Chiwawa Peak, the Entiat Range and Mt

Chiwawa Peak, the Entiat Range and Mt. Bonanza are located on the east
side of the Cascades, hence the average glacier altitude is quite high.
Fifteen miles northeast of Glacier Peak on the northeast side of
Chiwawa Peak is Lyman Glacier. This glacier is at the head of Railroad
Creek at an altitude of 6200 to 5600 feet. Because the town of Holden
was developed in the late 1890's for its mineral resources, numerous
observation of this glacier have been made. From the first observation
in 1901 to 1941 retreat was 1748 feet, a rate of 44 feet per year.
From 1941 to 1989 retreat has been an additional 685 feet a rate of 14
feet per year. This rapid retreat is due partly to the glaciers low
altitude, but is largely due to calving into a lake at the glacier
front. Today Lyman Glacier ends in a an ice cliff that stands 20-40
feet above the the lake surface. The lake usually has severl icebergs
in it and the ice cliff has several fingers of ice waiting to calve.
The ice fingers that are only connected to the glacier below the water
line, are poised to calve off.
In the 1930's, a large rockfall fell from Chiwawa Peak onto the
upper portion of Lyman Glacier. In 1987 this rockfall reached the
glacier front. The distance of 1400 feet was covered in approximately
50 years indicating a velocity of 28 feet per year. The rockfall was
thick enough to reduce ablation, as a result the rockfall covered
portion of the glacier now stands 50 feet higher than the rest of the
glacier. In a few years this rockfall will have completely calved into
the lake. Lyman Glacier has a gentle slope throughout and only a few
narrow crevasses. The blue ice zone is moderate enough in slope so
that crampons are not essential. The glacier has a gentle ramp on
either side of the glacial lake that is easily ascended. The glacier
flour that is deposited at the edge of the glacier is water saturated
and much like quicksand for the slow afoot. There is rockfall onto the
upper edge of the glacier. Lyman Glacier can be easily approached from
Spider Glacier and this route is discussed below. The shortest route
to Lyman Glacier is from the end of the Holden Creek Road. The Lyman
Lake trail reaches the lake in 5 miles. From here it is a 1.5 miles
alpine meadow stroll past numerous small lakes to Lyman Glacier.