Winter views

Alta Peak and Great Western Divide--looking southeast from above the Generals Highway between Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Alta Peak (left) and Great Western Divide–looking southeast from “Sunrise Point” above the Generals Highway between Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

When the snow is on the ground, make your way to an open ridgetop. There, the high divides stretch across your view. Long slopes, which in summer would be talus slopes, rock slabs and pocket meadows, now are broad, graceful expanses of white.

During 1977-83 I spent my winters and most of the summers as a ski instructor and camp counselor at a small independent lodge in the Sierra. Montecit0-Sequoia is on the Generals Highway between Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Located on a bench above the valley bottom, it commands a wide view of the alpine peaks of Sequoia Park. The red fir forest is fragrant and rings with the call of birds.

Roughly a mile south of the lodge, a ski and snowshoe trail leads to an open shoulder of Big Baldy Ridge. We call it Sunrise Point for obvious reasons. Here you have an inspiring view of 11,200 foot Alta Peak east of the Giant Forest and the 12,000+ foot peaks of the southern Great Western Divide.

In this environment I was continuously immersed in the beauty, wonder and presence around me of God’s natural world. Now that I live in the Bay Area, I know that all of this is all around us wherever we are, and we’ve been made part of it. What a blessing.

 

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About David McCoard

After earning my MS in geology I've done various things including managing the ski touring program at a small lodge in the Sierra. In 2010 I retired from Contra Costa College in California. I've always been fascinated by the mountains and nature and have spent countless days hiking, backpacking, climbing and skiing in the Sierra. The spiritual insights I've learned there have set the course for my life. Now I have time to share them and strike up a conversation.
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