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Images of the Sierra and the West · Climbing, Kayaking & Running Adventures
"Photography & Adventure for Those of Us Who Would Rather Be There, Than Here!"
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Copyright ©1995-2016 Gary Valle'. All Rights Reserved.
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"Being There"

My first adventure in California's mountains was a cross-country hike in the Sierra Nevada to Cecile Lake from Red's Meadow in July of 1964. At the southern end of the lake, in a cluster of White Pines, we discovered the remnants of an abandoned camp. A tattered blue tent was half buried in snow and other gear had been strewn about by untold storms. Clyde Minaret towered above the scene and scattered clouds punctuated a brilliant blue sky. Being there was like being on Everest.

Since then I have done a great deal of hiking, running, mountaineering, rock climbing, kayaking and skiing in the mountains of California and elsewhere. The common thread in these activities isn't necessarily the challenge, or the attainment of a specific goal, but the opportunity to Be There. To be in the mountain environment and relish what it has to offer. To make mint tea, or munch on a leaf of miners lettuce or mountain sorrel. To savor the smell of mountain Polemonium or wild onions growing in a meadow. To run from a thunderstorm, or feel the sting of blowing snow. Climbing to airy summits. Hiking to heart-pounding passes. Running through the day and into the night. Paddling remote canyons. Experiencing cold bivouacs and star filled nights. Elated, just to be there.

Gary Valle
1996 (Updated 2014)
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