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Near the Top of the World

Hitchcock Lakes, the Guitar Lake corridor and the Western Divide as seen from the switchbacks leading up to Trail Junction, Sequoia National Park, California.

 

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This is another in my John Muir Trail series. It is a panorama stitched together from single exposures made with a Nikon D7000 and Tokina 11-16mm. Please view my other JMT images in my JMT set.

 

This image was made on our last day on the JMT. We awoke at 4am this morning and were on the trail at 530am and would summit Mt. Whitney (14,505') at 830am. The climb out of Guitar Lake up to Trail Junction (where the JMT meets the Main Whitney Trail) is a steep and rugged one and sometimes seems like an endless series of switchbacks. Fortunately, the views along this section of trail are so beautiful that the miles seem to pass quickly.

 

Much of this trail section is cut right into talus fields and it is in such a field where I stopped to make this panorama. This view covers almost 180 degrees -- the trail can be seen at image right and, near the top left two hikers can be seen on the trail ahead (one is wearing a lime green jacket). As far as landmarks, Guitar Lake (approx. 11,500') is the body of water at image right and the Hitchcock Lakes are at image center and just right of image center. The mountains which are bathed in sunlight are the Western Divide and, near image right, the Sierra Crest as it marches off to the north.

 

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Taken in September 2011