National Geographic : 1917 Jan
Photograph by D. B. Church CROSSING ONE OE THE CHANNELS OF THE KATMAI RIVER While the lower reaches of this river are full of quicksand, farther up it is a rushing mountain torrent, so swift that it was hard to cross even supported on a rope (see text, page 41). methods one uses in estimating such things. But, using the shape of the vol cano as a whole and such differences in altitude of the parts of the crater rim as we could see from the valley for our guide, we concluded that our former es timate must be too small, and that it must be at least 2,000 feet in depth. THE SECOND VIEW OF THE CRATER Both the weather conditions and our position were much more favorable for observation of the crater this time than on our first ascent. The sun shone brightly, and it became evident why we had had so much trouble with the steam on the first ascent, for we found that the point which we had reached the first time stood directly above a prominent fissure extending in an easterly direction from the edge of the lake to the crater wall. Its direction was significant in connection with what we were to discover the next day. The boiling lake this time was all cov ered with little (so they appeared from our position) wisps of steam curling up everywhere from its surface. The vapor thus given off condensed into a hazy cloud, which hung in the mouth of the crater, so that the part of the rim op posite us was veiled. This haze made it impossible to secure as clear photo graphs of the crater as we would have wished. At the northeast angle we could see another low notch in the rim of about the same altitude as the one where we stood. But this one was occupied by a wall of ice which rose perpendicular, flush with the crater walls, as though it had been sheared off by the explosion. It was in deed curious that a moving glacier, how ever it might have been affected by the eruption, should remain in such a posi tion. It is probably to be accounted for by the falling away of the crater rim, which continually exposes a new section of the ice cliff. As we had made the summit by 3 o'clock, this time we were not so late in getting back, reaching camp again at 8.30.