Category Archives: On the summit
If you are a waterfall lover like me, this is the best time of the year on the summit. With the snow melt at its peak for the next couple of weeks, the creekas are full and the falls are … Continue reading
(download a pdf of this post) The good news about this post is that it is going to be short because there really isn’t much history to talk about. This post is a follow up to my previous post concerning … Continue reading
We had a special treat out on Van Norden Lake this week. A pair of Sandhill Cranes was taking a break at the lake on their migratory flight back up to Canada. These are magnificent birds and they put on a bit … Continue reading
Welcome back Lake Van Norden. This is the earliest melt of the lake I have seen.
Waterfall season is coming early to the summit this year. Here is top of Palisades Falls running almost full bore. This is one of the most beautiful sites on the summit.
The melt is starting early this year. The South Yuba has started to flow in Summit Valley.
The resurrection of the Royal Gorge cross country ski resort this year under the management of Sugar Bowl has been great for all us skiers, both skaters and striders, that like to burn up the groomed trails. However, there are … Continue reading
Powder day at Sugar Bowl. The view of Donner Summit area from Fuller’s Folly run at Sugar Bowl.
This week we take a panoramic view of beautiful Lake Van Norden covered with snow.
(Download a pdf of this post) In the previous part of this article about the future of the Donner Summit Open Space Area (DSOSA), the issues of public access to the area were discussed. In this part of the article … Continue reading
(Download a pdf of this post) In the summer of 2012 a phenomenal thing happened on the summit. Through a sequence of remarkable events, 3000 acres of prime open space on the summit was conserved for public access by a … Continue reading
(Download pdf of this post) Most of you that frequent this site are well aware that of the big changes that have occurred with land ownership on the summit. After a whirlwind summer of local fundraising by several different organizations, … Continue reading
This post is a cautionary tale to all the dog owners that visit the summit. Anyone that frequents this site probably knows that we have two golden retrievers that we share our lives with up here on the summit. Calla … Continue reading
Crossing the natural bridge when we come to it. This unique formation is on the ridge near Rowton Peak. Camas Alert For you Camas Liliy freaks, there are a few plants still blooming in Van Norden Meadow east of the … Continue reading
Kellogg’s Lewisia is one of our local treasures. We are just at the end of the blooming season.
Winter visitors to the summit are usually here to enjoy the skiing, sledding and other snow-related activities. The cold sterile white landscape of winter keeps our warm weather visitors away. After the snow melts, however, the warm weather crowd returns … Continue reading
This week we took advantage of the early spring we are having on the summit this year and did one of our favorite hikes, up to Rowton Peak (see the trail description here). As with most hikes here on the … Continue reading
White Pelicans are a frequent summer visitor to the summit. They like to hang out at Van Norden Lake on their special rock.
The snow is gone and it’s time to strap on the hiking boots and get out to the forest. This is at the meadow along the Eastridge trail out to Mariah Point.
Spring continues on the summit and water is everywhere. This week’s photo is of another beautiful waterfall currently running at full blast in Serena Creek Canyon. For more info about waterfalls on the summit see this weeks blog post.
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
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
“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.
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.
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.
(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
(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
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
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
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
(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
(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
(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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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