DEMING, Wash. — Want to try out mountaineering but don't know how to start?
Mountain Madness is a northwest company that has been inviting people to explore the North Cascades since 1984. Their Cascade Glacier Walking Tours allow hikers with no previous experience to traverse and explore some of the Cascades' mightiest glaciers in comfort and safety alongside a trained guide. These tours will get you up close to yawning crevasses, and glistening blue ice, with ample opportunity for photographs, and interpretation of the environment.
“This is a great opportunity for people that are interested in earth science and the environment, to get out one for a beautiful hike, and two to learn more about glaciers,” said Ph.D. glaciologist candidate Taryn Black.
Throughout the tour, you will also learn about Washington’s iconic glaciated volcanoes, the history of glaciation in the Pacific Northwest, and cutting edge local research on glaciers in the Cascades.
“We are here in the Roosevelt Glacier giving everyone a chance to explore,” said Mountain Madness guide Peter Chang.
After Alaska, Washington is the second most glaciated state in the US with over 449 square kilometers of ice covered terrain. Unfortunately, many of those glaciers are now threatened by climate change. During the 20th century rates of glacial melt in various parts of Washington ranged between 7% and 22%. The rate of glacial melt in Washington has increased dramatically in the 21st century, commensurate with an increase in average annual temperature. In fact, 4 of the 5 hottest years on record in Washington state have occurred in the last decade.
“One of the most common questions that I get about my work is if climate change really affecting the glaciers," said Chang, "and the answer is yes.”
Mountain Madness is offering both two and one-day glacier walking tours. For details, visit Mountain Madness' website.