Sierra Summit

Conversations and observations about California's mountains

April 23, 2010
A great glacier resource
lyell1.jpgScientists at Portland State University have assembled a wonderful website tracking the retreat of glaciers across the West, including the Sierra Nevada. This is a great tool for teachers, backpackers and anyone else interested in what's happening at the uppermost reaches of our mountains.

Countless stories have been written about glacial retreat. What makes the Portland State website fascinating is it shows you the retreat with contemporary and historical photos assembled on a timeline. A simple click takes you back in time - and shows you what our Sierra glaciers looked like a half century and more ago. It's fascinating - and I encourage you to check it out at: 

 Bottom line: Our glaciers, like Lyell in Yosemite National Park, show above, are retreating fast. 

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About Sierra Summit

The Author
Tom Knudson lives in the Sierra Nevada and travels widely throughout the range. His hobbies include fly-fishing, backpacking and cross-country skiing. He is the recipient of numerous journalistic awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes, one for a 1992 Sacramento Bee series "Sierra in Peril," a watershed work about environmental threats to the mountain range. E-mail Tom at

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