Waddington Range Ice Core Project
Eric Steig, University of Washington
Doug Clark, Western Washington University
with the Western Canadian Cyrospheric Network

The Waddington Range ice core project is a collaboration between Eric Steig (University of Washington), Doug Clark (Western Washington University), and our colleages in British Columbia and Alberta, under the auspices of the Western Canadian Cryospheric Network. The goal is to obtain one or more records of annual snow accumulation from southwestern British Columbia (BC).

There are at least two promising sites in the Coast Range, at Mount Munday and at Combatant Col, near the summit of Mount Waddington, the highest peak in BC.

Radar surveys by Kenichi Matsuoka, Eric Steig and Howard Conway in August 2005 show that the ice is at least 140 m thick at each site, and may be frozen to the bed at Combatant Col. Doug Clark and Eric Steig completed additional surveys in May 2006 using a higher frequncy system, and confirmed these initial results.

Drilling is expected to take place in July 2006, using the Ice Core Drilling Services 10 cm (4") drill, with electromechanical and thermal coring heads.

The figure at left shows the planned Combatant Col drilling site, with radar survey lines (red). We thank climber/glaciologist Yann Merrand for originally suggesting this location.

The Waddington area is of historical as well as scientific interest. Don Munday's book "The Unknown Mountain" describes the difficulty he and spouse Phyllis Munday had in even convincing other 1920s-era Vancouver area climbers of its existence, and details the remarkable trips they took up the coastal fjords and bushwhacking through slide alder and Devil's club to prove it. Phyllis's climbing and exploring career was honored in 1998 by a special Canadian stamp issue.