Whiteout on Garnet Peak

For my third day in the snow storm, I headed to Garnet Peak. My idea was to be up there at sunset in fresh snow. I didn’t know when I left home just how fresh the snow would be. I left late in the day and made a few stops along the way to check the weather. I saw that there was a prediction for snow starting around 3 PM and lasting a few hours. Seeing this, I decided that I would start hiking earlier. As I started hiking, the snow started falling! What a treat! By the time I got to the PCT trail junction, it was snowing pretty hard and the wind was blowing it sideways.

PCT Junction

With the temperature dropping and the snow blowing, I realized that it was unlikely I would remain at the top for sunset. As I approached the peak, I stopped to take a few photos with the peak vanishing in the blowing snow. Even with hand-warmers in my mitts, my fingers were quite cold. It was hard to feel and manipulate the dials on my camera! Snow was covering the viewfinder sensor, causing the LCD viewfinder to turn off.

Whiteout on Garnet Peak

I took a few pictures of some bushes on the peak and decided to head back.

In the Blowing Snow
Yucca and Pines in Snow

I was almost back at my car when the snow stopped and the wind calmed. I was thrilled to be out hiking in this storm and I was happy that I was driving back when I did. The new snow on the road was quickly turning from slush to ice.

Chaparral Yucca in Snow

Winter in San Diego’s Mountains

Who says San Diego doesn’t get snow?

For the second day of this storm, I headed to Palomar Mountain State Park. When I got to the 5,000 feet elevation I entered a winter wonderland. I pulled into a snowy turn-out and, with my 100-400mm lens, starting looking for interesting scenes. As I walked around fresh snow began to fall and blow. Fog enveloped me and hid almost everything else. Moments later the mist lifted, revealing layers of snow-laden trees on the hillside.

Snowy Solitude – As I waited and watched, the fog drifted in allowing me to capture this solitary Douglas Fir.
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Winter Wonder – A passing cloud burst left the forest coated in fresh snow.

My hope was to explore Doane Valley, but the park was officially closed, so I didn’t make it that far. I was able to park outside the gate and walk in. I walked the road where I found the scenes below.

Gatekeepers – Cedars and stand quietly at the border of the meadow and forest.
Frosted Cake

I continued on the Boucher Hill Trail with about 4-6 inches of fresh snow.

To see those the rest from this day, click here.