Snow at Meysan Lake

(order ID # CT35-02456-B)

I was backpacking the the Sierra Nevada near Lone Pine, California, at the beginning of October. Lone Pine is the gateway to popular Mt. Whitney, but I had chosen to avoid the crowds and hike to Lone Pine Peak instead, a striking peak almost 13,000' high. The natural base camp for this hike is Meysan Lake, about four miles in and 3,500' above the trailhead. My trip was cut short to two days, however, when an early season storm hit and dropped about 18" of snow overnight. Now, I enjoy camping in the snow and was reasonably prepared for it, except for one thing: I had no "flotation" in the form of snowshoes or skis. With snowshoes I might have continued with my trip, but traveling in this boulder-strewn environment was bound to be dangerous. Finding the trail under 18" of snow was impossible, and off-trail was nothing but boulder fields concealed under the snow. Slipping between slippery boulders is an excellent way to break a leg. So after making some images around the lake I turned tail and slowly worked my way back down the way I had come up the day before. This image at the lake shows the snow-concealed boulders I was confronting: beautiful but dangerous.

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