Rise of the Ranges of Light


Rise of the Ranges of Light, Landscapes and Changes in the Mountains of California, Heyday, Berkeley, California, 2011

On the Sierra Nevada: “All of my experiences in other ranges in the contiguous United States seem to shrink next to the scene before me. Here are more mountains of more different types than I will ever climb in my little life, with more different stories than I could ever tell. And of all the dozens of ranges that make up California, none seem so profound and aesthetically perfect as the Sierra Nevada. So many superlatives describe this place that one wonders by what divine grace were so many fantastic things gifted to one mountain range. Here is the longest singular mountain range in North America, and the highest in the lower forty-eight. The Sierra Nevada is home to the highest alpine lake in continent, more species of conifer than any other North American range, the largest and richest alpine flora in the continent, and the largest single living things on the planet. More snow falls here than any other range on the continent besides the Cascades. The granite of the Sierra was formed in one of the largest granite-forming events the planet has ever known. The list goes on. And on.”