By David Wartinbee, for the Redoubt Reporter
On a clear day from just about anywhere on the Kenai Peninsula, we can see two of the dominant peaks across the inlet, Mount Redoubt and Mount Iliamna. I don’t mean to ignore the more northerly Mount Spurr, especially since it is about 1,000 feet taller than either of the other two. However, Mount Spurr just doesn’t stand out so starkly against much lower background mountains the way Iliamna and Redoubt do.
If you have lived here or visited the peninsula in the past, I’ll bet you have a couple photos of these two picturesque mountains. I have a collection of Mount Redoubt and Mount Iliamna pictures that number in the hundreds and date all the way back to 1977.
When I look back at these pictures, no matter what time of the year they were taken and no matter how close I was when I tripped the shutter, they all show a 10,000-foot white mountain. But not today. If you take out your binoculars on a clear day this summer you will find that Iliamna is still snow-covered and white but Redoubt is dark with only a hint of white in selected spots. Redoubt has belched ash all over its normally pure-white bib.