Climb Hike Photography

Sun Playing Havoc at the Perch

Droplets of rain and soft hail begin to fall upon me as the late afternoon sun peeks through the dark clouds.  Sitting on an exposed knob at 8,800 feet elevation, the Redfish Creek Valley is 2,000+ feet below to my left and the Saddleback Lakes are 400 feet below to my right. Directly across from me, only separated by the exceptionally narrow valley of Saddleback Creek sits 1,200 vertical feet of granite wall otherwise known as The Elephant’s Perch (9,870 ft).

There are 25 established routes to the summit, including the easiest (a Class 3) I planned to take before the weather front moved into the area.  Seeing I am on my own in the middle of the Sawtooth Wilderness, this effort will become a backcountry hike with brief rock scramble and photo shoot.

Although the sound of thunder makes itself known for about 15-20 minutes, no storm of material nature presents itself.  For the next 2 hours the sun teases me with brief appearances.

Although I am able to grab a few shots of the Elephant’s Perch and the mountains on the north side of the Redfish Valley, the sun plays havoc with me and my camera gear.  At one moment the wall of the Elephant’s Perch is a dull slab of rock.  For a brief instant the sun blasts through the rain accompanied with soft hail to light up the face of the mountain.

For almost the entire session the peaks on the north-side of the Redfish Creek Valley are cloaked in a flat light.  However, for brief seconds at a time, the sun acts as a spotlight casting itself on small sections of the terrain.  During these periods I see just about every shade of green possible. Also the sandstone that makes up Braxton Peak and the Magenta colored granite the constitutes Heyburn Mountain become even more obvious.

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