You don’t have to be a climber to explore the Cascades’ mightiest glaciers

Mountain Madness Cascade Glacier Walking Tours invites you to see glaciers up close while learning about the effects of climate change. #k5evening

DEMING, Wash. – Want to try mountain climbing but don’t know where to start?

Mountain Madness is a Northwestern company that has been welcoming people to explore the North Cascades since 1984. Their Cascade Glacier Walking Tours allow hikers with no prior experience to traverse and explore some of the Cascades’ mightiest glaciers in comfort and safety alongside a trained guide. These tours bring you up close to yawning crevasses and sparkling blue ice, with ample opportunities for photos and interpretation of the area.

“This is a great opportunity for people interested in earth science and the environment to hop off one for a beautiful hike and two to learn more about glaciers,” said Ph.D. Glaciologist candidate Taryn Black.

During the tour, you’ll also learn about Washington’s famous glaciated volcanoes, the history of glaciation in the Pacific Northwest, and the latest local research on glaciers in the Cascades.

“We’re here at Roosevelt Glacier and we give everyone the opportunity to explore it,” said Mountain Madness guide Peter Chang.

With over 449 square kilometers of ice-covered terrain, Washington is the second most glaciated state in the USA after Alaska. Unfortunately, many of these glaciers are now threatened by climate change. During the 20th century, glacier melt rates ranged from 7% to 22% in different parts of Washington. The rate of glacial melt in Washington has increased dramatically in the 21st century, consistent with an increase in average annual temperatures. In fact, 4 of Washington state’s 5 hottest years have occurred in the last decade.

“One of the most common questions I get about my job is whether climate change is really affecting glaciers,” Chang said, “and the answer is yes.”

Mountain Madness offers both two-day and one-day glacier hikes. Visit the Mountain Madness website for more information.

The evening of KING 5 celebrates the Northwest. Contact us: Facebook, TwitterInstagram, email. You don’t have to be a climber to explore the Cascades’ mightiest glaciers

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