Category Archives: On the summit

Spring has sprung and the falls have begun

Spring has sprung on the summit… Unlike a year ago, this year we are having a normal spring after a mild winter. Spring on the summit is all about water and its change is state from solid to liquid. The … Continue reading

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Picture of the week 5/20/12

This is the time for waterfalls on the summit. This is the falls at Donner Pass that only last for a few weeks in spring as the snow melts. They are not visible from the road so you’ll have to … Continue reading

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Picture of the week 5/13/12

“Super” moon rise over Serene Lakes. Last week we had the largest full moon of the year and it was a spectacular sight as it rose over the ridge on the east side of Serene Lakes.

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Picture of the week 5/6/12

It’s that time of the year again. We are transitioning from winter to summer and the ski season has obviously come to an end for this season.

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Picture of the week 4/29/12

Spring has sprung on the summit and the melt is in full swing. The sound of running water is everywhere and the snow is doing its yearly vanishing act. It won’t be long before we start seeing wildflowers.

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Picture of the week 4/22/12

(Click on image for larger version)One of the harbingers of spring on the summit is the awakening of our resident bears which happens every April. This year was no exception and here is the track of one of the hungry … Continue reading

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Picture of the week 4/15/12

(Click on image for larger version)The view from Palisades Peak is one of the most spectacular in the summit area. Devil’s Peak is in the background with a frozen Palisades Lake in the foreground. The ski up to the summit … Continue reading

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Picture of the Week 4/8/12

April is usually still a great time to ski on the summit. Serene Lakes is still frozen with an accumulation of the winters snow on it. It’s always best to ski with a friend and in this case with two … Continue reading

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The Summit without Us

I’m sure many of you that read this site have been out exploring the summit at sometime and thought, “What would the summit look like if humans had never discovered it?”. Of course, everyone is familiar with at least some … Continue reading

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Come on out, the skating’s fine

1/7/12 Update: It has been pretty warm at Serene Lakes for the last week and the ice has gotten pretty thin. There have been reports of people going through the ice on the edges. It is probably best to wait … Continue reading

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Propane on Donner Summit – Part III

(Download a pdf of this post) In Part I and Part II of this article the current status of propane use on the summit was laid out based on the propane survey project that mapped each installation in Serene Lakes. … Continue reading

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Propane on Donner Summit – Part II

(Download a pdf of this post) In Part I of this article the basics of propane usage on the summit and the possible problems with it were discussed. In this part the current status of propane usage in Serene Lakes, … Continue reading

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Propane on Donner Summt – Part I

(Download pdf of this post) Many visitors to this site may have noticed there have not been any new posts recently. Apologies to our readers but this was due to a large commitment of time that was devoted to a … Continue reading

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Summer, we hardly knew ya

This week in mid September saw the first frost on the meadows on the summit signaling the end of a very short summer and the start of autumn. With snow on the ground until July, there were really only about … Continue reading

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The Summit in 360 degrees

One of the advantages of publishing a blog like this for a serious photographer like myself is I get to feature my work on these pages. The summit is a landscape photographer’s dream and I never get tired of photographing … Continue reading

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Who owns the summit?

In most of the posts on this site the natural beauty and wonder of the summit are presented and discussed. I guess on some higher plain, that natural beauty belongs to all of us, but in modern human culture, especially … Continue reading

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A very rare local treasure

If you follow the posts here on a regular basis, you have probably picked up on the fact that many things up on the summit follow a tight schedule and happen for a limited amount of time. This week is … Continue reading

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Kayaking on Lake Van Norden

Lake Van Norden is located in the center of the summit area and is the head waters of the Yuba River. The lake is fed by the snow accumulation in surrounding water shed and is usually at it’s peak in … Continue reading

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Summer comes to the summit

Time for the Snow Plants Now that the snow is finally disappearing and summer weather is breaking out all over, it’s time for the wildflowers to make their appearance. One of the first to appear is the bright red Snow … Continue reading

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Cycling the upper Yuba

The melt is finally full on at the summit and there is water everywhere. Of course being at the summit, gravity is pulling all this water away in every stream and river flowing down from the summit. One of the … Continue reading

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It’s Camas time

Camas time is very short, so if you want to see them, you better hurry. I am of course talking about one of our floral treasures up here in the Sierras, the Camas Lily. A few weeks ago I recommended … Continue reading

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One more winter hit

The summit like just about every other place has its good days and, its bad days. Fortunately, the number of good days far exceeds the bad, but the last two days were definitely bad. The severity of this winter has … Continue reading

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Transition time

It is transition time up on the summit. It is the time between winter and summer (there isn’t really much of a spring up here). The ski resorts are closing, even with plenty of snow still on the ground. Normally, … Continue reading

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Winter 2010-11 retrospect

Now that the winter of 2010-11 is winding down on the summit, in this post we would like to share a personal retrospect in images rather than words. This winter has been a hard and long one on the summit … Continue reading

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Dog days of winter

As many of you know that read this blog, life here at the summit has been tough for the last couple of weeks due to the monster winter we have had. Between the storm itself and it’s ongoing aftermath, life … Continue reading

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We lost a cabin last night

Unfortunately,  the worst case scenario happened on Friday night.  A cabin in Serene Lakes was destroyed due to a propane explosion. Despite the best efforts of all the agencies working hard in the Serene Lakes area to prevent it, there … Continue reading

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The aftermath…

A week has gone by since the “big storm” and the summit is now experiencing the aftermath and it’s not pretty. In just the kind of extreme weather change you can expect on the summit, the temperature went from a … Continue reading

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Monster storm in a monster winter

Much of the information on this site discusses the winter snows on the summit. Well this week there was a monster set of storms that may put the snowfall for this year over the already impressive record from 1938 (65 … Continue reading

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When the snow gets in the way

Most people coming to the summit area know that it is a “snow magnet”. For most that is the reason they visit or live in the area in the winter. In fact, Donner summit gets some the heaviest snowfall of … Continue reading

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Smell propane, call 911

One of the consequences of living up on the summit is there is no infrastructure for providing gas to homes. Instead each home has to provide it’s own heating fuel supply. The predominate system used on the summit utilizes propane … Continue reading

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Global warming comes to Lake Serena

At least the study of global warming has come. Many people reading this may have noticed in the last month a strange looking space age object out on Lake Serena at Serene Lakes. As the pictures show, it looks like … Continue reading

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Faster DSL on the summit

There is good news for users of AT&T DSL in the Serene Lakes and surrounding areas who have been struggling with the basic DSL speeds of 784 kiolbits/sec. Over the last couple of months AT&T has been upgrading its equipment … Continue reading

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Skiing free on the summit

Many people come up to the summit to cross country ski at the Royal Gorge resort which occupies large areas of the summit and has miles of groomed trails in the scenic back country. It is a skaters paradise and … Continue reading

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And So It Begins…

Welcome to our new site about the Donner Summit area in the Sierra-Nevada mountains in California. My wife Linda and I were lucky enough to retire early a few years ago and have taken up residence in the vacation community … Continue reading

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