Following on from my last post Hanging about in the tree tops (about climbing very big trees in South Africa), I wanted to share this story about scaling another forest giant. This time a giant sequoia (redwood) in the Sequoia National Park. It is a truly magnificent tree. The story appeared in the December 2012 edition of National Geographic. You can read an extract online, as well as see some of the photos there.
On a gentle slope above a trail junction in Sequoia National Park, about 7,000 feet above sea level in the southern Sierra Nevada, looms a very big tree. Its trunk is rusty red, thickened with deep layers of furrowed bark, and 27 feet in diameter at the base. Its footprint would cover your dining room. Trying to glimpse its tippy top, or craning to see the shape of its crown, could give you a sore neck. That is, this tree is so big you can scarcely look at it all. It has a name, The President, bestowed about 90 years ago by admiring humans. It’s a giant sequoia, a member of Sequoiadendron giganteum, one of several surviving species of redwoods.
National Geographic has a wonderful short video (you may be able to watch it below) to give you a glimpse of what it took to climb and photograph this tree. What’s even more exciting (for me, anyway!) was that they climbed it while it was snowing. It looks so beautiful and peaceful.