The landmark is best known for its description in hiking books, as a description to the Bailey Range Traverse. Until recently an explorer could trek off-trail from Elwha Basin to Dodwell-Rixon pass which an entrance into Queets Basin.
This mountaineering path is now melted, leaving a traveler to use other means to avoid walking through the dangerously narrow hallway. Hiking bellow an area that was once protected by a snowbridge, leaves a person exposed to higher amounts of rockfall, from a continuously changing landscape. Please keep that in mind in future treks into this area.
The only part of snow left in the whole area in the summer months is what is known as The Big Snow Hump. It is a permanent glacier like chunk of ice, that was formed from heavy and dense avalanches at the confluence of two separate shoots. The hump is now only a fraction, of its once massive size. It will be curious how long it takes for even it to melt, in the upcoming years.
I'm no scientist, but it's doubtful that the permanent snowfield and glacier will ever return. I now call this area The Elwha Snowless Snow Finger.
|The Elwha Snowless Snow Finger in 2015|