Mt. Whitney Needles
August 26, 2009
The photo above was snapped at the Mt. Whitney Needles Trail Camp, Inyo National Forest, in eastern California. It shows an exposed section of a massive, late Cretaceous, intrusive granite batholith, which forms the core of the Sierra Nevada Range. West of the "Needles" is the broad mountainous plateau of the High Sierra; eastward, (the camera side) the elevation drops off abruptly, due to block faulting. This begins the Basin and Range Province that continues east across Nevada. At 14,505 feet (4,421 m), Mt. Whitney is the loftiest peak of the 48 contiguous states. Note the remnant snow pack -- it'll melt before summer ends. Photo taken on July 22, 2009.