Temple Crag

Here’s another photograph from 1998 of Temple Crag in the Sierra Mountains, CA. This was shot in May of that year while on a trip to climb this peak, which has an elevation of 12,999 feet.
As this image shows, there was an extremely heavy snow pack that year, and as a result, the climb took a lot longer than expected. We wore crampons for the first two pitches and then navigated the remainder over mixed terrain of rock, snow, and ice. Although the route we chose was supposed to be relatively easy and take only seven hours, we finally reached the ridgeline in near dark after fourteen hours of difficult climbing. Knowing that we still had a long trek to basecamp, we nixed the summit and headed back down the mountain. Eventually, we came to the conclusion that our bodies had had enough as we stumbled our way over mixed terrain. We were trying to find a known rapel point in the dark, but with limited visibility, fading energy, and a lack of acuity, the situation was becoming dangerous. So we agreed a forced bivouac at 11,000 feet in the freezing dark without the comfort of a sleeping bag or tent was a smart move. As we huddled together to stay warm in sub-zero temperatures, we dreamed of these luxuries and much more back at basecamp. In hindsight, it was a smart decision, because we quickly found the rapel point the next morning after waking to a beautiful sunrise.
This was shot with a Minolta X-370 35mm camera on Fuji Velvia 50.
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