David and Joe at camp. We stayed at about 9k feet. I haven't been over 10k since October so I hoped that two nights sleeping at 7k and 9k would help with going to 13k the next day.
Cool rock formations behind camp.
View from camp. That's the Sierra out there.
Camp area. It's the site of an old mine. Lots of tailings piles.
Looking down on camp.
Found this old furnace in the mining equipment scattered around the hills.
This is what happens when you buy things at sea level and bring them to the mountains. Poof.
Awaiting sunset - we can tell it's going to be a nice one.
More shadow play.
Joe and David silhouetted at sunset.
The cloud is known as a Sierra Wave, and they lead to deceptive and AWESOME sunsets. First you watch the sun dip behind the horizon like in this photo....and think that's it.
But after the sun is below the horizon the cloud starts to glow.
Starting to catch the light.
Then this happens.
And you just can't stop taking pictures since the sky is changing before your eyes.
Eventually it fades away, and after taking about 200 photos I put my camera away.
The next morning we woke with the sun and hopped in the Tundra for the short drive to the trailhead. It was about 1 mile on a steep switchbacked mining road. 4WD required. Along the way we saw this solitary wild horse.
Parked at the saddle, about 9700 ft. We'll be climbing to ~13.1k
And we're off...it's a bit chilly this morning but the sun feels good.
Looking back down on the saddle where we parked. There is a primitive campsite here but it's extremely exposed to the wind - one of the reasons we camped at the old mine about a mile below.
The horse had wandered over near the trail and accompanied us along the first few switchbacks.
The road kept going over the saddle but we didn't get to check it out.
At one switchback the horse was a bit closer. We started teasing her with gentle talk of apples.
She was very curious and tentatively walked over to us.
Sooz the horse whisperer!
The trail climbs about 1000 feet to a ridge. Once on the ridge the trail stays flat for about a mile, but the whole time you are looking at boundary peak across the way. These things always look harder from a distance...
On the other side of the ridge we can see the mining area where we camped last night. Lots of old roads and tailing piles scattered around the canyon.
No protection from the elements up here. We're lucky to have a beautiful day.