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Hiker Snaps Terrifying Selfie From 'Edge of the World'

Adventure
Hiker Snaps Terrifying Selfie From 'Edge of the World'

The Awa'awapuhi Trail on the island of Kauai, Hawaii is breathtaking, offering gorgeous views of Kauai's famed Na Pali coast.

But one intrepid hiker and photographer, Scott Sharick, kicked it up a notch by going beyond where the trailhead ends and walking out onto a horrifyingly narrow ridge with a GoPro in hand to capture the moment.

Kauai's beautiful Na Pali coast.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

"Standing on the edge of one of the ridges on the Na Pali coast is very invigorating," Sharick told the Huffington Post. "It makes one feel so small to be in such a vast place where it looks like you are on the edge of the world."

This is strictly prohibited by the park. A warning on its website reads: "DANGER: Do not venture beyond the safety railing at the end of the trail! Footing is extremely unstable, and the drop to the valley floor below is over 2,000 feet."

Dangerous selfie-taking is becoming a real problem. To give you some perspective, despite all the hype this summer over shark attacks, more people actually died this year while trying to take a selfie with the animals than from shark attacks. Governments from Australia to Russia have launched awareness campaigns and closed prominent landmarks because people wouldn't stop taking dangerous photos. And so many people were getting too close to bears in a Denver area park just to take a selfie with the creatures that the park was forced to close for a period of time.

Sharick acknowledged the danger: "Anyone hiking should be aware of the challenges of any given hike. And they should not go beyond their means just to see a beautiful view or to get a picture."

Watch him walk out on a narrow ridge with a 2,000-foot drop on either side:

For some more absolutely amazing views from the hike, check out David Chatsuthiphan's blog post on Unreal Hawaii.

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A plume of smoke from wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest is seen from downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.

High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.

Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.

California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.

As reported by AccuWeather:

In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

For a deeper dive:

AP, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, New York Times, Slideshow: New York Times; Climate Signals Background: Wildfires, 2020 Western wildfire season

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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