Hikers and climbers take note: Both recreation and mountain science are taking a hit from climate disruption.
For most hikers and others who just like to spend time outdoors, perhaps in the mountains, the changes make things harder, less healthy, and less fun. A recent article by Wudan Yan in BuzzFeed is especially revealing about the range of changes in the Pacific Northwest – and, by extension, elsewhere: “Is Hiking with Face Masks the New Normal?”
For serious climbers and scientists in the highest mountains, the new dangers are more intense as glaciers melt, crevasses move and proliferate, and the ice that long had glued rock in place lets go. For the American West, see Heather Hansman’s piece in High Country News “Should We Be Thinking about Last Ascents, Instead of First Ones?” For news from Europe, see Simon Birch’s “Climate Change Is Melting the French Alps, Say Mountaineers” in The Guardian.
And for a vivid and interesting set of pieces about the Himalayas, start with “The Indiana Jones of Climate Science.” It’s written by Nick Heil in Outside Online and features climber-scientist John All. Don’t miss the blog of the climbing/science team featured in that story. And then spend some time with the video and photo essay by Kunda Dixit, first published in the Nepali Times and reprinted in Inside Climate News: “In Mt. Everest Region, World’s Highest Glaciers are Melting.”
This series is curated and written by retired Colorado State University English professor and close climate change watcher SueEllen Campbell of Colorado. To flag works you think warrant attention, send an e-mail to her any time. Let us hear from you.