Can human judgment handle avalanches?

We’re better than ever at understanding the dangers of avalanches. So why can’t we avoid them? Kate Siber/High Country News All morning, I’d heard the roar of sloughs rocketing down cliffs as I skied up a mountain in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Now, standing at the summit with my six friends and our two guides, … Continue reading Can human judgment handle avalanches?

Wildland Firefighters are Risking their Mental Health

As climate change lengthens fire seasons, will the government do enough to protect them? ImageCredit: Michael Hansen Mark Betancourt/High Country News An hour or so before dawn in late July 2015, just south of the California-Oregon border, Danny Brown turned off the highway into the Modoc National Forest and headed toward a menacing glow of … Continue reading Wildland Firefighters are Risking their Mental Health

The Mystery of Mountain Lions

Despite decades of research, myth and fear still surround the animals. Image credit: Sarah Gilman/High Country News Sarah Gilman/High Country News Last winter, I went walking on a gray afternoon between storms. Meltwater pattered the snow around the ponderosas. Fog wound through overhanging boughs. My dog, Taiga, strained at her leash. We turned up a ravine, climbing … Continue reading The Mystery of Mountain Lions

Extreme Wildfires are Changing Western Forests

New studies show how high-intensity fires alter flower pollen, soil health and tree growth. Susan Prichard records data while doing research in an area affected by the Carlton Complex fire near Twisp, Washington. Her team’s research found that tree thinning and prescribed burns can help mature trees survive even extremely big and hot fires. David … Continue reading Extreme Wildfires are Changing Western Forests

Photo of the Week

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, above Fannette Island, as viewed from Inspiration Point.

Avalanche Awareness – Part 2

Avalanche Awareness - Part 2: Colorado has seen a significant amount of avalanches since the start of the 2019/2020 season. This has been brought about by early snowfall followed by two large systems that passed through Colorado around the Thanksgiving holiday. The storms produced large enough amounts of snow to settle on very weak layers … Continue reading Avalanche Awareness – Part 2