Documenting California's Disappearing Glaciers

Sep 21, 2015

Tim Palmer, on location for his 2012 book, California Glaciers.

 Climate change is being felt even at the highest peaks in the Sierra Nevada, where the remaining glaciers in California are melting away. So Tim Palmer set out to capture them on film, while it was still possible. He talks about that project on this archive edition of the North Bay Report.

   When nature photographer and writer Tim Palmer set out to document California's vanishing glaciers, he knew it would be a project combining rare physical beauty and demanding physical effort. Not only was he visiting a series of remote, high-altitude locations, but in some cases, he made the trek more than once.


Snowpack and glaciers once covered most of the Sierra Nevada, but only a few scattered pockets of ice remain today. Glaciers are both beautiful and remote, so exploring them has to be done with care. The biggest potential hazards, says Palmer, are the deep cracks or crevices that can open as the ice sheet slides down a mountainside.