The Long Shadow
Every day this peak is the last to see the sun in Southern California, and the first to see it rise. San Gorgonio Mountain stands 11,500' above the deserts and valleys. At this elevation the trees are stunted, and deep winter snows occasionally last through the summer. Growing up underneath it, climbing to the top has long been a goal of mine. But doing the long 19-mile trail as a dayhike would have put me on the summit during the worst time of day for photography. Camping at the top instead let me experience sunset, the stars, and sunrise. But it came at a cost of having to carry a much heavier pack more than a vertical mile upward.
One of the best parts of being on a summit at the edge of day is watching the shadow of the mountain. This shadow is almost always triangular, regardless of the shape of the peak. A perspective effect makes the light rays appear to converge at the antisolar point. The haze and smoke in the lower atmosphere only amplified this effect. The mountain fully in sunlight on the right is San Jacinto Peak, which towers 10,000 feet above Palm Springs. The evening was calm enough. But towards morning the wind picked up to gale force, breaking my tent and robbing me of sleep.
- Kevin Palmer Photography
- Image Size
- 12489x4163 / 25.9MB
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