Inspired Stone

January 16, 2011, 7:07 am
Filed under: cartography, Mountain

I’m fascinated by the crest of the Sierra Nevada. The Sierra Nevada, especially the southern High Sierra, are mountains of sharply defined ridges, jagged peaks and steep walls. As I alluded to in the post about aesthetics and climbing, there is something pure about the true crest of the Sierra. A rain drop on one side ends up in the Pacific, and a drop on the other winds up in the Great Basin. It’s mathematically well defined as well. Physical chemists talk about chemical reactions using the language of mountains, with it’s troughs and basins and saddles. While scientists are not usually interested in the peaks and ridges of an energy landscape, they are just as well defined.

To satisfy my curiosity, I drew a map of the Sierra crest, from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney. I tried to depict the crest as accurately as possible, with it’s connecting ridge lines, but the ultimate goal is not navigation, it’s inspiration. There is so much more that can be done with this subject: analyze it mathematically, depict it digitally, sketch it differently, traverse it…


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