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When Good Hiking Trails Go
Bad When Good Hiking Trails Go Bad  by DamOTclese

What happens when a much used hiking trail suddenly goes bad to the point of being unsafe and unusable? How does the trail get fixed? Who pays for the trail restoration effort? How does the restoration project get scheduled and who restores the trail?

Hiking trails can go bad for a number of reasons including fire and insect infestation which can drop so many dead and dying trees on a trail that sections become entangled in interlocked limbs. Trees that don't fall entirely can form interlocked umbrellas of dead limbs and trunks such that over the course of several years they impose a safety hazard as limbs, trees, or previously suspended fractured trunk fragments work free and crash to the ground.

meteorology of Scotland Mountain meteorology of Scotland  by Proterra

Although the Scottish mountains are small by global, or even European standards, they pose a specific set of hazards, not commonly found in mountains of similar stature. An average of one-third to a half of all incidents requiring a mountain rescue call out in this country are attributed to weather, as well as poor planning and meteorological skills on the part of the people involved. In this article I'll try to explain the specifics of Scotland's mountain climatology and topography, and what effect this has on it's meteorology.

Finding Yellowstone's
Wildlife Finding Yellowstone's Wildlife  by Arthur Digbee

Yellowstone was the world’s first national park, established to preserve the region’s thermal wonders. It has more than half of the world’s geysers, mudpots, and fumaroles, in a concentration unmatched elsewhere. So, of course, the number one reason people give for why they visit Yellowstone is . . . the wildlife. That’s a remarkable fact for the world’s most significant geothermal region. The fact that even more visitors want to see the animals underscores the remarkable wildlife resources in this magnificent park.

Idaho's Rugged Community Idaho's Rugged Community  by mtybumpo

On August 12th 1805 Meriwether Lewis approached the continental divide having finally reached the source of the “mighty and heretofore deemed endless Missouri.” Fully expecting to see an easy route down the Columbia River on the other side of the divide he was naturally quite surprised to see more “immence [sic] ranges of high mountains still to the West... their tops partially covered with snow” (Lewis 227). What he saw were the vast mountains of present day Idaho. Crossing these “most terrible mountains” (Gass 143) would be, for the Corps of Discovery, a daunting and miserable task. Now more than 200 years later these same mountains are intentionally sought out and conquered by climbers who view them as recreational opportunities and not as obstacles to be feared and avoided. For mountain climbers the “most terrible mountains” are now most enjoyable.

bears : What the hell !? Pyrenee's bears : What the hell !?  by visentin

Some of you, and perhaps most of you if you leave in France, Spain or Slovenia, have heard at least once about the problematic of the bears in Pyrenees. Often, this topic is related by the medias, presenting both arguments and versions from the two camps, the supporters of the saving of this animal, and their opponents. Most of the time, relying on these medias, it is difficult to figure make its own opinion about the topic, because of a lack of concrete facts and information. If you poll people in the street, almost everyone will say "I love bears, they're lovely animals and I think they should be saved, but if I meet one I don't know what I would do, so I understand also the cattle breeders !" Following another approach, some other people, closer to the anti-globalism political views, tend to prefer the opponents version, which sounds less "dreamy ecologist" and closer to the local context and the reality. But often, also, without any really concrete reasons.

the Volcano's Edge or Acceptable Challenge? Our Family Experience on Cloudripper
and Hurd Peak Skirting the Volcano's Edge or Acceptable Challenge? Our Family Experience on Cloudripper and Hurd Peak  by Augie Medina

Enlarge Hurd Peak from Bishop Pass Trailhead This article/trip report describes an outing in the Bishop Creek drainage with my daughter, Alicia, and youngest son, Daniel. More than this, the article touches on a theme that should interest anyone who includes immediate family members on their outings. That theme is, how far do you push the envelope in an effort to provide a memorable but positive outing? Where is the line between providing them with a challenge and possibly endangering them? I don’t know whether I have answers to those questions, but I will provide a context with our recent experience.

The three of us have in recent years done a backpack in the Sierra Nevada every August. Generally, we like to climb a peak or two while we’re out there. This year, I decided on an outing out of Bishop Pass Trailhead at South Lake. I figured we could climb Chocolate Peak, Hurd Peak and Cloudripper.

Mutiny on
Gray Wolf Peak Mutiny on Gray Wolf Peak  by T Sharp

Mutinies have occurred since ancient times when hunter-gatherers followed the alpha male until they realized that continuing to follow would prove hazardous to their well-being, whereupon the troupe either killed the old leader or simply abandoned him to his fate. Thankfully, behaviors have become more civil, and the mutiny I experienced was more an abandonment.

The Rules of the Game - Le
Regole del Gioco The Rules of the Game - Le Regole del Gioco  by Gabriele Roth

Evey year, when the "good" season comes, we can read about the "killer-mountain", about tragedies on the mountains and (tanks to the power of media) we can see "live" the spectacular (commercial) reports of a rescue (if all is OK) or to the recovery of (more or less) unlucky climbers

And each time we must read and listen to the comments of the so-called (bigheaded) "specialists": people speaking and passing opinions with no knowledge about the sites and the situations of the accident and, basing on theories absorbed from books and magazines, make judgements about the more or less wrong behaviour of the unlucky climbers ...

Chasing the Light Chasing the Light  by Mark Doiron

Photography is all about light. That should be patently obvious to even the most casual observer. In fact, let me submit to you that it is patently obvious to the casual observer: Of the thirteen pages of photos I've posted on SP, almost every one of the photos below appear on the first page. Almost without exception, the remaining twelve pages of photos do not have particularly notable lighting.

Thunder &
Lightning - In Memory of An Old Friend Thunder & Lightning - In Memory of An Old Friend  by lcarreau

The U.S. National Weather Service calculates a ONE-in-THREE hundred chance that you or a family member will be struck by lighting sometime during your lifetime.

Lightning bolts are extremely hot, with temperatures of 30,000 to 50,000 degrees (F). That's HOTTER than the surface of the sun! When the bolt suddenly heats the air around it to such an extreme, the air instantly expands, sending out a vibration or shock wave we hear as an explosion of sound. If you are near the stroke of lightning you'll hear thunder as one sharp crack. When lightning is far away, thunder sounds more like a low rumble as the sound waves reflect off hillsides, buildings and trees. Depending on wind direction and temperature, you may hear thunder for up to twenty miles away.

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