Adventure

Seattle Area Ice Cave Collapses

1 killed, 5 injured

Seattle's Big Four Ice Caves are a popular hiking destination. (Photo: CheWei Chang/Flickr)
Seattle's Big Four Ice Caves are a popular hiking destination.

Warm temperatures caused a partial collapse of the Seattle area’s popular Big Four Ice Caves on Monday, leaving one hiker dead, according to the Seattle Times.

The ice caves are located in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, 70 miles northeast of Seattle, and formed by avalanches off the nearby Big Four Mountain. Unusually warm weather increased the risk of cave collapses in recent months. “As we head into the busiest and warmest part of the season, the cave is in its most dangerous state,” Lead Field Ranger Matthew Riggen said in a Snohomish County press release in May. “The cave is in a condition that we would normally not see until at least September—large, inviting, and collapsing.”

The body of the deceased, who has not been identified, has not been recovered because of dangerous search-and-rescue conditions, the Seattle Times reports. The five injured—three adults and two children—were hospitalized, and one remains in intensive care.

The area will remain closed indefinitely.

Watch: This collapse at the Big Four Ice Caves happened the day before the collapse that killed one hiker and injured five others.

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News
Lead Photo: CheWei Chang/Flickr
More Adventure