As I have recounted elsewhere, California and the West by Charis Weston was one of my earliest photo books. My favorite chapter in the book was Chapter V: High Sierra, Lake Ediza, her account of a mule-packing trip she, Edward Weston and Ansel Adams took in 1937.
Therein, Ms. Weston recounts her struggle to hike the distance: "The trail ran easily along a hillside, down to a river fording, then zigzagged steeply up two thousand feet of sheer mountainside." Apparently after reaching the lake a titanic battle with mosquitoes ensued [pre-deet days]. Later, her description of the scenery is still apt: "Volcanic Ridge, a dark forbidding mass, closes off the east; south, the Minarets—a line of jagged black spires, patched with snow that looks like cut-out bits of paper—tower in the sky; to the west Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak, both around thirteen thousand feet—story-book mountains neatly cut triangular masses of snow and rock." Lake Ediza ended up being the scene for some of Edward Weston’s most famous photographs, including Charis—Lake Ediza, False Hellebore—Lake Ediza and Iceberg Lake.
Mike had been to Lake Ediza several times before on various backpacking trips and wanted to go again: thus, this year’s trail ride. After much—yes—zigging and zagging, Hali, Mike, Dave the wrangler and the horses arrived at Lake Ediza. Hali and Mike wandered down to the shore for lunch and pix while Dave attended to the steeds. After an hour, they mounted up and began the trip back.
Photos: Lake Ediza—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Minarets from Lake Ediza—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Hali & Mike—Sierra Nevada, 2009