Snowy Day on Palomar Mountain

A cold storm dumped a layer of snow on the Palomar Mountain in mid-December. I have a photo project I am working on titled,” Winter in San Diego,” in which my focus is showing the wintery/snowy conditions that we get a few times a year in our local mountains. Since I have the flexibility to go during weekdays, I look for storms hitting during the week to avoid the crowds and traffic that snow otherwise draws. For this weather system, the storm came through Monday and lingered slightly into Tuesday. Perfect!

Snowy Day on the Mountain – Shortly after arriving on the mountain, the snow started accumulate.
Snowy Bench – I explored a small area of the mountain for intimate scenes.
Frosted Forest
You might recognize this scene from the previous blog post in the fog.
Snowy Apple Orchard

On Tuesday I returned to mountain as the storm was clearing out. I went for a walk along the edge of the mountain, looking back to this ridge with dark sky and low clouds beyond

Winter Path
Leaning Oak and Fir
Sugar-Coated Firs

To view the rest from this outing, click here.

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