Three Backpackers Passing Lake Ediza

Three Backpackers Passing Lake Ediza

full print size of 29.6x37.6 inches @304.8ppi, above displayed at 1/178
Copyright © David Senesac 2006   view detailed crop

geranium Ansel Adams Wilderness, Inyo National Forest, Mono County
mid morning Saturday August 12, 2006, slide 06-DD-12
Wisner 4x5 Expedition, 90mm Caltar, Gitzo G1325 Mk2
Tango Drum scanned Fuji Provia 100F 4x5 film to 300mb RGB file
Adobe Photoshop 6.0 processed for accurate image fidelity
Lightjet5000 printed on Fuji Crystal Archive paper
signature mid bottom right

After friend and I exposed the first couple sheets of film along the shores of Lake Ediza, I then moved and set up at this spot in order to frame the turfy meadow edge of the lake with The Minarets rising as a reflection in the background. After finishing the tedious setup and shoving in a film holder, I waited a few minutes until the slight breezes upon the lake quelled as much as I thought possible. About the time of the best lull, a group of backpackers were incidently moving around the lake. I'd set up here in past years and knew their reflection would occur in the corner of the lake just as they passed a muddy snow seep. As the first few passed that point the water was a bit too ruffled so I resisted taking the shot as more were still coming. A lull again occurred and I depressed my shutter as the final three backpackers passed at the exact point freezing in time one great outdoor passion of many enthusiasts at one of the Sierra Nevada's most famous temples of natural scenic wonder.

Beautiful Lake Ediza at 9,265 feet has views of impressive Mount Ritter and Banner Peak as well as The Minarets. As such it gets a heavy amount of visits by both backpackers and hikers. This modest sized lake is at the headwaters of Shadow Creek that is tributary to the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River. A small heavily fished population of eastern brook trout inhabit its waters. Where the line of trees follows up the hill, a stream flows which sources at Iceberg Lake another 500 feet higher. At the right frame edge below snowfields and some rusty rock is one of many whitewater cascades.

The rock here is Jurassic Period metavolcanic. During the several ice ages, the last just 10,000 years ago, the area was deep beneath an enormous ice field which has smoothed outcrops of monolithic rock in the middle ground. From this perspective it is a bit difficult to separate the individual Minaret pinnacles as one is viewing the plane of rock jointing broadside. In any case one can make out from left to right: Clyde Minaret at 12,263 feet, then Eichorn, Rice, Bedayan, Dawson, Dyer, Jensen, Turner, and Waller Minarets. These unofficial climber's names are from those making first summiting climbs.

In the middle ground are groups of mountain hemlock, tsuga mertensiana, which thrive in this basin of heavy winter snowfall. Green patches on the lower flanks of distant Minarets are stunted whitebark pine, pinus albicaulis. Generally areas on and below the ridges don't have trees because of snow avalanches. Growing above the lake edge at left where talus seeps emerge are many clumps of water loving willow, salix. In the foreground and sprinkling much of the wonderfully turfy shore around this section of the lake are red hued Peirson's paintbrush, castilleja peirsonii, and magenta hued Lemon's paintbrush, castilleja lemmonii.

Crop at 100% print size:


   David Senesac

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