High Sierra in the ’70s

Photos from a summer, 1976, hike from Onion Valley to Kearsarge Peak in the High Sierra of California:

Onion Valley

Independence Peak, left; flank of University Peak, right; Onion Valley, lower center.  Gary E Richardson©2013

kearsarge027©

Along the way…a miner’s hut… 1976

Raggs021

Raggs Baggins, Mountaineer Extraordinair
Onion Valley in background.  GaryERichardson photo©2013

onion valley003

Onion Valley Store and Café, which was destroyed by a 1986 avalanche. GaryERichardson photo©2013

onion valley015 (2)

Paul Barron’s chair out behind the store and café in the wild-onion meadow for which the valley was named.   GaryERichardson photo©2013

That summer, I ran the Onion Valley Store and Café with five friends . We ran a full-on, gourmet restaurant 15 miles west of Independence at 9,250 feet elevation. We actually had customers from Los Angeles, 250 miles to the south, who came back for the spectacular ambiance…and the food, of course.

01 Sierra map 1x2 spread

I took four days off during the summer to climb each of the four surrounding peaks— Independence (11,773′), Kearsarge (12,650′), University (13,588′), and Mount Gould (13,001′).

indep pk 013Independence Peak from Onion Valley, July 4, 1976. GaryERichardson photo©2013
Kearsarge Lakes from University Peak, 1976

Kearsarge Lakes from University Peak, 1976

Looking along the Sierra crest from Kearsarge Pass to University Peak, 1976

Looking along the Sierra crest from Kearsarge Pass to University Peak, 1976

Twelve miles south of Onion Valley lies 14,500-foot Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous US

Twelve miles south of Onion Valley lies 14,500-foot Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous US

For more insight into my mid-1970s adventures in the Sierra, check out these recent scans of some Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides: https://garyerichardson.com/2014/09/30/more-newly-digitized-old-35-mm-images/ This series is from my first climb, of Mount Whitney, whose summit was then said to be 14,495 feet above sea level (now, 14,505′).

For an interesting, illustrated ski adventure from Kearsarge Peak to Onion Valley, check out this link: http://www.thebackcountry.net/bb/viewtopic.php?t=1690

For great photos of many Sierra peaks and occasional shots of beautiful, high altitude wildflowers, see Reiner Stenzel’s slide show: http://angeles.sierraclub.org/sps/slideshow/slideshowhtml/DC-1.htm

For some of the best mountain photography on the Internet—or anywhere, for that matter—check out SummitPost, where you may search for and see the most remarkable images of any mountain or range in the world. There don’t seem to be any restrictions on personal use of the images, some of which are of print quality.

 

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s