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Just_Some_Hiker
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Just_Some_Hiker
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PostSun Apr 01, 2018 1:19 pm 
BigBrunyon wrote:
I'm thinking it's a bear den! Body heat from up to 3-4 large bears heating it up! Maybe even grizz since its north of 90!!!
I believe we've solved the mystery, folks.

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stampfli@gorge.net
Pika Research



Joined: 22 Jan 2023
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Location: White Salmon, WA
stampfli@gorge.net
Pika Research
PostSun Jan 22, 2023 9:26 am 
Daniel or Kbatku, I am researching these sort of features, and am greatly interested in the location at Selah you saw this warm air vent. Could I visit with you more about the location, maybe get GPS coordinates and more info from you? Thank you much. Steve Stampfli White Salmon 509-493-4123 stampfli@gorge.net

Seeking information on permafrost in PNW, and also unusually cold slopes, warm air vents, snow windows, etc. Unusual geologies and plant/animal occurrences.
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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostSun Jan 22, 2023 9:43 am 
Devils Hole eek.gif Lots of them in the west. Fell in one at Whistler on Wednesday both rear bindings released looked just like a gentle depression in the snow, not hurt. Thatís my story and I am sticking with it, that or Snow Snakes.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Sculpin
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Sculpin
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PostMon Jan 23, 2023 10:09 am 
NorthBen wrote:
Here's my guess: some talus slopes exhibit a 'chimney effect' where warm/cold air flows through the talus. In the winter, you'd see warm air rising out of the slope in one area (like your snow-free spot) and cold air being drawn in elsewhere. In the summer, this process reverses.
I just saw this post. A few years ago, I (re)found a tiny population of alpine ice age plants all growing side-by-side in the Chelan Mountains, including the quintessential ice age plant Dryas integrifolia (formerly octopetala) and other alpine rarities including Eritrichium and Rhodiola. The population had been previously documented by a botanist a long time ago but his location description put other searchers at the bottom of a cliff when they needed to be at the top. The plants were all growing in an area that was roughly 50' x 100' at the bottom of a talus slope, with mostly microwave to refrigerator-sized boulders. I was there on a warm day in July, too warm for Dryas. But when I prostrated myself to take images of these tiny beauties, I detected cool air against my cheek. I realized that the boulder field was on the northwest side of the nearby peak, and that a steady flow of cool nighttime air was descending out from under the boulder field as the air warmed. This would be the summer version of the chimney effect described by NorthBen above. The location:
This is the rare-in-Washington Dryas growing next to the extremely-rare-in-Washington Eritrichium, even the grass is a rare alpine species!

Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir

Pyrites  Anne Elk
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stampfli@gorge.net
Pika Research



Joined: 22 Jan 2023
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Location: White Salmon, WA
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Pika Research
PostMon Jan 23, 2023 2:49 pm 
Sculpin, I really appreciate your information on the existance of arctic, cold adapted plants being found at the base of cold/frozen talus slopes in WA. I'm doing my best to understand such cold spots, and their corresponding warm vents further upslope. Such areas host cool-loving and stenothermic animals like pikas and ice crawlers, and no doubt cold adapted plants since the ice age. If you are ever in the Gorge, I would like to show you some of the sporadic permafrost zones I have found, and get your help identifying the plants. The two spots are fairly close to Cascade Locks, and within short and easy walks. Or if you'd prefer, I could email some photos, but they are not the best resolution. I've also been trying to gain the interest of university botanist researchers in the PNW, but so far have not been successful. Steve Stampfli White Salmon 509-493-4123 stampfli@gorge.net https://gorgescienceshare.wordpress.com/

Seeking information on permafrost in PNW, and also unusually cold slopes, warm air vents, snow windows, etc. Unusual geologies and plant/animal occurrences.

drewcoll
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bccarlso
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PostTue Jan 24, 2023 9:08 am 
I noticed an extremely cold-compared-to-the-air-temp area along the Ingalls Creek trail just a few miles in from the trailhead this past summer. It was my first time on that trail and I took a few minutes to cool off under that cold air. I didn't go so far as to investigate the plants (nor would I have any idea of if they are out of place), but it was cool reading about this phenomenon.

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zimmertr
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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostTue Jan 24, 2023 10:48 am 
bccarlso wrote:
I noticed an extremely cold-compared-to-the-air-temp area along the Ingalls Creek trail just a few miles in from the trailhead this past summer. It was my first time on that trail and I took a few minutes to cool off under that cold air. I didn't go so far as to investigate the plants (nor would I have any idea of if they are out of place), but it was cool reading about this phenomenon.
I think this is different from what the original post is describing, where an area of talus is consistently melted out presumably regardless of time/weather. I usually notice areas of cold like you're describing near talus in the morning. Since the rocks radiate cold temperature from the night hours well after the sun rises. And similarly radiate warm temperature after sitting under a hot sun well after the sun sets. That being said, there is also a place along Coal Creek (47.5409, -122.1412) where the trail widens. And it is consistently colder than the surrounding area. Cold enough to hold snow while the rest of the trail may not have any. Or cold enough to cause my breath to condensate while running, where that wouldn't normally happen anywhere else. It's strange because it is technically near Coal Creek itself, but not really any closer than anywhere else on the trail. I have no idea why it happens.

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Bramble_Scramble
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PostTue Jan 24, 2023 5:17 pm 
zimmertr wrote:
That being said, there is also a place along Coal Creek (47.5409, -122.1412) where the trail widens. And it is consistently colder than the surrounding area. Cold enough to hold snow while the rest of the trail may not have any. Or cold enough to cause my breath to condensate while running, where that wouldn't normally happen anywhere else.
At first I was thinking maybe it was related to the coal mining like a vent or something but looking at the usgs map it shows that spot as a borrow pit. Maybe cold air accumulates there since it's a depression compared to the surrounding area? I haven't been to the park in years so I don't know this specific spot.

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bccarlso
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bccarlso
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PostWed Jan 25, 2023 12:06 pm 
zimmertr wrote:
I think this is different from what the original post is describing, where an area of talus is consistently melted out presumably regardless of time/weather.
Yeah, I was noting it based on the "Summer phase" of the graphic that was shared. I haven't experienced one of those melt-out spots described in the OP.

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