Inside Canada’s most active volcano with Christian Stenner

Episode 58

Take a step inside Mount Meager to learn all about this volcano that last erupted 2400 years ago, plus testing space probes that could be used in the search for life on one of Saturn's moons

  • Published Apr 25, 2023
  • Updated May 04
Christian Stenner entering the glacial cave on the Mount Meager volcano. (Photo: Adam Walker)
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“On our way back out, we hit all the volcanic gases. It was like the volcano had burped. We had hydrogen sulphide, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. We were hoping to not find sulphur dioxide because that’s one of those gases that is more indicative of an active magma chamber.”

Kathleen Graham and Christian Stenner preparing to enter the ice cave on the Mount Meager volcano. (Photo: Adam Walker)
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RCGS Fellow Christian Stenner joins Explore to talk about his adventures inside Canada’s most active volcano. Last year, the Calgary native and one of the world’s leading cave explorers was part of the first RCGS Trebek Initiative grantees. That grant helped fund his expedition into the Mount Meager volcano, just north of Vancouver on the B.C. coast. There he and his team made some amazing discoveries about a very active volcanic range that last erupted 2,400 years ago. Stenner’s expedition into the glacial ice caves leading to the volcano’s vents was partly to see how close Mount Meager is to erupting again. He also teamed up with NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists to test out space probes that could be used in the search for life on one of Saturn’s moons, Encelados, which has a similar landscape to Meager’s fire and ice combination.

To learn more on this fascinating expedition, join Christian Stenner and his caving partner Kathleen Graham in their CanGeo Talks event at the RCGS headquarters at 50 Sussex Drive in Ottawa on May 4th at 7 p.m. To register, visit cangeo.ca./volcano

*** Please note: Christian misspoke when he said the first ascent of Mt Rainier was in the 1980’s. He meant to say 1870.

The steaming glacial cave on Mount Meager from above. The air is so toxic that birds die from flying through the vapors. (Photo: Adam Walker)
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