Greetings from 13.6k feet

This past weekend my friend Julia and I made a quick trip up into the High Sierra, and this time I do mean High! On Saturday we hiked to Meysan Lake from the trailhead on the Whitney Portal Rd, and set up camp above the lake around 11,500 feet. That 4.8 mile hike was way more exhausting than last weeks trek up to Minaret lake, likely due to the 4,000 foot elevation gain. Anyways, we got into camp, had dinner and admired the mountain we planned to climb the following morning. And by morning, I mean midnight. We went to bed at 7pm, and 5 hours later started the climb up to 13,770 foot Mt. Irvine, to catch the glorious high altitude view of the rugged and treeless Sierras at sunrise. There’s supposedly an easy way up to the top (no trails or cairns here!), but finding it in the middle of the night aided only by headlamps and a setting moon proved to be pretty challenging. At about 4:45am we found ourselves staring at a class 4/5 (meaning a rope would be nice) pile of rocks, which stopped our progress. Just about 100 feet above us was the summit, but the view from here was more than spectacular enough to make up for missing the top, after all, I just wanted a nice view! As the sun rose, we were in the middle of the gorgeous red alpine light I normally admire from thousands of feet lower.

“Alpine Light” ~ Mt. Whitney, from Mt. Irvine, CA
The Tech: Canon 5D2, 16-35mm mkII
Exposure: iso 100, f/20, 0.8 sec
Notes: you can see a self portrait of me up there too, right here.

Meanwhile poor Julia was experiencing a terrible altitude induced headache; so soon after the sun had come up we made our way down the mountain. Last time she came on a trip with me she got blasted with sand in Death Valley, both were great adventures though! After a brief nap, we continued on down to the car and into the 100+ degree heat of Owen’s Valley, a relief in terms of oxygen availability, but a rather unfortunate change in temperatures. This was my first real Sierra peak attempt, and given the rather incredible beauty, I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last.

In completely unrelated, but equally if not more exciting news, my 2010 calendars are scheduled to arrive before the end of the month, and you can now start placing your orders online through my website here: calendars!. Follow the link to see what it looks like, the print job turned out incredibly well, many thanks to my publisher Jerry Greer!

2010 Art in Nature Calendar’s are now for sale! Check out the design, and make your orders here!

And more exciting news.. in the coming months I’ll be busy working with some great web designers to set up a new professional website scheduled to launch somewhere around October. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the faster speeds, aesthetic design, and improved functionality. Around that same time I’ve got some other very exciting news to share, but don’t worry, there’s plenty of adventures schedule between now and then to keep you entertained.

2 Responses to Greetings from 13.6k feet

  1. Ryan says:

    Hi I stumbled upon your website through the focus on Singhray blog. I have been captivated by your images all morning and I just wanted to leave you a quick note to say so. You have lovely work and I hope these words are encouragement to keep doing what you do so well. Thank you for sharing your vision.

  2. […] the Volcanic Ridge, at sunrise. Given my experience of climbing a peak in the middle of the night last time (ie. we didn’t follow the right route), I decided it would be prudent to scout the route […]

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