Thursday, March 19, 2015

Views Of Mt. Whitney And Mammoth Lakes Area

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge
 Mt Whitney is In Right Third Of View- 70mm


To get to the eastern side of the Sierras from Fresno CA in the winter, we go south to Bakersfield, east over Tehachapi Pass and back north on Highways 14 and 395. I always stop in Lone Pine and photograph Mt. Whitney across from the wilderness permit station and visitors center. It is always meaningful for me since I summited Whitney on three separate day hikes with the last summit last fall after turning age 70.

 Lake Mary

 Mammoth Mountain From Lake Mary Road
 Crystal Crag From Lake George 
 Horseshoe Lake

Twin Lakes From Lake Mary Road Looking Below And North

My wife and I arrived in Mammoth in about 6 hours and spent three days in the Mammoth Lakes area. Normally, I would be cross-country skiing the Tamarack trails but the snow season ended Sunday and the ski center was closed. My wife and in-laws were able to ski on the Mammoth slopes on adequate snow. I walked much of the trail I usually ski. The Lake Mary Road, especially Lake Mary has exceptional views. Horseshoe Lake has warning about C02 emissions. Mammoth Mountain (11,053') is a dormant not an extinct volcano.

Route Including George Lake Day 2

It is sad to see how the ongoing drought has harmed the economy of the Mammoth Mountain community. The drought has not just damaged our California agriculture. It has damaged the ski resorts as tourist destinations. This time of year, there were few people on the ski trails and I can only imagine what a busy place the lakes area must be in the summer with all the lodges, campgrounds and hiking trails.

 Convict Lake In The Afternoon
Just After Sunrise

Additionally, I had a chance to photograph Convict Lake south of Mammoth both during the day and the following morning. The effort is easy. Convict Lake is two miles east of Highway 395 at a turn off just south of the Mammoth airport. There is a ramp down to the shore below the parking area. The light was not ideal but it is hard not to get a good photograph of Convict Lake. Unlike the higher elevation Mammoth Lakes (e.g. Lake George at 9,010’) Convict Lake (7,851’) was free of ice. There is a sad story of seven folks who drowned there falling through the ice in 1990.

Note: The light was flat much of the time and I converted some photographs to Black and White.

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