Missing Crater Lake Snowshoe Hiker May Have DrownedBy: Ellisha Rader Mannering - May 8, 2014
A snowshoe hiker who went missing 10 days ago at Crater Lake has still not been found. Search teams have been looking for the hiker for days and trying to find signs that he may still be alive.
The hiker set out on his hike on April 28th after renting a pair of snowshoes. He was hoping to take photographs of the beautiful area and trails while on his hike.
He was reported missing two days later, but police have not released his identity. Park rangers and volunteers have been scouring the park for days and may have found a clue as to what may have happened to the hiker.
On Thursday, rangers found snowshoe prints leading to a snow cornice near the lake. Snow cornices shoot out from the rim of the lake but do not have any solid ground underneath them. The hiker may have walked onto the cornice and fell over 1,000 feet.
Snow cornices can look like normal hills and hikers may start to climb them thinking they will continue upwards. If seen from the side, hikers can tell what they are and know to avoid them but if the snowshoe hiker was approaching the cornice from the front, he may have confused it for another hill on the trail.
The rangers are not sure if the hiker did fall from the rim of the snow cornice, but believe it is very likely. His car was found parked near the start of the trail.
“Cornices are very deceptive,” said park spokeswoman Marsha McCabe said. “You might think you’re walking uphill but it’s actually a cornice and there is nothing underneath you but air.”
The rangers will continue to search for the hiker but are limited in when and where they can search until conditions start to improve in June.
There is always a chance that the hiker could walk out of the park, but rangers say that it is not likely and that since he has been missing for so long, it is not likely that he will be found alive. They do not suspect any foul play.
What do you think could have happened to the hiker?
Image via Wikimedia Commons