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March 4

    Nisqually Glacier Mole Monitoring - October 13, 2007



I took a flight over the Tatoosh first.

Then I met with Paul Kennard (NPS Geologist) and Rebecca Lofgren (NPS Biologist) and headed off up from Paradise.  There was a little snow already on the Moraine Trail.


Here we stand just above the Nisqually Glacier on the Moraine Trail.  It's a bright, clear, blue, sunny day.


Paul Kennard (professional fluvial geomorphologist) explains,, "Ja, duh lahar vas komming right over my hed, ja, ven I yumped out of duh vay."


Glacier moles heave mounds of dirt as they burrow into the debris on the glacier.  Part of the glacier monitoring project is examining the extent to which the moles have an effect on mass-balance.


Patagonia is a sponsor of the Mt. Rainier Glacier-Mole Monitoring Program.  Sponsor shot...


Caught in an early snowfall, we tracked these moles down from the higher summer pasturage through a serac and crevasse riddled section of the Nisqually Glacier.



Oddly enough, Glacier Moles rut in the fall.  The boars are called in with a specific type of call that sounds like a high pitched, "Yooooiik."  Paul is a expert boar mole caller having proven himself at the 2004 Boar Mole Calling Championship in Valdez, AK.  Rebecca notes the sex and health of the collared moles.



PVC stakes are placed to mark each mole-bo (mole nest) on the glacier.


Large excavations (mole-bo tailings) are often found on the sides of the glacier.  The Nisqually Glacier has one of the largest mole-bo tailings in all of Washington State.


Beautiful light after a long day of Glacier Mole Monitoring.


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