Crater Lake Snowshoe Hiker Tracks Lead Searchers to Danger Zone

Thursday, 08 May 2014 08:14 AM

By Michael Mullins

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A Crater Lake snowshoe hiker remains missing 10 days after he was last seen by park officials who are worried that his tracks lead to an area where a snow cornice collapsed.

On April 28, the hiker reportedly rented snow shoes and set out on a photo-taking mission around Oregon's picturesque Crater Lake National Park.

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Though it is unclear what happened to the hiker, whose identity has yet to be released, park rangers found the man's vehicle and snowshoe tracks that lead to a trail near where a snow cornice collapsed close to the rim of Crater Lake, KVAL.com reported.

If the hiker had fallen from the rim, the fall would have been in excess of 1,100 feet and ended in an area surrounding the lake that is known to contain deep snow drifts. Currently, the area is inaccessible until late June, park spokeswoman Marsha McCabe told The Oregonian.

"Cornices are very deceptive," McCabe said. "You might think you’re walking uphill but it’s actually a cornice and there is nothing underneath you but air."

It's unlikely a person would survive a fall from Crater Lake's rim, McCabe told The Associated Press.

According to McCabe, the man's family first contacted park officials two days after he went missing.

Located in southern Oregon, Crater Lake is adorned by 2,000-foot high mountain cliffs and is the fifth oldest national park in the United States, featuring the nation's deepest lake at 1,943 feet deep, according to the National Park Service website.

The lake was formed from the remnants of the destroyed volcano Mount Mazama.


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