Warm weather was blamed for an ice-cave collapse that killed a women and injured five other people in the Big Four Ice Caves of Washington state’s Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest only about a year ago. Byron Glacier trailhead with two avalanche warning signs. Avalanche terrain that sits on the other side (west side) of the valley that can threaten the Byron Glacier Trail itself. Make a purchase from our Affiliate Partners and CNFAIC will receive a portion of the sales. The Byron Glacier Trail in Portage, Alaska is an uncomplicated trail with fabulous views that the whole family can easily hike. Have me a good scare. North facing slopes with plenty of snow still hanging above the valley and debris piles from the recent avalanche cycle. Outdoor Recreation [ edit ] Due to relative ease of access and proximity to the major population centers of Alaska, Byron Peak and the surrounding area is a popular destination for mountain climbers, hikers, and, occasionally, skiers. "Today was the day we outran an avalanche. 10 reviews of Byron Glacier Trailhead "Glacier, Glacial or Glaciation...noun, adjective or verb...they are cool! Just as I was arriving at the Glacier an avalanche came roaring down from the left side of the Glacier. No need to register, buy now! The cave becomes visible when the snowpack melts out enough to exposes … I could not see any signs of recent avalanche activity in the area (avalanches or cornice falls that have occurred within the past 48 hours). Meander along through the trees and then the trail follows the creek that flows from Byron Glacier. The cave becomes visible when the snowpack melts out enough to exposes the creek that tunnels under years of avalanche debris. Avalanche Debris near Byron Glacier Originally uploaded by merrymaryallegra Yup, an avalanche happened here in late June...we weren't wearing our snow gripping shoesies...so, we didn't go too far out, but just far enough to glimpse 'ole Byron. Weather reports today announced that the Byron Glacier Trail is closed due to many avalanches. Byron Glacier Trail, Girdwood Picture: avalanche snow in August - Check out Tripadvisor members' 8,975 candid photos and videos. The present study employed 16S rRNA gene amplicon metagenomic sequencing to survey the prokaryotic microbiota on Alaskan glacial ice, revealing a rich and diverse microbial community of … wonderful day trip with Bryce and Sierra's class to Byron glacier - fabulous walk across an old avalanche shute :) We set out on an adventure back to Byron Glacier to check out the ice caves. Be aware that during the summer this trail head can be packed, especially on the weekends. However, the East side of the Valley (West facing slopes) still has enough snow cover and over hanging cornices to be a threat. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Many families are constantly on the lookout for great hikes to do with kids of all ages. It's not long before you enter … The large avalanche debris pile that sits in the bottom/middle of the photo is where the ice cave begins once the snowpack melts down enough. The first photo looks right at the ‘ice cave’, which is now covered in avalanche debris from this season and not visible. Essentially 2-6' of wet and unsupportable snow if venturing off the beaten path (post-hole-extravaganza). Bottom line: There is enough snow remaining that natural wet avalanches could occur at anytime during the month of May and possibly longer. Even a rain storm in spring and early summer is dangerous if there is still snow on the mountainsides that the rain can wash down. If you think a public avalanche center is important please support our organization. The afternoon and evening hours are generally the warmest part of the day and hence the most dangerous. This happened today! The trail conditions are easy. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/alaska/byron-glacier-trail We couldn’t walk all the way to the toe of Byron Glacier, because the path was blocked by the remnants of a snow avalanche the previous winter. Photos from the Byron Glacier trail and surrounding avalanche terrain. Several hikers on old avalanche debris and away from any avalanche concerns. Be careful not to go to high up on the avalanche chutes since the snow underneath collapses and some point during the summer. This is where the avalanche hazard is that can be accessed from the trail. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. The last portion of the trail is completely covered in old avalanche debris. Please upload photos below. Sadly, in June of 2018 a woman lost her life when ice from above fell on top of her. On the West side of the valley (East facing slopes) there is no avalanche hazard as most of the snow already avalanched and the terrain has melted out and is almost snow-free. Enjoy An Easy Family Friendly Hike To The Gorgeous Byron Glacier In Alaska. 1- Stormy weather (snow and/or rain). Temps in the upper 40'sF. Hiking on the weekdays or arriving early on a weekend is preferable in order to guarantee a parking spot. Avalanche debris from the south facing slopes. I hiked the Byron Glacier Trail this morning and had a good workout in deep snow most of the way. The trail is still snow covered but folks have been walking most of the way up the trail before splitting off where the trail becomes lost under snow. This amount of rain is equivalent to ~30+ feet of snow in the upper elevations. The trail is approximately.7 miles in length and it is a moderate walk on a well-established trail. Byron was known to be a bad avalanche zone, particularly this time of year, and had I known it would have been raining prior to setting out, I would have never gone. If you think a public avalanche center is important please support our organization. (People have been killed walking through ice caves there multiple times so be smart) Cold environments, such as glaciers, are large reservoirs of microbial life. The last portion of the trail is completely covered in old avalanche debris. Make a purchase from our Affiliate Partners and CNFAIC will receive a portion of the sales. Byron Glacier trailhead is near Portage Lake. Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place. The cave can be extremely dangerous. He had suffered massive injuries, troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson said. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. If choosing to head this way, steer clear of being under any slope that still has snow. For those who are inclined to scramble around, there’s an enormous pile of boulders left by the glacier’s passage. Bring a light jacket, as winds tend to pick up around the face of the glacier itself. Byron Glacier is one of the easiest to access glaciers in the Anchorage vicinity, about an hour and 10 minutes drive south of Anchorage, not far beyond the beautiful town of Girdwood. Much of this debris is from the early April avalanche cycle. Another photo looking up drainage taken near the official end of the trail. It is a beautiful hike but be alert for avalanches at this time of year! Byron Glacier is now a “hanging” glacier, as opposed to a “tidewater” glacier like Portage that ends in the water. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. Further up the valley, past the point where the summer trail is maintained, there is avalanche hazard from all slopes/aspects. Not only is the cave dangerous, this valley is also exposed to avalanches from both sides. Head south from Anchorage on the Seward Highway, to the end of the 5-mile Portage Spur Road. There is a small parking lot located at the trail head. No- seriously. Byron Glacier Trail. Remember the Byron Glacier trail is in avalanche terrain. Remember that portions of these caves can collapse at any time – which can be unsurvivable. The helicopter and rescuers returned Sunday and sighted a dark spot in the avalanche area that turned out to be Neale. By the time they got to Byron Glacier, it was dark and too dangerous for a ground search, troopers said. It's a beautiful spot to have lunch and glacier-gaze. The sun can melt the snow on the slopes above and trigger avalanches that run to the valley floor. A wider angle look at the avalanche terrain that sits above the cave. You parallel the waterway created by the glacial run off. The cave is safest when temperatures are below zero. Note the significant amount of debris. The Byron Glacier trail is a great hike near Anchorage. Loved this glacier...its easily accessible and if you are daring and its the right conditions you can concievably hike right up to the glacial morain. Adventurous ones can extend this trail a bit to approach this stunning glacier closer by scrambling a bit higher to explore the natural ice caves and beautiful permanent snowfield. What a mighty lookin' glacier. The hike to Bryon Glacier is a short and easy hike. Rain weakens the already unstable crusts of melting snowpack and is known to trigger wet slab avalanches, the most deadly kind. This has been officially crossed off our bucket list. The exception is the East facing slope above the summer trail where little snow exists, hence no avalanche concerns. The weather was not ideal and was worsening by the minute. Snow and ice caves.