The hiker who went missing at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon is thought to have fallen over the edge of Crater Lake.
Authorities followed snowshoe tracks leading off of the trail and onto an overhang known as a snow cornice.
Snow cornices jut out around the rim of Crater Lake, but there is no solid ground underneath the formations. They are created by snow blowing across the sharp rims of the lake.
It is believed that the man may have fallen through a cornice, dropping an estimated 1000 ft.
Crater Lake National Park spokeswoman Marsha McCabe said that the snow cornices are obvious when they are observed from the side. To hikers walking toward the cornices however, McCabe says it simply appears to be an uphill walk.
Missing snowshoer at Crater Lake likely fell through snow cornice; search is scaled back: http://t.co/GzzU5VZOl0 pic.twitter.com/fqt8wr8Emm
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) May 7, 2014
McCabe said that if the man fell through the cornice, it’s highly unlikely he survived.
Snow cornices are reportedly a regular occurrence at Crater Lake this time of year. They can collapse without warning.
Authorities are still seeking the man in various locations, so there is nothing definite as to his fate at the moment. This is one theory, but it’s still possible the man may be found alive.
Snow surrounds Crater Lake, an ancient caldera in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. Photograph by Bates Littlehales pic.twitter.com/o5MR9yNAS0
— Sonja Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♥●• (@Sojanna) August 15, 2013
Rangers will continue their search for the missing man by air and ground. Authorities say they will begin to search the shores of the lake by boat as soon as conditions permit them.
On April 28th a hiker, whose name still has not been released by authorities, rented snowshoes from Park officials and then set off to explore the area and take pictures. On April 30th, the man was reported missing.
His car was located at Rim Village, signalling that he has not come back.
Panoramic winter view of Crater Lake in National Park, Oregon, from Rim Village in Western United states @Gotham3 pic.twitter.com/fPDE7uQlgP
— Kavi Adhbhut (@Kaviadhbhut) May 5, 2014
Park officials want to remind visitors to take special precautions when at Crater Lake National Park. They are asked to stay away from the edge of the lake’s rim at all times.
Image via Wikimedia Commons