This is my final glacier post, at least for now.
We took an airplane flight from Boeing Field around Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier.
Mount St. Helens has an ancient history of glaciation. When the volcano began to grow about 4,000 years ago, glaciers again developed, and by 1980, there were 22 named glaciers on its slopes. The eruption in 1980 destroyed most of them, resulting in a 70% decrease in glacier mass on the mountain. By September, 1996, there was evidence of a new glacier forming on Mount St. Helens, considered one of the world’s youngest glaciers.
Originally named Tulutson Glacier, and later renamed to Crater Glacier, it wraps around the growing lava dome. Normally, the elevation (6,561 feet) would be too low for a glacier to develop, but the crater walls shade the glacier from sunlight most of the year.
We were able to view Mount Rainier from the air and from land. The mountain has 25 named glaciers. Summit Crater Glacier sits at the very top of the mountain.
When we visited Mount Rainier National Park a few days later, we were able to witness several more, including Nisqually and Paradise-Stevens. Nearby Picket Range is home to a few glaciers as well.
The Picket Range in North Cascades National Park is home to Terror Glacier.