Guitar Lake

Stars trailed in almost full moon | Night arrived at Guitar Lake early. That was not necessarily interesting. But what was interesting was that it was just one night shy of a full moon night. Once the illuminating moon in a Waxing Gibbous rose, the area was lit in almost broad daylight. Especially when there was no other source of light, it mattered. From where we were, we had a great view of Mt. Young. However, Mt. Hale, although taller than the first, was not visible because it was sitting far behind the hump that rose right before us. Nonetheless, the North Star ascended right above where Mt. Hale was. As far as the Milky Way went, I had no luck since the moon was extremely bright. But I didn’t mind that. Because it also meant that we would be hiking Mt. Whitney in the full moon light next night. Many JMT’ers and PCT’ers hike Mt. Whitney in the dark to catch the sunrise at the peak. Only a handful of them gets to say that the full moon guided their way to the top. Sequoia National Park, CA Adventure Backcountry Beauty In Nature Camping Galaxy Guitar Lake High Sierra High Sierra Trail John Muir Trail Long Exposure Milky Way Moonlight Mountain Mountain Range Mt. Hale Mt. Young Nature Night No People North Star Outdoors Sequoia National Park Sky Star Trail Wilderness
Glowing profusely in intense orange | We arrived at Guitar Lake in the early afternoon, which gave us a plenty of time to look for a spot to our preference, pitch our tents, have early dinner and scout a location to settle in for the sunset. It was above timberline country again, meaning a lot of wind at the high elevation. Once we got to the other side of the neck (of the Guitar Lake) where we found no people, I briefly debated whether I should focus on the sunset glow to fall on Mt. Whitney or the sun itself setting over the west side of the lake. In the end I got both, however, I must say the latter wasn’t as interesting from where we were as I hoped it to be. A higher ground would’ve been much better to capture what the landscape of the surroundings of the lake had to offer. However, the majestic sight of the highest summit in the contiguous United States, glowing profusely in intense orange, made it up for any ounce of disappointment in me. I had climbed it once before, and we were going to climb it again in just over a day. That time the ascent would be in the company of a full moon in the dark. For now, I was extremely thrilled at the beauty of the west slope of the mountain that I had never seen before. Sequoia National Park, CA Above Timberline Adventure Backpacking Beauty In Nature Guitar Lake High Sierra High Sierra Trail Hst John Muir Trail Lake Landscape Mountain Peak Mountain Range Mountains Mt. Russell Nature No People Outdoors Reflection Sequoia National Park Sunset Sunset Glow Water Whitney Zone Wilderness
What was laid out before my eyes | On our way down from Mt. Whitney summit, till we reached back Trail Crest, I couldn’t help myself making frequent stops and gazing at what was laid out before my eyes. Yes, I had been here before. It wasn’t the first time. But, how would I know whether or not there would be another time? I was just getting most out of that moment, which would never return. Right in front of me, Mt. Hitchcock towered over the beautiful Hitchcock Lakes. And there was the equally amazing Guitar Lake to the right. We spent the last two nights at both lakes! If you look farther out, beyond the Kern River Canyon, Mt. Kaweah, Second Kaweah, Red Kaweah and Black Kaweah made up their own mountain skyscraper! We started our 73-mile excursion from Crescent Meadow way behind it. In fact, the Great Western Divide, which we had crawled over via Kaweah Gap several days ago, continued to stretch far to the left of the frame. It marks the Sequoia National Park boundary. It is truly mind boggling to look back at the mountain range where we backpacked for the last 8 days in a different perspective. Inyo National Forest, CA Above Timberline Adventure Backcountry Beauty In Nature Great Western Divide Guitar Lake High Sierra High Sierra Trail Hitchcock Lakes Inyo National Forest John Muir Trail Kern River Canyon Landscape Landscape Photography Mountain Mountain Peak Mountain Range Mt. Hitchcock Mt. Whitney Nature No People Sequoia National Park Sierra Nevada Sky Wilderness