 m wide ending in a lake that …


October 7, 2010

Quien Sabe Glacier Retreat

The Quien Sabe Glacier in the North Cascades of Washington has experienced rapid retreat in the last 20 years. This glacier is the largest in Boston Basin near Cascade Pass, its name translates to “who knows?”, well we all know it is not enjoying recent climate. In the 1960 Austin Post photograph he gave to me in 1994, the glacier was heavily crevassed and advancing. By 1975 the advance had …


July 8, 2010

The Lower Curtis Glacier on Mount Shuksan advanced from 1950-1975 and has retreated 150 meters from 1987-2009. A longitudinal profile up the middle of the glacier indicates that it thinned 30 meters from 1908-1984 and 10 m from 1984-2008. Compare the 1908 image taken by Asahel Curtis (glacier named for him) in 1908 and our annual glacier shot in 2003. The thinning has been as large in the accumulation zone …


February 1, 2010

Colonial Glacier Retreat and Hydropower

Colonial Glacier is on the southwest side of Colonial Peak in the Skagit River Watershed, North Cascades of Washington. The North Cascade Glacier Climate Project has made six visits to this glacier over the last 25 years. Meltwater from this glacier enters Diablo Lake above Diablo Dam and then flows through Gorge Lake and Gorge Dam. These two Seattle City Light hydropower projects yield 360 MW of power. As this …


November 17, 2009

Hinman Glacier, North Cascades disappears

In the USGS map for Mount Daniels-Mount Hinman in the North Cascades, Washington based on 1958 aerial photographs, overlain in Google Earth. Hinman Glacier is the largest glacier in the North Cascades south of Glacier Peak. Today it is nearly gone. Hinman Lake, unofficial name, has taken the place of the former glacier, which still has a couple of separated relict ice masses. From 1984-2007 all 47 glaciers observed by …