30 Mar '18, 5pm

Fire and Ice: The Pacific Crest Trail in the Era of Climate Change

I'm climbing the western flank of Mt. Washington, a jutting outpost of volcanic rock in the Oregon Cascades, when I hear the all-too-familiar thrum of helicopter blades. Nearly four months into my thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, I've come to associate the sound with bad news. In Southern California, rotors had garbled the loudspeaker-blared instructions of the rescue team hovering over our camp, dispatched to pick up a hiker suffering from altitude sickness. More than 1,000 trail miles later, just shy of the Oregon border, I'd spent days watching choppers go back and forth overhead, refilling on water to fight the blazes that were filling the valleys below with hazy smoke. This time, the helicopter buzzes close, past the skeletal burned-out trees I'm hiking through, and hovers over a slope east of the trail. I hear it just behind the trees as I finish my climb, but i...

Full article: https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/fire-and-ice-pacific-cr...

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