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Re: Shrinking Bylot Island Glaciers Tell Story Of Climate Change

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avatar Shrinking Bylot Island Glaciers Tell Story Of Climate Change
September 08, 2009 10:55PM
ScienceDaily (Sep. 9, 2009) — The U.S. Geological Survey has released the results of a long-term study of key glaciers in western North America, reporting this month that glacial shrinkage is rapid and accelerating and a result of climate change.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831130806.htm
avatar Severe Snowfield Shrinkage near Shepherd Crest
September 09, 2009 10:28PM
Going over the pass between Roosevelt and Upper McCabe lakes this past weekend, it was appalling how much the footprint of the ‘permanent’ snowfield on its north slope has receded within a short time. When I last packed through there in 1995, one could continuously glissade approximately 600 vertical feet down from near the top of the pass to a level about 200 vertical feet above McCabe. Now one can only glissade about 100 vert. ft. before encountering a boulder field. Below this boulder field, there is another snowfield of perhaps another 200 vert. ft. Although I can’t be certain since we did not carry a camera on the previous trip, I don’t think that this boulder field is due to “recent” rockfalls in the intervening 14 years. Given the disappearance of the lower elevation portion of the snowfield, it seems more likely that these boulders were uncovered as the result of thickness reduction of the snowfield… especially since similar size boulders (mostly 3 to 6 ft. in diameter) are seen around and below the lower snowfield segment.
avatar Re: Shrinking Bylot Island Glaciers Tell Story Of Climate Change
September 10, 2009 06:13AM
Len, Picture please.... and I'll put up another from 2005.

But other things you def. need to keep in mind for these small snowfields is when you went
and the previous year snowpack data. Those 2 make a huge difference.

I won't contend that the snowfields are getting smaller though. I will say that I am
amazed at how huge the Lyell Glacier still looks. To me it definitely looks as big was when
I climbed around on it about 10 years ago in late Sept... I need to go back there...
I'm certain that is receeding too though.
avatar Re: Shrinking Bylot Island Glaciers Tell Story Of Climate Change
September 10, 2009 08:38AM
Quote
bill-e-g
Len, Picture please.... and I'll put up another from 2005.

Dale, the photosharing site that I use does not allow open access. I'll send you a link to the photos that I took on the trip on your personal email and you can copy the appropriate one(s) and put them on your Picasa (?) site so that you can image them in the forum.



Quote
bill-e-g
But other things you def. need to keep in mind for these small snowfields is when you went
and the previous year snowpack data. Those 2 make a huge difference.

Of course... and we have been in a drought cycle. My three trips there were all late August/early September. Unfortunately, the first time that I went to the top of the pass (1972) I did have a camera but did not descend the north slope (had some people with me that had no snow mountaineering experience) so I can not speak as to what the snowfield looked like then. Another data point, though, is that the USGS 7.5' topo map of the region to which I have access (on my TOPO! CD; not sure of the year and/or revision date of the quadrangle used, because I haven't figured out what the appropriate quad. name is yet, but it is definitely pre-1990) shows the snowfield at the same dimensions that my son and I saw in 1995. I'll email you the appropriate section of that map so that you can post it also.
avatar Re: Shrinking Bylot Island Glaciers Tell Story Of Climate Change
September 10, 2009 09:17AM
bill-e-g,

If you go to Ragged Peak this weekend I'm curious how much if any snow field is remaining on the north slopes.

Jim
avatar Re: Shrinking Bylot Island Glaciers Tell Story Of Climate Change
September 10, 2009 04:47PM
Quote
tomdisco
bill-e-g,

If you go to Ragged Peak this weekend I'm curious how much if any snow field is remaining on the north slopes.

Jim


On Ragged Peak itself, ZERO.
The famed Statue of Marmot is jealously guarding a small patch near it so that it can remain hydrated.
(I'll send you a link to my trip photos; we stayed at Lower Young the first night.)
avatar Re: Shrinking Bylot Island Glaciers Tell Story Of Climate Change
September 10, 2009 09:31AM
Hopefully this shows:



The pass is "Don't be a Smart Pass" (I'm not kidding)
I've gone thru the saddle to the east of that one from Middle McCabe.
There was little, if any, snow last year there. (I'll try to find a nice picture of that later)
avatar Re: Shrinking Bylot Island Glaciers Tell Story Of Climate Change
September 10, 2009 09:34AM
This is from the NE looking at Upper McCabe and the snow field.
Approx mid Aug, 2005.
avatar Re: Shrinking Bylot Island Glaciers Tell Story Of Climate Change
September 10, 2009 07:57PM
Here's another with all the snow fields:
8/29/2005
avatar Re: Shrinking Bylot Island Glaciers Tell Story Of Climate Change
September 10, 2009 08:02PM
Here's Len's:


And from 8/29/2005:


Len, I didn't see a really good picture of the pass snow field from the same side of the lake that I had.
But definitely from you photos that field looks pathetic compared to the shots above.

2005 was a pretty good snow year ... and 2006 (winter of 2005-spring 2006) was monsterous.

Anyway, hopefully this is interesting... and we have some good snow years ahead and the field "comes back".
The McCabe trip from Saddlebag is high on my list of "redos"... so I'll see ....
avatar Re: Shrinking Bylot Island Glaciers Tell Story Of Climate Change
September 10, 2009 08:44PM
Quote
bill-e-g


Len, I didn't see a really good picture of the pass snow field from the same side of the lake that I had.
But definitely from you photos that field looks pathetic compared to the shots above.



Dale,

Oh, yeah, I forgot that you didn't tell me to go over there to take some comparison photos....

Seriously, all my shots were from the base of the pass at the level of the lake. Maybe you could post, for example, DSC_0257 and DSC_0260. The former shows the high field to the east of the pass as well as the pass field(s). The latter shows the pass fields exclusively, although you must look closely to see the upper field because it is almost completely hidden behind the boulder field and merges with the sky.

On your shots, the lower terminus of the continuous pass field that my son and I encountered in 1995 should have been somewhere between the two patches seen at the base of the rock formation on the west side of the pass (the upper short one and the longer lower one stretching from approximately the 11 o'clock to the 5 o'clock directions as one views the photo). As I mentioned before, it was down to somewhere around 200 vert. ft. above the lake.
avatar Re: Shrinking Bylot Island Glaciers Tell Story Of Climate Change
September 10, 2009 10:15PM
tongue sticking out smiley

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