March 1, 2016 – Deadly Beauty

IMG_8691_Panorama2_March1_copy

The sky was practically white but I didn’t like it (I know, I am powerful)

Big Four Ice Caves located at the foot of the  Big Four Mountain in the Cascade Range of State Washington is a sight to see.  It is located about 20 miles east of the city of Granite Falls, WA.  The ice caves are formed by collection of snow due avalanches in winter time and collect underneath the mountain.  Protected by the shadow of the tall mountain and chiseled away by the snow-melt stream in summer the ice caves are formed.  The size of the caves varies season by season. (You can see the changes from the two photos that I took below)

DSC_1157_iceCaveComparison

the lines are to help you visualize the changes

The photos above were taken just slightly more than 4 months apart and you can see the significant changes (and you can also see hordes of people heading towards the caves despite the warnings telling people that it is extremely dangerous and there has been multiple fatalities year after year).  The last fatal accidents in July 2015 caused the Ice Caves to be closed pending further review.  The Big Four Ice Caves is still closed today.

As dangerous as the place is, it has a unique draw and from my observation, most people’s first reaction is to get close to the cave.  People will initially look from outside and as they gather up enough courage (and trust me, it didn’t “look” dangerous at all looking from outside) they will generally start moving closer and closed to entrance of the cave,  You can see the debris of the collapse and they are huge and heavy (any one of the blocks of ice will be enough to cause serious injuries or death if you are unlucky enough to be standing underneath it when it collapsed)

IMG_8786_copy

if you are crazy enough (or didn’t know better) and ventured inside (with extreme caution which is still definitely a bad idea) you would see an eerie yet beautiful sight

IceCaves_Dec2014

This is also a changing sight because when we returned last March, the waterfall was gone – the entire back side of the caves had caved in

DSC_1226_copy

You can see the cave is now so shallow – no more waterfall

I am sure that the DNR will eventually open this site unfortunately they may end up fencing the entrance to the cave which I am sure will become unsightly.  As it is they have enough signs warning people of the dangers (avalanche warnings, death warnings etc) I hope they don’t resort to fencing up nature – as deadly as it is.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: