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Rosamond

Locations of gas vents on Adams, Rainier, Hood?

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I used to guide on Shasta, and the sulfur gas vents just below the summit would occasionally be spewing enough Hydrogen Sulfide that one of my students would barf when walking by them. Hydogen sulfide is a well documented toxic gas that shuts down your cells' ability to transport oxygen through the mitochondria, and can produce pulmonary and cerebral edema, which can easily be confused with HAPE or HACE, when in fact it's due to breathing this toxic gas. I'm interested in taking field measurements of as many H2S vents on higher parts of the major cascade volcanoes as I have time to get to next summer. Because most of the cascade climbing I've done has been on Shasta, I'm looking for info on where exactly on which mountains you guys have smelled that rotten egg hydrogen sulfide smell. Except for in the tent when your partner ate too much taco bell. I know about that location already, and we all know it's a highly toxic gaseous substance. Thanks in advance.

Edited by Rosamond

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At Mt. Baker on the Easton route, we got a heavy dose of sulfur near the edge of Sherman Crater right before you start up the Roman Wall. Hood would certainly be easier to access.

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I don't think that anyone pointed you to exactly where on Mt. Hood - the two easily accessible places are both around the 10,000 ft level. One is just to the east of Crater Rock, and is called Devil's Kitchen, and the other is just west of the Hogsback and just north of Crater Rock, and is called the Hot Rocks.

 

Mt. St. Helens has fumeroles in the crater, but mere mortals aren't allowed in there. . . (I don't know where you'd have to get permission to go into the crater).

 

Mt. Baker has that nice one that someone else mentioned.

 

My understanding was that people mined sulfur on Mt. Adams, but I don't ever remember seeing a fumerole, there.

 

leora

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leora's info on Hood is accurate.

 

Dorr Fumaroles are at base of the Cockscomb on Baker - seldom visited.. The most direct route to the Sherman Crater on Baker is via the Squak glacier (fewer other climbers en route, as well).

 

there are lots of fumaroles around the rim of both craters on Rainier, but active sulphurous venting locations seem to change from year-to-year. I've noted them with regularity on the northeast-to-east segment of the "new" crater rim, downslope from Columbia Crest, and on the west rim of the "old" crater. I've not explored down to the Grotto yet. That would be fascinating.

 

also felt rocks too hot to touch with a bare hand along the spine of Disappointment Cleaver, with brief scent of sulphur when the wind wasn't howling it away.

 

smelled sulphur on summit of Adams when the wind was blowing from the east toward the cabin, but did not investigate the source. also have photos of fresh-cooked sulfur in the saddle at the head of the Adams Glacier (you'd need to go in August of a low-snow year to see those deposits).

 

 

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I recall a fumarole near the top of Steele Cliffs, just left of and below the WyEast Chimney exit, on the east-facing aspect. I haven't climbed the route since the early 1990s, but I recall that it was strong enough to give off a hissing sound.

 

I've also smelled sulfur near the head of the Scimitar Glacier on Glacier Peak--but never saw any steam or fumarole.

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There is a steam vent on the disappointment cleaver route above the cleaver proper.

 

I have spent a lot of time in the mountains as well as a lot of time in the oil industry, and there is a definite difference between the smell of hydrogen sulphide and the volcano steam vents. I am guessing the mountain vents are primarily a sulpher dioxide smell. (More sulphery, and less rotten egg).

 

The primary problem you are going to encounter with finding H2S is that it is actually heavier than air, and once it is forced out of the vent, it is going to begin to settle beneath the snow.

 

I would expect the best luck you would have would be a hollow or depression, where the H2S could collect.

 

I am assuming of course, that you know all the hazards of working with H2S, (walking through H2S saturated snow releases the toxin) and you have a personal alarm in addition to your scientific equipment.

 

Best of luck with your stinky research!

 

 

 

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