After the wettest winter in the Tahoe Sierra since records began in 1871, it has been a treat this summer to watch the seasonal transition from Spring to Fall at Squaw Valley. A massive snowpack has given way to a bounty of colorful wildflowers and mountain scenery. Enjoy this photo essay of the majestic grandeur and subtle beauty that graced the High Country this year.
This Tahoe Nugget is dedicated to my good friend Greta in New Jersey who is battling a serious illness. I’m not a religious man, but any prayers or positive vibes sent Greta's way are much appreciated by her family and friends.
At the end of June 2017, Squaw Valley was lush with verdant grass after an exceptionally wet winter. In the late 1800s and first half of the 20th century, sheep and cattle grazed nutritious timothy hay that naturally grew here. Note damaged fence from heavy snow load.
On June 22, 2017 near Squaw Valley's High Camp facility at 8,200', a stream of melt water had slowly carved out a section of the solid snowpack that was still about 13 feet deep.
Everybody loves snow in the summertime! Two visitors walking their lucky pooches on July 8 near the top of the Siberia Express chairlift. It was over 100 degrees in the Sacramento Valley at that time. Environmentalist John Muir exhorted people to come to the mountains to refresh themselves physically and spiritually.
Squaw Valley trail guide Kent (second from left) leads a wildflower hike on August 18. The scene reminded me of the movie "Sound of Music" with Julie Andrews. I first saw the performance as a play with my parents. It's a heart-warming story that was a favorite of mine when I was a child, and even today I still enjoy the songs and breathtaking scenery of the Austrian Alps.
Looking up towards Emigrant Peak at Squaw Valley on August 30, 2017.
This "saucer-like" snow patch looks as though it might have just landed there, but this snow deposition zone near Emigrant Peak always retains the white stuff late into the season. At this point (September 1, 2017), it's about 100 yards long and 15 feet deep. It may well make it into October.
This is a close-up of the snow as it slowly melts away from sun-heated rock.
A weak cold front blew through the Tahoe Sierra on August 30 with cooler temperatures, gusty winds and cumulus cloud development. This reminded me of a "snow-nado," a term I've never heard of and just made up.
Looking past blooming Rabbit Brush to Squaw Peak and the Palisades in the distance. Note the flat top of Squaw Peak near 9,000'. It was heavily excavated for the emplacement of an aviation beacon, which is still active and maintained today. There is a road for technicians as well as a large conduit for them to walk through in storm conditions.