The plan for the day was simple, drive about an hour north and then west from Las Vegas toward the Spring mountains. One can drive up to above 8,000 feet elevation, and then walk up the north side of Lee Canyon on an old road that has been made into a trail. I would walk as far as I could in the fresh snow.
I had done this walk several times without snow (witness these pages), this was my first time in rather deep snow (I was not expecting it to be so deep).
It snowed (in the mountains only) the previous day. I thought there would be just enough snow to make things pretty (I was right about that) and just little enough snow to allow me to walk easily (I was wrong about that, every step was about 8-10 inches deep, it was quite exhausting but exhilarating all the same).
As I approached the Spring Mountains on the north (Lee Canyon) side, I saw light through the canyon under the clouds:
I was at nearly 7,000 feet and thought this meant I would be in sunlight on my planned walk. But, by the time I parked at 8,500 feet elevation, I was surrounded by clouds, with no sun:
Weather changes quickly in the mountains. So up I trudge, taking in the trees and the deepening vistas along the way, including this last view out of Lee Canyon at the end of which there is a hint of sun under the clouds, a sun still shining on the desert far below:
Just a very few minutes later the clouds looked very different again and a hole opened up to show blue sky (it did not last):
That mountain in the clouds behind the tree, above, is Mummy Mountain, and as I walked up it became more and more veiled by a cloud forming right in front of me:
The last time I turn around to take in the view from the side canyon we are climbing up is near the first turn on the trail: this is looking back--note the avalanche chutes:
And this is looking to a small peak to the east of the trail with cloud flowing over its top into the valley--
And this is a nice stand of quaking aspen at the first turn that the trail makes to now stop going up a small tributary canyon and instead now flank Lee Canyon itself:
Coming around the bend and rising just a little higher gives a very nice view of "Ski Lee," the local downhill ski resort, which was quite busy but the photo does not allow the people on the slope and on the ski lift to be discerned (note how low the clouds have gotten now):
Note the clouds and how low they now are. I stepped back just a little to see if I could still see Mummy Mountain, the one that dominates the canyon's eastern end, and the answer flipped from mainly "yes" to mainly "no" in just a few minutes:
Time to go to the next page (Part Two is next).
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