Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Recent Pack Trip – What I Learned (part 2)

Glaciers are shrinking in the Sierra Nevada.

Over decades of backpacking in the Sierra, I’ve watched the conditions change from year to year. But this year I saw something that I had not noticed in the past. I spent several days in sight of glaciers above Ediza Lake in the Ansel Adams wilderness area, so I had time to observe these glaciers and their surroundings.

The first thing I noticed was that the lower ends of the glaciers were completely free of seasonal snow – and this at a very early point in the summer season. Darker, hard glacial ice was exposed instead. In addition, the ends of several of the glaciers had visibly pulled back, leaving exposed rock between the end of the glacier itself and a small vestigial snow field lower on the mountain.

Whether due to global climate change or to California’s low 2007 snow pack (or a relationship between the two) I cannot say, but the change is definitely there and definitely visible.

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August 2, 2007 - Posted by | Commentary, Environment

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