To White River Glacier
Wandering White River Pt II.
After exploring the lower sections of the White River on Mt Hoods southern slopes, I was headed now up to its source- the White River Glacier that stretches from around 10,000 feet down to around 7000 feet in the valley east and above the Timberline Lodge area. I arrived just before sunrise at the Lodge. While the metro area was covered in low clouds, the cover here was higher with dramatic formations and movement down the cascade range. I was treated to a spectacular color filled sunrise as the morning sun reflected off the various layers of moisture in the air. I head out on the Timberline Trail, making for the climbers path that ascends the ridge along the White River Canyon just east of the Salmon River crossing.
Looking South to Mt Jefferson
After the sun slipped above the clouds I experienced a brief 30 second rain shower, and continued up the sometimes faint path, step on small stretches of snow left from the seasons early snowfalls. A group of Horned Larks darted about the boulders as I climbed.
Up at the viewpoint onto the glacier I was struck by how much more uncovered and broken the glacier seemed since the time I was here a bit more than a year ago. At one spot where last year I had descended down the slope to edge of the glacier I felt like the descent looked longer and more treacherous than before, and didn't head down. Even with the recent snowfall, the hot summer melted so much of the snow cover on top of the glacier.
Views from late August 2020 vs now
incredible patterns and layers in the breaking ice
the ice field stretching across from White River Glacier to Palmer
I wandered around about up to 8800 feet before descending back down to the Timberline Trail. It's incredible to see the source of the river I was exploring earlier this week, locked in ice, especially with the dramatic changes in the structure from just last year.