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Hiker Headlines: Volunteers Rock, Winter Trails, Merging Planets, Boost for Everest

Posted by cwakenshaw at Dec 10, 2020 12:56 PM |

It’s December 10. Thank you to all the volunteers who supported WTA through an especially challenging year. Summer trails don’t always translate into safe winter trails. Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer than they have since 1226. And, Mount Everest just got a little taller. Here’s some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.

It’s December 10. Thank you to all the volunteers who supported WTA through an especially challenging year. Summer trails don’t always translate into safe winter trails. Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer than they have since 1226. And, Mount Everest just got a little taller. Here’s some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.

Masked trail work volunteers. Photo by JT Hart.
Volunteers, both on and off trail, adapted during a challenging year to get a ton of work done for Washington's trails. Photo by JT Hart. 

Thank you volunteers:
WTA volunteers worked hard all year long to improve trails throughout the state, support the website and do so much more. This year proved especially challenging, but we still accomplished so much together. Learn about some of the much-needed projects our backcountry crews worked on. In Spokane, volunteers finished the important trail needed to complete the Mica Peak Traverse. And, check out the two new loop trails at Lyle Cherry Orchard. Thanks, volunteers, for all you do to support trails!

Winter trails: A good summer trail does not always make a good winter trail. That’s because snow changes everything and can create avalanche danger. Take a tip from a recent trip report to Snow Lake (a notoriously avalanche-prone area that should be approached with caution in winter), and be “winter wise” by following guidance from #RecreateResponsibly.

Merging planets: Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer to each other than they have since the year 1226. The event is called the great conjunction and is already underway. These two planets are visible in the night sky, and they are drifting closer and closer to each other. They will reach peak proximity on December 21, which also happens to be the Winter Solstice. If you can’t get out on a night hike to see it, Washington State Parks happen to manage one of the nation’s largest public telescopes, the Goldendale Observatory, and they’ll be streaming observations every week.  

Mount Everest just got even taller: In global mountain news, China and Nepal announced that Mount Everest is more than 2 feet taller than previously thought.


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