On the western side of Mount Hood lies the longest glacier cave system in the contiguous United States.
A view of Mount Hood in autumn. You can see where the entrances of the glacier caves are at the bottom of the glacier. It is interesting to see how much rockfall covers the glacier in the summer.
In 2012, these caves were mapped to a combined length of 7,166.8 feet by cave explorers Brent McGregor and Eddy Cartaya.
Currently, the total passage length is hundreds of feet less. Glaciers are frozen rivers; they are always moving and changing. In the past five years, we have seen the caves melt, shrink and collapse in a dramatic way. The caves are formed by water carving away at the ice.
Surface water makes its way downward through a fracture in the glacier and melts away a vertical shaft called a moulin. The water then travels down the moulin and downhill, thus creating a horizontal borehole passage.
There are three explored caves in the glacier: Snow Dragon Cave, Pure Imagination and Frozen Minotaur.
There is also one cave that has not yet been explored.
A caver stands in the entrance of Pure Imagination Cave. The moulin on the left side of the image was pouring down water and acting as a funnel for debris and rocks to shoot through. The cave was in a very wet and active state during this time.
A view of the entrances of Snow Dragon Cave and Pure Imagination in the winter.
Frozen waterfalls guard the entrance to the Snow Dragon Cave.
A large frozen column is backlit by sunlight beaming through the entrance in Pure Imagination Cave.
A caver examines the beautifully scalloped walls of ice in Pure Imagination Cave.
Cavers wake up and leave their tents as the sun rises in Snow Dragon Cave.
Traditionally it is frowned upon to camp in caves, but in winter conditions like this it is very helpful to stay warm.
A caver gives scale to the entrance to Snow Dragon Cave.
Join us at: He Is Coming -Are You Ready?
Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the grave those which have sinned -Job 24:19 (KJV).
Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen – Job 38:29 (KJV).
Scriptures about Snow and Ice…..
He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes – Psalms 147:16 (KJV)
Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word -Psalms 148:8 (KJV).
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth, And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater. -Isaiah 55:10 (KJV).
Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid: What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place – Job 6:16-17 (KJV).
Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;-Job 38:22-28 (KJV).
As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters -Proverbs 25:13 (KJV).