At 12,500 feet above sea level, the views of the Palisade Glacier and the peaks around it are literally breathtaking. No trail for the final 1,000 feet or so leads to this inner sanctum of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. A traveler must find a way up a gigantic moraine, which is the vertical field of boulders that was, in ancient times, the granitic edge of an enormous glacier ruling over a frozen world. Some of the surrounding peaks, including Mt. Sill, North Palisade and Thunderbolt, stand more than 14,000 feet tall.
Now, at least in part because of global warming, the glacier is in full retreat. This was my first visit - in early August - to the glacier in perhaps more than three decades. I have to go back again, while there is still time, while both the glacier and I still live, while we are at least both still capable of moving, however slowly, over the face of the Earth.
Photography Note: For this photograph, made in late July, 2007, I used the same camera, the superb Rollei 35S, which I took with me on innumerable mountaineering trips decades ago. Those trips included a few visits to the Palisade Glacier. The little range finder camera works without batteries (except for the light meter). The camera requires match needle metering and zone focusing - in other words, all adjustments are manual.