Rangers at Crater Lake National Park are searching for a snowshoe hiker who has been missing since April 28. Authorities said the hiker rented snowshoes from the Oregon park's general store and set forth to hike and snap photos, before vanishing. Park rangers found the missing hiker’s vehicle near Rim Village.
Rescuers questioned other hikers who had traversed the area, and were directed to a set of tracks which led to a collapsed snow cornice near the rim of the crater.
Crater Lake spokesperson Marsha McCabe explained that “snow cornices pose a serious hazard. Cornices are formed when snow is blown over sharp terrain like the rim of Crater Lake. The snow forms an overhang with no solid ground beneath it for support." Snow cornices are common around the park this time of year, and park patrons are urged to take extreme caution, as they are prone to collapse.
Crater Lake National Park was established in 1902, and is situated in southern Oregon. The park comprises the caldera of Crater Lake, a remnant of the volcano Mount Mazama, and the surrounding hills and forests. Crater Lake itself is 1,943 feet deep, making it the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest in North America and the ninth deepest in the world.
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Crater Lake is fully accessible during the summer months, though heavy snowfalls during the fall, winter and spring months force many road and trail closures.
Mccabe added that “extensive search efforts in that area by ground and air have not located the individual. The search has been scaled back, but is ongoing as weather and snow conditions permit." Authorities plan to incorporate a boat in the search, once the lake shore can be accessed.
The name and gender of the missing hiker has not yet been released.
Image via Wikimedia Commons