I took this photo a few days ago at sunrise of Banner Peak. This is part of the Ansel Adams Wilderness, which itself is part of Inyo National Forest. It is to the south of Yosemite National Park: you go over Donahue Pass from Tuolumn Meadows in the park, and there you are.
I was camped across the valley at Summit Lakes by a waterfall. The sun came up, I opened my eyes – and there it was. I leaped out and took the picture.
Conditions in the high country this year are extraordinary. Snow pack is 200%, or more, than average. Water levels are very high,and crossings are dangerous. Right now, there’s snow above about 9,600 feet and hiking consists of navigating snow fields. Crampons and/or an ice ax are a good idea. If I never see another snow field or late afternoon snow “cup from hell”, I’ll be happy. This picture, taken on Island Pass, gives you an idea of hiking conditions: on and on, endless snow.
River crossings are another problem. This picture is of the bridge at Rush Creek Trail near the junction with the Muir Trail. I knelt and gave thanks to heaven when I saw there was a bridge at the crossing.
I took the picture first thing in the morning. By late afternoon water would have been two feet over the logs, and this probably couldn’t have been crossed until the next morning.