The Big Snow

Storm Breath

The fantastic winter of 2017 brought such photographic riches that I’m still digging out. While our morning of mists was probably the most beautiful hour I’ve spent in Deep Springs Valley, the headline event of the year was undoubtedly the big snow of January 22-23. As the Sierras were being buried in enough feet of snow to make the record books (Mammoth Mountains got over 20 feet in January alone, at the base!), even at our place deep in the rain shadow, I measured a solid 18 inches overnight. Both of our passes out of the valley were closed for a week. And then it got cold, with morning temps below zero even after the sun was up, plus lots of freezing fog and rime ice.

Deep Springs Valley Snow Panorama

Please enlarge!

Photo opportunities were everywhere, but the downside was that driving anywhere ranged from problematic to impossible, and moving at all in the valley’s rougher terrain was very challenging. But I took advantage as I was able, both around the ranch and in the accessible parts of the Valley.

Deep Springs gets colder than most people expect and snow happens here, but that week was a wonderful taste of the Northern Rockies winters of my childhood here in the California desert.

Snow Druid Sunset

Snowy sunset over the Druid, Deep Springs’ patron boulder

4 thoughts on “The Big Snow

  1. Incredible stillness, whiteness, and majesty–these photos really have a presence. Stunning. That ribbon of road in the photo of Gilbert Pass…and those lacy, icy trees in Ranch Pogonip!

    • Thanks, Ginny! I think the dominant impression I have from that week was of isolation. Even once we could get out, the world seemed very far away. And every morning the fog would dance a new dance and frost the trees again.

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