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Field Guide Crew Gets Rare Glimpse Inside Mount St. Helens' Glaciers

Inside a Mount St. Helens glacier cave.

Inside a Mount St. Helens glacier cave.

Ed Jahn/OPB

For 25 years now, Oregon Field Guide has been bringing stories of the most beautiful places in the Pacific Northwest to OPB TV.

But to get those stories, sometimes the crew has to visit some inhospitable places: Mount St. Helens, for example, where the crew got caught in some potentially life-threatening weather this past weekend.

Once he was safe and sound, Ed Jahn, an Oregon Field Guide producer, joined OPB Morning Edition host Geoff Norcross in the studio.

Jahn explained that there was beautiful weather when they landed this past weekend, but then “all heck broke loose” with howling winds, sleet and snow. “Not the type of weather you want to be trapped in a crater with,” Jahn said.

Every weather report was “upside down wrong,” he added.

The weather made the shoot, and the team’s departure, difficult.

“I don’t know if it is typical or not, but it was pretty harrowing,” Jahn said. He said the crew was prepared with the appropriate mentality, rescue teams and high-tech gear.

The Oregon Field Guide crew recently got caught in potentially life-threatening weather, after heading to the active volcano to explore its glacier caves.

Jahn and his crew had to hike out of the crater without their gear because helicopters were unable to retrieve them.

The Field Guide crew was there to explore caves in a restricted zone where the public is not allowed. It is an active volcano and there are glacial crevasses. “It is a great story,” he said, but weather can “turn things fast.”

The story will air in the fall.

Click “play,” above, to listen in on their complete conversation.

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