Author Archives: Edgardo

Beneath the Pacific Slope’s Glaciers

In the late 1860’s, four committed, intelligent and passionate men led a series of brave groups into uncharted wilderness of the American West. John Wesley Powell took his hodgepodge crew and dropped them into the Grand Canyon. Clarence King surveyed the 40th Parallel beyond the Rocky Mountains. Ferdinand Hayden explored the geological wonders of Yellowstone, while Wheeler explored the desert southwest. Skilled and equipped to methodically search for mineral wealth, these Western surveys captured a unique record of the early American West. By the turn of the decade, the remaining realms of terra incognita in the Western US were the high summits of the Cascades and Sierras.

On 11 September 1870, Clarence King made the very first recorded observations of Mount Shasta’s glaciers. From about 12,269’ on the NE edge of the Shastina crater, King describes the Whitney Glacier as “a fine glacier, which started almost at the very crest of the main mountain, flowing toward us, and curving around the circular base of our cone. Its entire length in view was not less than three miles, its width opposite our station about four thousand feet, the surface here and there terribly broken in “cascades,” and presenting all the characteristics of similar glaciers elsewhere.” That week, four of Shasta’s glaciers were described and most in less detail.

kingp073- 1870Mount Shasta and Whitney Glacier in California, seen from the crater (Shastina). Photo by C.E. Watkins. Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel (King Survey). ID: kingp073, USGS Photographic Library. Photo by C.E. Watkins.

 

In the following month, Samuel Franklin Emmons, King’s handpicked assistant geologist, continued on to Mt. Rainier. Meanwhile, Arnold Hauge accompanied by Allen David Wilson examined Mt. Hood. These topographical details were collected and combined with a few brief descriptions. This work became the basis for putting Pacific Slope’s terra incognita and it’s glaciers on a map.

True, these mountains had been previously explored, summited, and even loosely described. Yet few of these accounts can be separated from the web of fantastic claims and flowery descriptions too vague to be useful. Apart from the King’s party’s survey points and descriptions rarely exceeding a few lines, what remains for us today are a few photographs. To this day, these government sanctioned photographs remain among the most detailed and objective records we have of the Pacific slope’s early glaciers and landscapes.

kingp079-Shasta_ShastinaCrater 1870Mount Shasta and Whitney Glacier crevasses, seen from the crater (Shastina). Whitney Glacier in California was the first glacier described in the United States. Clarence King in the foreground. Photo by C.E. Watkins. Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel (King Survey). ID: kingp079, USGS Photographic Library.

 

Several geologists observed that the Pacific Slope’s glaciers were relics of one or more greater periods of glaciation. At some point, ice enveloped the mountain flanks and reached beyond their current extents, deep into the warm territory several thousand feet below. The evidence was abound in moraines hundreds if not thousands of feet high, rouche mountonees far from the current ice, and deep carved valleys spattered with glacial polish among the infilling sandy meadows and colonizing forests.

When this evidence is compared to the larger ice masses in the Alps, King had to ask the question in the Atlantic’s March 1871 issue, “How and why these glaciers should have perished while the climate is yet cold enough for their existence has become one of the most interesting questions of the finishing-up period of Western geology.” Since observations across the West confirmed that the temperatures were sufficient for glacial accumulations, King deduced that only one other factor could explain why these glaciers had receded, “dryness.” There was simply not enough snow during the consecutive winters to survive the summer periods to foster accumulation.

Both King’s insights and Powell’s examination of the Colorado River revealed that the American West had been dry for some time. These men stood in the face of claims that “rain follows the plow.” Their efforts would be too late to clarify the misrepresentations for the millions of people following tales of gold and opportunity to populate the West. Despite their tardiness, the great western surveys at last began to provide objective, level headed reports to Congress about the opportunity and the limits found in the Rockies, Sierras, and the desert South West.

Dana_upper_pairLeft Photo: Texture and fractures helps to delineate ice from snow. Mount Dana Glacier. Northern side of Mt. Dana. Yosemite National Park, California. 1883. ID: ric00045, USGS Photographic Library. Right Photo: Both thickness of area of the Dana glacier have diminished. The glacier has separated into distinct lobes. The Dana glacier feeds into Mono Lake, one of Los Angeles’ primary water sources in the Owens Valley.

 

Four generations of development later, the Pacific slope’s glaciers continue to be the proverbial canary for the West’s impending water problems. We don’t have to look to the Arctic or Antarctic to observe climate change, because the effects are becoming clear in local watersheds. Snow is less likely than a decade ago and precipitation is even more variable. Glaciers continue to recede and even disappear, indicating increased stress on the Pacific Slope’s watersheds. The Lyell glacier in San Francisco’s watershed has stopped moving. Mt. Clark glacier, which heavily inspired John Muir’s theory of Yosemite Valley’s formation, has since disappeared. Many glaciers that once overlooked the Owen’s Valley, Los Angeles’ prime water source, have practically disappeared.

Alpine of the Americas Project (AAP) is continuing to tell the story beneath the Pacific Slope’s glaciers. By providing the tools to conduct simple, repeatable, and useful observations in alpine environments, individuals repeat historic photographs to show how watersheds are changing. From the thousands of useful historic photographs available throughout the Americas, AAP will help individuals capture how glaciers recede, lakes shift, plants colonize, and beetles infest. Each of these photographs becomes an effective communication tool, an example of the broad body of evidence, yet using no words, to illuminate how climate change affects us all in dramatic and subtle ways.

ric00050_pair_smTop Photo: Repeat photograph of Mt. Lyell glacier. This photograph reveals a significant retreat of ice as well as thinning in the accumulation zone over 130 years. This watershed drains into Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a primary water source for San Francisco. Bottom photo: Yosemite National Park, California. Lyell Glacier. 1883. Plate 39, U.S. Geological Survey Annual Report 5 (1883-1884). 1885. ID: ric00050, USGS Photographic Library.
 

The Bay Delta Water Plan and the Threatened Water Supply to Sacramento

Now that effects of climate change are visible in the landscapes and ecosystems across the world, it is about time that policy is responding to changes predicted by computer models. According to these predictions, in California, a dramatically shrunken Sierra Nevada snowpack will produce less runoff, with changes to seasonal timings that will mean more rain and less snow in the winter leading to decreased snowmelt in spring and summer, resulting in drastic depletion of the Sacramento water supply.

By the year 2060 – maybe even earlier – water levels in the Folsom Reservoir could be so low for one year in ten that it will cease to be a reliable water source for the city. It will likely become what is known as a ‘dead pool,’ meaning that although there may still be some water behind the dam, it will no longer flow from the outlets. Similar predictions have been made for the Shasta and Oroville reservoirs, and access to water from the American River is also predicted to be under threat.

Water wars

Discussions about improving the water supply to the area by creating new diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have continued for decades. In the 1982 referendum on the issue, a proposal to move the main diversion point from its current position near Tracy in the south Delta was rejected, resulting in further decades of argument between the vested interests of the cities, farmers and conservationists – the so called ‘water wars,’ which can also be characterized as an argument between the dry south and the wetter north.

The importance of the Delta to California’s economy cannot be overstated. A large proportion of the nation’s supply of fresh vegetables, fruit and nuts are produced in the San Joaquin and Santa Clara valleys, which rely on Delta water, and the many river channels that crisscross the hundreds of square miles of the Delta’s islands are important migratory routes for Chinook salmon, on which an important sector of the West Coast fishing industry is dependent. The delicate and complex balance of fresh and salt water in the estuary supports several other native fish species, but recent years have seen severely reduced populations. Measures introduced to protect the Delta smelt and salmon have reduced water supplies to cities and farms, and the current infrastructure for water delivery has been recognized as vulnerable to disruption.

Legislation

Change was inevitable. After seven years of studies, federal, state and local leaders, together with some of the major Southern California and San Joaquin Delta water suppliers, introduced the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), whose aim was to address all these issues and to balance the needs of fish, farms and cities (this is available for public review until April 14, 2014). The plan is commonly known as ‘the tunnel project’ because of its proposed diversion of a portion of the water flow in the Sacramento River to pass underneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in two 35-mile tunnels.

This has caused concern amongst conservationists and politicians alike, notably by Friends of the River and the Sacramento City Council. Preliminary analysis on the plan’s environmental impact has shown that the likelihood of the dead pool effect occurring would not be reduced by the building of the tunnels, and that in some months and in certain conditions it may even worsen the effect. The Council also criticized the plan for its short term view, that it would do nothing for the predicted long term problems of the region’s water supply, and that it concentrated on stabilizing water flow to southern areas of the state while giving no assurances about solving the threat of water shortages in Sacramento.

Arguments over the plan highlight the difficulties in deciding California’s future water supply based on reasonable assumptions today. Even the most rigorously designed computer models show varied water supplies.  Slight changes in the assumptions can result in significantly varied scenarios and diametrically opposed positions being defended by politicians and vested interests. For example, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) deputy director for water management, Paul Helliker, has shed doubt on the dead pool problem, stating: ‘The driver of these future conditions is the climate change assumptions. What we’re showing is that there is no impact from BDCP operations on either Folsom or Shasta.’

Action and criticism

In October 2013 a proposed Final Draft Delta Science Plan was published, which outlined the stages for future development of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water supply system. Its aim is to protect declining native species while maintaining the water supply and building up the economy of California, and to act as a catalyst to promote the sharing of scientific knowledge and expertise that will lead to workable solutions. It acknowledges that conflicting ideas hinder the decision-making process and slows the development of important infrastructure projects. The risks of damage to the fragile Delta water system by droughts, floods, earthquakes or climate change is severe, and there is a pressing need for decisive action to be taken. To this end, the 2009 Delta Reform Act created the Delta Stewardship Council, which now has the task of implementing the BDCP.

However, in June 2013, Friends of the River and a coalition of environmental groups from Southern and Northern California with Delta farming and fishing communities filed a lawsuit in the San Francisco Superior Court asserting that BDCP violates the California Environmental Act, the 2009 Delta Reform Act and the California Administrative Procedure Act. The coalition claims that BDCP and its environmental impact report have failed to disclose or analyze the potential damage to the Delta, the rivers of Northern California and the endangered native fish species by the diversion of huge quantities of fresh water from the Sacramento River, and has requested that the court suspend implementation of the plan, including construction of the tunnels, until all legal requirements have been met. Senior counsel for the coalition, Bob Wright, has described the plan as the worst threat to these rivers in their history, and that the state authorities have embarked on this plan to move large volumes of water with no regard for the consequences. He said: ‘Seeking relief from the courts is now necessary to protect our rivers and fish from this arbitrary, destructive action.’

Plowing Ahead

With season of drought well underway, following a record breaking dry year, pinned against a thirst for California’s economy to grow, the BDCP must leverage its scientific expertise and broad coalition to determine how to take the long-view to benefit the most stakeholders, while doing the least harm. Given the wide-ranging interests of municipalities, industry, infrastructure development, agriculture, and winter recreation, steering consensus will take strong  and sustained leadership. Can underground transport and storage be implemented legally and managed responsibly? If so, these infrastructure investments would positively impact economic growth and long-term water security. Regardless, while the future of Sacramento’s water is reconfigured in the courts, the root causes of climate change and water scarcity plow ahead.

Alpine of the Americas Project  – Ascending into 2014

Ascending into 2014

Connecting Mountains, Water, and People

Dear AAP Friends & family,

    We are reaching out to you because we’ve worked with, talked about, or expressed interest in crowd-sourced alpine observations.  2013 has been a momentous year for Alpine of the Americas Project.  This year we have:

~ Become an official non-profit organization

~Drawn national news attention to the effects of climate change on vital local resources

~Built national and international partnerships to repeat over 100 photographs for scientific research

~Developed a catalog of over 400 historic photos in 5 countries for individuals to repeat and take home their personal alpine observations

Click here to make a donation to support local and personal participation in climate research

You are part of a trusted community we depend on to succeed.  We believe in the value of sharing these observations to continue communicating how mountains provide vital resources for people.

Tell your friends!  We are in the early steps of seeking support for this work and every connection and donation makes a difference. Please send this email along to other people who you think might be interested in participating or supporting this project!

Please support us by making a donation today! Whether it is $25, $100, or $1000 your tax-deductible donation to Alpine of the Americas makes a real difference for finding historic photos and locations, leveraging the capacity of our citizen-scientist volunteers, and communicating dramatic environmental changes to the public though repeating historic photos!

Thank you for your generosity and support!

Jonathan Byers and Edgardo LeBlond
       Alpine of the Americas Project Founders

Repeat a Photo!

Repeat a Photograph on your next adventure. Your contribution is valuable research and public outreach. Want a guide? A Custom Trip is your opportunity for a Sierra getaway with professional naturalists and educators.
Read our feature article from the Austral Summer 2013 issue of the Patagon Journal.
Your support makes this project possible and every drop makes a difference.

AAP in the Media

Repeat photographs are a powerful tool in showing the effects of climate change on alpine environments and the water resources we depend on. See our feature on theCBS Evening News.

Annual Report 2013

Founding

While teaching in Yosemite Valley, Jonathan Byers and Ned LeBlond recognized a need to communicate climate science more effectively with the public. In May 2013, Alpine of the Americas Project (AAP) was set into motion to crowd source repeat historic photographs to visually capture alpine responses to climate change. By taking the administrative burden, Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE) allows AAP to focus on working with participants, contribute data to climate science databases, and use repeat photographs to express large swathes of data in a simple image revealing changes to local watersheds.

AAP_slideshow-3

 

Reach

AAP has captured over 100 repeat photographs from Glacier National Park in Montana to Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. This boreal fall, 8 successful participants contributed 33 photos in 3 countries. These observations included glacier recession, meadow succession, shifting shorelines of lakes and water supplies, mudslides, and development. This data will be contributed to Glaciers of the American West, CalPhoto of UC Berkeley, and used in publications to clarify water problems in the American West.

We’ve made repeat photographs more accessible to participants by providing over 200 repeat photographs online as well as several repeat photo sets in Washington, California, and Patagonia. This resulted from building our database, which now has over 400 useful photographs in 4 countries and 8 states. This database is continually growing and being made available at our Repeat a Photograph webpage.

Partnerships

Our partnerships are becoming the cornerstone of excellent data. With donated time from LightHawk pilots, Jonathan was able to capture the first set of aerial repeat photographs taken of the MacClure and Dana glaciers along the Eastern border of Yosemite National Park. Moreover, we are developing annual relationships with passionate individuals, families, guiding outfits such as Outward Bound, and various colleges throughout the Pacific Slope who plan to become stewards of specific repeat photograph locations. With consistency from these partners, we expect to improve our accuracy over time. RePhoto’s smartphone app has become an integral part of making some historic photographs more accessible and easy to repeat.

LyellMaclure_pair_sm

 

Media

2013 was a big year for AAP in the news. The story of AAP’s initial stages was captured by Boulder Weekly to close last year. Jonathan was published in the Patagon Journal’s Austral Summer Edition as he followed in the footsteps of a famous South American photographer Alberto de Agostini. The project gained national media attention on CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley televised the AAP founders repeating photographs in Estes Park, CO. This fall, NPR interviewed Ned to discuss how of historic photographs can be useful for climate scientists and even contributed a photograph of the Mt. Abbot Glacier from Mono Pass. Recently, the Columbia Icefield Gigapan Project Annual Newsletter featured a history of the Pacific Slope’s oldest glacier photos.

Click here for a PDF file of the AAP Annual Report 2013

Sky Pilot Knows

click here to hear “Sky Pilot Knows Part 1”
It’s happening. Right now the waters are flowing.
There is ice there, in the heat of your summer.
California. Water. Budget.
Do you know? we have forgotten.
We have been there, in the highs and lows,
Through the cañon and o’er the pass.

 

Mineral King and the Kern of Sequoia
From endemic yucca and up from Sequoiadendron giganteum,
The road that promised mineral riches will,
Leave us alone to pass over the Sawtooth,
To wander with ourselves,
Down the granite arroyos of the Kern.

 

Flowing paths and running water.
The Golden Trout is burning,
There’s smoke on our trails,
And we’ve only just begun.

 

Gooseberry flowers
Arrowleaf and Columbine, Arnica and Sage.
In how many ways we do not know?
Nor the bewildered insects
Bound in a maze of color and fragrance.
Our reptilian brain knows,
Walk forward.

 

When history is plainly in front of you,
A picture is worth its weight in gold.
Where waters of hot and cold combine,
A balance can be found.

 

Walk over old ground with new eyes,
And new wor(l)ds.
Turn your circle.
We are under the spires of the Universities,
And we are only beginning to learn.

 

Harrison Pass
Up and over the icy pass, so much snow.
It melts. Water pure, so pure its sweet.
Your lips would know it, even if you don’t.
Watch your step, it’s a treacherous slip,
Down to who’s waiting hands?
Taken by all, as long as it arrives.
As long as it arrives.

 

The echo from the canyon bottom, roars the eventual demise,
Of the Mountain. Death by free flowing, crystal clear water.
IT is changing. IT always has.
We are changing, but never like this.

 

Who was Torrey’s Blue Eyed Mary?
Fox tail and Pussy Paws.
The morning is so still. Yet it is happening.
Where the Sky Pilot dwells.
Polemonium eximium.
Only the sweetest mountain colors for this beauty.
We are all finally falling in Love.

 

The Devine alluded to where the Sky Pilot lands.
Her bloom celebrates every morning, the alpen start,
And mourns every eve, alpen glow.
Who knows where she is climbing?
Eventually even the mountains end.
Yet in her bosom, every breath begins anew.
In her wisdom, cyclical resilience.
So she celebrates the snow.

 

Meanwhile, the King dug the deepest chasms,
To hide his Pennyroyal,
Rosewort, Mountain Heather,
Laurel and Blue Gilia.
All in flower as the snow melts.
There are unrelenting shadows there,
Outside in, snow melts to the eventual patches,
Secrets the darkest places,
Under Brewer’s tutelage,
Across Charlottes Dome.
It’s the same eon after eon,
Till Mother precesses a significant turn,
And the stars in the sky tell us there’s change in the balance.

 

…waters raging.
In the bottom, her trickles become a roar.
Together. Slow in times of crisis.
A crossing must be made,
Sure and steady foot.
Up to the chest the water exerts itself,
Effortlessly. Renewed.

 

The Road’s End
Lazy Blue Kings River.
The very same water; Destruction and Creation.
People of California are here where the Road Ends.
Where the waters are calm, inviting their children to remember.
Mexico Africa California.
Sundays at Church.  We rest.

 

The High Route
The meditation of no trail.
With a distant point on the brow,
Methodical, slow is smooth,
Breath and Step.
Rhythm in motion.
Body and Universe unite and invite the mind to the present.
Pass beyond pass, until even our bodies are new.

 

One elder says, “Stay together
learn the flowers
go light.”
May I have permission to speak?
The flowers are keepers of our story,
They will tell our history when we’re gone.
To all my relations.

 

Marion’s blues were as cold as ice,
Holding back at the source.
We did not rush by but listened to her story.
There are treasures for those who dwell in the lows
As well as the highs.

 

This is not John’s Trail.
It is beaten and sore.
Neither light nor serene.
Crowded.
This is California too.
Prepackaged mountains sold.
Even your footsteps are safe.
Even the plants have run away.

 

Big Pine
We were off again onto Sauntering,
Soulful and toward the South Fork Pass,
Into the Palisades, where the glaciers dwell.
The Northeast shadows hold ice.
So we went there to dwell and listen.
The pests are worst there, lingering to their waters.
Stolen from the people, for the people.
Falling down to the Angeles.
Prosperity for the majority,
 Deserts for others.
What will quench our thirst?
Nothing. Until there’s not enough.
Then we can share, deserts.
Man has chosen and the Sky Pilot knows.

 

The Sierra will lull you into complacency
And let you know your worth.
Her snows were three times the average,
Her rains a month late.
We found the people of Owens.
They were working, hardy and happy,
AWake and poor.

 

They know where the Sky Pilot Dwells.
Her own sights set higher than ever before,
She is worried,
And there is smoke on our trails,
As we fly over the concrete,
Expecting mechanized superpower.
The Sky Pilot knows.

 

Palisade Glacier
It is there.
Flowing ice and trickle.
Glacier blue water.
It is not yours, “unless.”
Unless, you are among the Angeles.
Among the Angels Asleep.

 

California’s Glaciers
A legacy of thousands of years,
So it is forgotten, but it is there.
Not still but moving, calving,
Diminishing.
We will loose them.
There is smoke on our trails.

 

The poets on their high mounts will make their scene,
The people will go on.
The sheep have fed in the hills, below the Kings.
And this place will change.
How easy is it to change?
So easy, yet insurmountable.

 

So, what is it to have faith?
It must be a fool’s paradise, to seek truth in flowers.
We only climb then to feel like Kings at the top of Sill,
High for a moment,
Then surrendering to the Nature’s storm,
Fleeing back to the crevices we came from.

 

But the Sky Pilot will tell you in your wreckage,
“Keep the faith,”
But truth is like beauty.
It is in the eye and we have two.
We must carve the beauty and truth from the world,
With the gentle force of our hands,
Like water wears down Kings.
We, in small loads, among our people,
Find union with our relatives,
For all our relations. We are falling Love.

 

She has no hands,
But I will not cry,
We dig with ours.

 

Dusy Basin
Mother Earth will crush us and make us feel our center,
With only her gentle rains.
This is our place, headed toward the Center of the Universe.
Rock and water is all we are,
We will return.
Father Sun will ring us out and dry us,
Return us to our own divinity,
Effortlessly. Renewed.
Then burn us, make us crave for her.

 

Meanwhile the Kings will squabble over their debts,
Their unfinished roads. The war for truth.
A kingdom destined to crumble,
Fighting for a God that is here,
Between us, in your eyes. it falls,
Into gardens and paths.

 

Evolution Basin
History is a cyclical revolution,
Always anew in the moment.
We read the flowers,
And listen to the glaciers.
We record their stories in photographs.
We tell those stories to enemies and friends.
We listen to their stories.

 

We are telling the story of ourselves,
Written in the mountains,
Para los Pueblos.

 

This is about
People and mountains.
People and water.
People and life.
Every person.
Every sentient being.

 

It is happening, now.
The waters are flowing, echoing,
Carving new names of lands we will never know.

 

We can know.
From the history that created us,
We are now.
So what we are now?
So what will we become?

 

We are literally the Kings.
We are the Kern.
We are the San Joaquin.
We are the rivers of Mercy.
So it is.

 

The wax currant and mountain gooseberry.
The almonds and rice.
The Dwarf Bilberry and Alpine Gold.
The Olive Tree and Brasicaseae.
We are the battle between the Blackberry,
And the Elderberry.

 

Forgive yourself and walk forward,
On a new path, new eyes from a deeper breath.
See what is before you, behind you,
Within you.
We are change.

 

So what is in a photograph?
A moment of light.
Unrepeatable.
Memory, passed down.
That is for the humans.

 

Piute Pass and Second Recess
We walk. Real people walk.
We trade.  We remember the generations.
The land remembers us.
Before we could walk with hands in our pockets,
We were walking. Burden Baskets.
Acorns. Obsidian.
Life’s work.
Simple, clean cut.
Walk on, in rhythm.
Methodical, slow…

 

The Silver Divide and Beyond.
Certainly there is an end to this.
Is there meaning?

 

Across the Silver Divide,
We found ourselves alone.
Beat up and worn out from our own trials,
On the precipice of returning,
Only a horizon away from the end.

 

The days will break us,
The nights will make you quiver.
Among the chasms filled with dust and (t)oil,
Where nearby riches lay the waste,
The valley fills with coal smoke,
And our tendency is to revoke,
We remember her wisdom,
“To keep the faith.”

 

So we let go of truth,
Held the faith.
Ceaseless evolution.
We are Creation and Destruction.
We are the waters of the mountain.
We are ice in the shadows.
We are the flowers in bloom.
So we walked on. There is no end.
So it is.

On the Precipice

Close your eyes.  Imagine what it might feel like to be standing on a high ridge of windswept granite surrounded by a vast sea of rugged peaks and deep shadowed valleys.  Alpine lakes glimmer in every direction and patches of white snow fill in the shadowed areas between the light grey granite.  How do you even begin getting to a place like this?  What does it take?

For us it has taken months of planning, countless hours pouring over maps, talking with scientists, researching, testing gear, organizing food, and countless other details.  Yet today, we head out on trail.  The mountains are snowy, the conditions are challenging for alpine travel, but we feel confident and have our gear and food organized.  Twenty six days from now we will have completed this first expedition and will be returning with photos, data, and experience.

Our itinerary:

July 19 – 24 : Mineral King to Roads End in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

July 24 – 31 : Mineral King to Palisades

August 1 – 8 : Palisades to Evolution Basin

August 8 – 12 : Evolution Basin to Reds Meadow

August 13-15 : Reds Meadow to Tuolumne Meadows

We are excited for the mountains and journey ahead and will be sharing our experiences when we return.

Be well.

Learning, the first step

The last few weeks has been an incredible adventure in …website design.  The web is entrenched with seriously difficult terrain.  I have never felt so lost, yet certain that I had arrived, precisely where I began. There’s still many horizons over the edge, which I have crossed, several times.  Yet persistence leads to epiphanies and I’m happy to say we are finally ready to launch the website officially!

We have made and are making more contacts with scientists in the Sierras and Patagonia.  This has broken ground with determining specific indicator species in the Sierra and methods.  We hope to calculate population abundance and plotting these along our transect profile.  We have to do some research before settling with a particular abundance count method.  The final observations will be conveyed through GoogleMaps, by meshing abundance data with our time stamped GPS.  You’ll find this, photos, and other data in our Trip Reports Page.

Soon we will aquire most of our essential equipment.  Jon is steadily improving his camera skills and aquiring a new appreciation for HD movie making.  We still need to buy detailed maps on certain sections, and general maps for South America.  We have not yet indentified useful South American indicator species. One big  unknown will be finding historic photos to repeat in South America.  Does anyone have any ideas??

Well, summer has FINALLY hit Yosemite.  So Jon and I can be found here, or on the vertical stone.  Thanks!