This Lux Adventure was to Mt Rainier, the highest mountain in Washington and the Cascade Range. Mt Rainier has a topographic prominence of 13,211 ft which is greater than that of K2, the world’s second-tallest mountain, at 13,179 ft.
Mt Rainier is a large active stratovolcano located 54 miles south-southeast of Seattle. The most recent recorded volcanic eruption was between 1820 and 1854, but many eyewitnesses reported eruptive activity in 1858, 1870, 1879, 1882 and 1894 as well. Although Mt Rainier is an active volcano, as of 2010 there was no evidence of an imminent eruption. However, an eruption could be devastating for all areas surrounding the volcano.
With 26 major glaciers and 36 sq miles of permanent snowfields and glaciers, Mt Rainier is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states. The summit is topped by two volcanic craters, each more than 1,000 ft in diameter, with the larger east crater overlapping the west crater. Geothermal heat from the volcano keeps areas of both crater rims free of snow and ice, and has formed the world’s largest volcanic glacier cave network within the ice-filled craters, with nearly 2 miles of passages. A small crater lake about 130 by 30 ft in size and 16 ft deep, the highest in North America with a surface elevation of 14,203 ft, occupies the lowest portion of the west crater below more than 100 ft of ice and is accessible only via the caves.