Danger beneath melting snow bridges

10:03 am August 16th, 2013

A safety advisory in response to melting snow bridges and the accompanying hazards for hikers, skiers and snowshoers remained posted last week for Mount Rainier National Park.
Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, two snowboarders narrowly missed severe injury or death when they fell through a melting snow bridge they were crossing and landed in an icy creek, according to park officials. The pair had to be rescued from a precarious point they ended up on – a relatively common occurrence in the mountain’s sub-alpine zone, and one that people should be aware of to avoid potential tragedy, officials said.
Last year, a man from Kent was killed near Paradise when he glissaded down a slope and fell through a snow bridge into Edith Creek. He drowned after he couldn’t get out of the water.
Snow bridges are prone to collapse as snow melts during the summer.
(Read more in the Aug. 21 print edition of The Dispatch)

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