Hike to the Melting Glacier
One of the great luxuries of my life is the trip to Switzerland we've taken in each of the last several Februarys, to ski in the Engadine. The overnight flight is brutal and by the time we get off, gather our luggage, buy train tickets, hop the commuter train to Zurich Hauptbahnhof, the regular train to Landquart and then finally the Rhaetia Bahn into the Engadine, I'm ready to sleep in my seat.
It's a good opportunity to do so because you get a few minutes to settle in and then the tracks duck into a long tunnel and travel through the dark for 15 minutes. On the other end, you're deep in the mountains, near Klosters. It's a scene of great beauty, Alpine meadows rising into mountains that get lost in the clouds, snow falling, skiers gliding past. We keep going to the end of the line, however, another 45 minutes on the train, and last year when we got there we skied in 50-degree weather for the whole week, the brown patches on the mountainsides growing noticeably larger as the days passed.
The glaciers are melting in Switzerland, of course. In Klosters they're trying to make the best of it, by promoting a mountain hike to view the effects of global warming:
Here, climate change serves as an occasion for a climate hike. The four-kilometer-long circular tour from the Silvretta hut high above Klosters to the glacier features 15 theme-posts proposing interesting tidbits on the glacier, the melting of the ice, alpinism, the local flora and fauna, and the influence of humans on the Alpine ecosystem.
The Global Warming Trail features 15 theme-posts describing the effects of climate change and giving suggestions as to how individuals may learn to respect the climate in their daily lives. Changes, which may already be observed, are also documented. In this manner, the consequences of climate change are both made visible and tangible. The circular route evolves on a simple trail set in a lovely landscape. The beauty of the trail is in itself a highlight. For further information www.silvrettahuette.ch
Labels: global warming