Glen Aulin, Early Spring

Glen Aulin, Early Spring

An icy pool at the bottom of the White Cascade on the Tuolumne River, near Glen Aulin. More...

THE SIERRA, Glen Aulin, Early Spring

An icy pool at the bottom of the White Cascade on the Tuolumne River, near Glen Aulin.

This photograph was taken on a cross-country ski trip from Twin Lakes (near Bridgeport, California) to Yosemite Valley. Extending across 50 miles of superlative Yosemite high country the geographical benchmarks of our tour included Horse Creek Pass, Spiller Canyon, Cold Canyon, Glen Aulin, Tuolumne Meadows, Sunrise Mountain and Little Yosemite Valley.

The weather was unsettled much of the trip, leading to the following account of our passage through Horse Creek Pass.

"With the improved conditions we were soon atop the pass. Our arrival seemed to be acknowledged by a marked improvement in the weather. Perhaps the clouds were being chased away by the incessant scolding of a nearby Clark's Nutcracker, projected at us and the universe for invading his private domain. Blue was now being substituted for gray at an accelerated rate near the col and in the valleys beyond. To the south we watched as more and more of the Yosemite, and our eventual route, became visible. The feeling was one of unrestricted elation as we skied the treeless bowls at the head of Spiller Canyon. Too soon we were camped in the flats three miles and 1500' below the pass. We were committed to the tour and the winter wilderness, and to an inescapable feeling of exuberance. Even our pursuers, the clouds, had left us; left us at least momentarily, to enjoy the rock and snow in solitude. In permeating stillness, quiet, and isolation. That we might learn the language of the glimmering stars and sense the light of the moon as it meandered through the pine-tops, reflected softly from the snow, and slowly, hypnotically, encompassed our bodies, our minds, and our spirit."

(From "Rock Upon Rock, Snow Upon Snow" by Gary Valle')

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