In the stillness of the early morning at the beginning of July of this year I stood by my campsite high on a ridge admiring the snowy view of the high Sierras. Later that same day, by a snow-covered Thousand Islands Lake, I photographed these wild flowers in a rock outcropping that was emerging from the snow.
You can read the story of this adventure of mine in three parts:
I was reminded of my difficult, but beautiful, trip yesterday when I got a call from a National Park Service ranger asking whether I’d seen missing hiker Hyundo Ahn. Ahn would have been coming south along the John Muir Trail; according to his wilderness permit and mine we would have been in roughly the same place at the same time (the upper Rush Creek basin). The ranger tracked me down on the basis of the dates and locations shown in my wilderness permit.
I didn’t see Hyundo Ahn, a lingusitics student at U.C. Davis, when I was in the Ansel Adams Wilderness back country. Considering the snow conditions, I doubt he made it out over Donahue Pass from Yosemite National Park. I am deeply sorry for his family and friends, and offer this photo of mountain flowers as a testament to the beauty and purety that hides amid the remoteness of the wild – and why it is worth sometimes putting aside the safety net of civilization and exploring these difficult places.
Update (8/19/05): Hyundo Ahn’s body has been found in Tenaya Canyon. The exact cause of death is unknown. He never even made it as far as Tuolomne Meadows, and was not in the area I hiked. Condolences to his friends and family.