The Minarets are a prominent granite arete that comb the sky above the Ansel Adams Wilderness in the Sierra Nevada near Mammoth Lakes, CA. Last summer, I camped for several days at Lake Ediza, a cirque lake nestled on the eastern flank of the Minarets, photographing and sketching these peaks for a large scale commissioned painting. The dawn sun ignites the peaks first while the landscape below remains in shadow.
A massive fire burning in nearby Yosemite National Park tainted the normally crystalline air, creating a surreal, smoke-augmented alpenglow.
I would not have been able to undertake this trip without the help of Chris Niebuhr, my trusty porter, who hefted my pack and painting supplies both ways up the steadily climbing 6.5 mile trail. A huge thank you, too, to the kind folks at Chico Mountain Sports for their enthusiasm, supplies, and advice in planning for the trip.