If you were to stand at the bottom of Mount Rainier and look up to the summit, you would see tons and tons of ice and snow. Mount Rainier gets an average of 54 feet of snow every winter! It all can’t possibly melt away during the summer.Each year a new layer of snow falls on what is left from the year before. The weight of all these layers of snow pushes down on each other, squeezing out all the air and leaving behind ice. These huge sheets of ice are called glaciers.
Mount Rainier has 27 major glaciers. There’s so much ice that these glaciers cover 10% of the national park.
Because these glaciers are so big and weigh so much, gravity pulls them downhill. As the glaciers are pulled downhill they take parts of the mountain with them and leave behind landforms like valleys.