June 29, 2011 – SEATTLE, WA – Some of the biggest rock avalanches in years have been roaring off Mount Rainier over the past several days, kicking up billowing clouds of dust and propelling rivers of muddy debris nearly two miles down the volcano’s flanks. No one has been injured, but one group of climbers fled as dust descended on their tent after a rock-fall Saturday afternoon. “From my standpoint of looking at the mountain for 20 years, we’ve probably had rock-falls like this once every five or 10 years,” said Stefan Lofgren, lead climbing ranger for Mount Rainier National Park. Since June 24, at least three major rock-falls and several smaller ones have sloughed off the rocky ridge called Nisqually Cleaver, at an elevation of about 12,800 feet. The one that let loose Saturday afternoon was the biggest. University of Washington graduate student Max Stevens and his father were about to head out across the Nisqually Glacier to retrieve a GPS instrument used to measure the glacier’s movement. “I heard it first and looked up and saw a house-sized block of rock falling off Nisqually Cleaver,” he said. The pair were on skis, and they skedaddled. “We got out of there,” Stevens said. “This cloud of dust just filled the basin.” When it became clear the avalanche wasn’t headed in his direction, Stevens watched the debris flow down the glacier. “There were truck-sized blocks of ice flowing like ice cubes in a stream of water,” he said. “I was scared for a moment … but it quickly turned to pure amazement.” Climbing ranger Chris Kalman was at Camp Muir, a popular day-hike destination and climbers’ bivouac at 10,080 feet on the mountain’s south side, above Paradise. The day was sunny and warm when a sound like an explosion split the air. “It was huge,” Kalman said. “People were pretty much in awe. Things like this may happen only a few times in someone’s life,” he said. Another avalanche hit Monday. The events were big enough to register on earthquake sensors, and seismologists at the University of Washington called the park to see what was going on. –Seattle Times
Above the famed Bible code prediction of the 2011 eruption of Mt. Rainer? While I don’t put stock in these coded predictions, it is interesting that this one has been circulating for the last 2 years.