It is amazing how similar living in the cloud is to climbing in the St. Elias Mountains, especially the southwest corner of the range. Sure, by living in Canada we all experience some measure of bad weather, but nothing can quite measure up to the low pressure systems which pound this region consistently. The Fairweather area can receive up to 180 inches of precipitation annually. Assuming that one inch of precipitation will make about one foot of snow, it is an understatement to say it snows a lot. But how else would you create the largest nonpolar icefield in the world and the highest number of surging glaciers in the world? In 1892 while watching the rain fall from his tent, geologist Harry F. Reid noted the following in his field journal:
"We have concluded that there are many infallible signs of rain in this region. If the sun shines, if the stars appear, if there are clouds or if there are none; these are all sure indications. If the barometer falls it will rain; if the barometer rises, it will rain; if the barometer remains steady, it will continue to rain."
One reason for the large amount of precipitation that falls on this region is the St. Elias Mountains' proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Mount Fairweather rises an impressive... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)