Showing posts with label Forbidden Peak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Forbidden Peak. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Canary of the Cascades

Part way down the staircase from the Montenvers train,
looking down at the Mer de Glace.
Photo: Chris Wright
For those who want to see glacial recession first hand, go and visit the Mer de Glace in Chamonix, France. In 1909, the Montenvers train was built to take sightseers and adventurers up to the Mer de Glace, which when it opened, was at the level of the train. To reach the glacier from the train now, one needs to take a tram down approximately 200m, and then a staircase another 400 steps down, and counting. I have been visiting Chamonix for the last 15 years, and I have seen a dramatic drop in the ice. We often climb over the staircase after skiing from the Aiguille du Midi, making it easy to observe the changes year to year, as the place we enter keeps lowering.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

50 Miles of Wilderness for 50 Years of Wilderness

There are things that humans can't improve.

Wilderness has always been a contested term. The word offers an expanse of subjectivity in which to insert interpretation and to project meaning. In 1964, wilderness was given an official political definition with the passage of the Wilderness Act. Congressional acts aren't often noted for their eloquence, so The Wilderness Act of 1964 is all the more exceptional in its lyrical designation of wilderness as:

"A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain."

With that act, Congress settled itself upon a term for what wilderness was and set about designating certain areas of federal lands—national parks, forests, and otherwise—as “Wilderness Areas.”

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Serendipity is a sweet thing and it works in mysterious ways...My last Rainier trip with RMI wrapped up on July 10th and I was stoked to have a ten day period in the North Cascades trip on the horizon. For the last month or so I'd been lining up climbing partners—nobody had the whole stretch free, so I'd lined up several two-day projects, excited about them all. I set sail on July 11th, but I'd lost all of my camp spoons, so I swung by Whittaker Mountaineering on the way out of the Ashford/Rainier Basecamp. Up at the counter I ran into Pepper, an Amherst student working for the summer with Whittaker. He was looking for my opinion on ropes. Of course, any opinion on ropes necessitates knowing what the intended use was. Turns out Pepper was planning a trip that weekend with his cousin Seth up to Boston Basin—by chance exactly where I was headed—or so I thought. I gave Pepper some thoughts on ropes and headed on my way.

On the steep stuff--Shuksan's Hanging Glacier Route, Day 9 of 9.