The Sierra Nevada of California, 2008

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July 3rd 2008
Published: October 14th 2008
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I took 5 trips to the Sierra Nevada Mountains this past summer, partly in preperation to climb Mt. Shasta, but mostly to experience their beauty and majesty. Here's about 10 pictures from each trip, with blurbs about each picture in the caption. Let's go to the mountains!

See some full screen versions here:


An old pine tree preaches wisdom,
and a wild bird is crying out truth.

Additional photos below
Photos: 51, Displayed: 22


Kings Gate, Kings CanyonKings Gate, Kings Canyon
Kings Gate, Kings Canyon

A jagged peak of granite stands guard over the roaring Kings River some 2000 feet below.
snowdrift on Sonora Pass, sunsetsnowdrift on Sonora Pass, sunset
snowdrift on Sonora Pass, sunset

Early in June, large snowdrifts still hold tight. Here, lots of sunshine and low humidity nearly form [url=]Penitentes[/url]: The sentinels of ice so abundant in the high Andes.
Sawtooth Range, BridgeportSawtooth Range, Bridgeport
Sawtooth Range, Bridgeport

Considered the official start of the 'High Sierra', the jagged granite and snowfields of the Sawtooth Range contrast sharply with the green pastures and happy cows.
Misty Morning, San Joaquin River Misty Morning, San Joaquin River
Misty Morning, San Joaquin River

A Grey Pine enjoys the cool mist from the deep canyon below.
Sonora Pass LakeSonora Pass Lake
Sonora Pass Lake

Sawyer and Brian stand amongst the sculpted ridge of ancient lava, while the glistening lake beckons all who swim.
Sonora PassSonora Pass
Sonora Pass

As the sun sets a whitebark pine stands alone in the volcanic high country carved sheer by ancient glaciers.
Kings Gate, Kings CanyonKings Gate, Kings Canyon
Kings Gate, Kings Canyon

Complicated geology and steep cliffs characterize the Kings Gate region of Kings Canyon.
Cedar Grove, Kings CanyonCedar Grove, Kings Canyon
Cedar Grove, Kings Canyon

A neighbor's campsite, painting trees with light and 30 seconds of shutter time created this scene.
Misty Granite, San Joaquin RiverMisty Granite, San Joaquin River
Misty Granite, San Joaquin River

A lush Pacific conifer forest clings to a granite dome as it exfoliates its layers.
Sawyer, Sonora PassSawyer, Sonora Pass
Sawyer, Sonora Pass

Morning Coffee for dogs: First Light
Mono Lake vista from Mt. DanaMono Lake vista from Mt. Dana
Mono Lake vista from Mt. Dana

Mono lake is older than old: 760,000 years old to be exact. Its fluctuating water levels indicate periods of glaciation and rainfall, its waters attract hundreds of species of birds and its flies attract feeing seagulls from the Pacific Ocean. Despite the diversion of many its water sources to Californians and subsequent water drop- recent legislation is ensuring its sources of replenishment and the lake's water has risen halfway to pre-California levels.
Bubbs Creek, Kings CanyonBubbs Creek, Kings Canyon
Bubbs Creek, Kings Canyon

With 5 miles to hike back, no headlamp and the sun setting, its best to start the return hike soon. Yet the river begs us to stay...
Lichens, Blue CanyonLichens, Blue Canyon
Lichens, Blue Canyon

Lichens are an anomaly. Not only are they 2 organisms living in symbiosis(an algae for food and a fungus for nutrients)- they thrive on exposed rock subjected to intense winds.
Leavitt Meadow, Sonora PassLeavitt Meadow, Sonora Pass
Leavitt Meadow, Sonora Pass

Popular for horse rides and pack trips, the meandering braid of the Walker River supports a gorgeous meadow.
Mono Lake windstormMono Lake windstorm
Mono Lake windstorm

The winds were 30-50 mph, the sailboat was literally going in circles unable to move forward.
Oak Tree, Sierra Nevada foothillsOak Tree, Sierra Nevada foothills
Oak Tree, Sierra Nevada foothills

In late spring a few thunderstorms usually roll across the foothills. The clouds betray the dead grass- rain hasn't fallen for over a month.
Volcanic Spires, Sonora PassVolcanic Spires, Sonora Pass
Volcanic Spires, Sonora Pass

The ancient stratovolcano lava is very resistant to water and ice erosion. Consequently, strange forms seem to develop, forms not usually seen in the granite that defines most of the range.

15th October 2008

Hi Steve...they are AWESOME! That top panorama is insane....SOOO amazing. Love the lichens and the green canyon w/ the waterfall, and the butterfly and the gorgeous! Thanks for sharing :) One day we will go to the mountains with you :)
16th October 2008

Great Shots as usual
As usual, great pics Stephen!! I've come to expect wonder and awe whenever you post. BTW, Kel and I are moving in your direction. In December we're moving to Colorado. I hope to get a chance to capture pics like yours!! Keep up the good work!
23rd October 2008

As always, such great photos.
26th November 2008

Nobody looks at this blog
So Thanks for the Compliments!

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