Caving in to climate change yet? Explorer captures what are thought to be last known pictures of collapsed ice cave
Forget about the early spring heatwave, this photographer has captured the last known images of a collapsed ice cave.
Serving as a reminder of the drastic effects of global warming, keen snapper Josh Hydeman, 33, managed to capture these awe-inspiring shots just months before the glacial cavern collapsed.
But he had to put his neck on the line to get them as the dangerous conditions of the Sandy Glacier on Mount Hood in Oregon, USA meant he had to watch his every move.
Formed by natural water carving away at the ice, the structure of glacial caves is weakened by warm temperatures and surface water melting away the ice through a vertical shaft called a moulin.
This, along with heat trapped during winter, causes the ice and rock to fall, compromising the caves structural integrity and making it dangerous for anyone to enter.
Josh explored the caves, which were thought to have a combined length of 7,166ft, with fellow daredevils Jason George, 28, Brian Thackeray, 33, and Matthew King, 40, when they were deemed to be on the verge of folding.
Luckily, despite the caves being unsafe to roam, Josh, from Portland, managed to capture a series of incredible photos, before their demise.
Josh said: “Glaciers are frozen rivers; they are always moving and changing.
“But the glacier caves are melting away and collapsing before our very eyes.
“Despite the sadness these caves illustrate – that our world’s ice is starting to disappear due to climate change – they are a true pleasure to photograph because they are always so different.
“I photograph these caves for two different reasons, to document the progress of their destruction and for jaw-dropping beauty of this place.”
In 2010, American explorer Brent McGregor discovered three huge caves, named Snow Dragon Cave, Pure Imagination, and Frozen Minotaur, buried beneath the Sandy Glacier on the northwest side of Mount Hood.
According to KGW Portland, the explorer discovered the collapsed cave, named Snow Dragon, at the end of January 2015.