Location: Temple Crag, Sierra Nevada, California
My Gear: Nikon FM, Nikon 14 - 24mm f/2.8 | Fuji Provia 100
Camera Settings: ISO 400, 1/200 at f/4.5
Getting There: I grew up backpacking and climbing. I've done it all over the World. It's one of the elements that has shaped me and formed me who I am today. I'm eternally grateful to my dad for giving me the gift of "freedom of the hills". I've spent time in major mountain ranges all over; yet the Eastern Sierra (if you know me, you know this), to me, is the most special of them all. It's where I cut my teeth. Learned survival skills. Grew to know my limits... and my potential.
The Palisades are the most alpine subrange in the Sierra Nevada and contains some of the Sierra's highest peaks, its largest glacier, and most stunning scenery. And also the most difficult to access, which is partly why I love it. And the best time, is late fall early winter; when you have the entire half-million acres to yourself.
This photo was taken in late Fall. We set out on our 8 hour, day 1 hike in snow flurries. Pretty intimidating. To arrive here. At the Temple Crag, just as snow really started to fall and the temperature stick.
What the photo doesn't show you: I love the photo, because I was with my dad and brother. I love doing trips with them. There is no one else on the planet that I trust more and who I have the most fun with.
I love the photo because I love this area. Few people in America have been here, and yet it's relatively close to civilization. Crazy.
What it doesn't show you, is that my (good) knee felt like someone had stabbed it with a dull ice pick. We woke the next day with a few feet of snow. My knee was worse. Not good. Not good at all. I couldn't go up and I couldn't go back.
After taking some heavy pain killer, we pushed on higher sill to the base of the Crag. Only to be forced off by near-blizzard conditions and my knee being on fire.
We were forced back, tail between our knees.
But... through it all, we learned more, laughed more, lived more, felt more, loved more. We saw the edge of a season. The end of one and the beginning of another... all to ourselves. Probably my most favorite thing in the World.
Eventually, through loosing trail, horrible pain, and lots of frustration, we made it back to the high desert below. We ate steak. We drank a few bottles of good wine. I iced my knee for the next day.
And well... there it is. Get our there damn it.