The Best of 2013, Day 2: Glacier Caves on Mt. Hood

Happy Holidays from IJNR! During the month of December, we'll be bringing you a sampler from the "Best of 2013" - a recap of some of the best stories and series of the year from our alumni. Some of them have already been featured here on the Nooze, but many of them haven't! We hope you enjoy reading, hearing and exploring these top-notch stories as much as we have.

ed jahnTo continue in the wintery vein, we bring you another chilly feature: alumni Ed Jahn's exceptional multi-media reporting project on the glacier caves of Mount Hood, in Oregon. Jahn says that this piece that he did for Oregon Public Broadcasting "nearly killed him," but it was also a highlight of his career.  The stunning work that Ed and his colleague Amelia Templeton from EarthFix produced is not to be missed. This is long-form journalism at its finest!


Thin Ice: Exploring Mount Hood's Glacier Caves

On the slopes of Mount Hood, six explorers set off in a line up the Sandy Glacier. Eddy Cartaya pulls ahead of the group, a stony expression on his face.

He’s wearing a white helmet with his name and “Cave Rescue” printed on it. Cartaya is worried because the sun is starting to rise and hit the ice.

His climbing partner Brent McGregor follows at a more reasonable pace. The bearded 60-year-old takes in the morning and smiles.

“One of the best sounds in alpine mountaineering is the sound of crampons and ice axes on good firm snow,” he says.

The Sandy Glacier flows down a steep bowl about two-thirds of the way up Mount Hood’s northwest side. You can see it from Portland, Oregon, a wedge of snow and ice between two broken ridgelines that rise toward Hood’s 11,250-foot peak.

The team isn’t interested in the summit. McGregor and Cartaya are leading their expedition to a gaping hole in the glacier. It’s a moulin: an icy pit that drops like an elevator shaft from the surface of the Sandy Glacier down to the bedrock below... Read and see more. 

Click here to watch the 30-minute documentary.