Whilst I went up the mountain in the cable car, my friends were hiking the trails in the national park below. They camped at Minaret lake and saw the sunrise over the peaks.
The top of Mammoth mountain was windy and dusty with nowhere to sit and paint en plain air, so here’s another studio watercolour.
The last view of the Minarets rock formation from the cable car as they disappear behind the foothill of Mammoth Mountain.
The pine trees give way to deciduous species on the lower slopes, in a few weeks they will be wearing their glorious autumnal colour but so far only a tinge of red ochre showing.
Riding up and down Mammoth Mountain in the cable car, the parched ground below was sparsely populated by hardy hikers walking slowly up and masses of crazy mountain bikers riding very fast downhill.
Not all the lifts are running now, the Summer season has ended and there’s no sign of snow yet. The bikers are thrilled to get the lifts and the cable car to themselves and make several trips each day, gathering in teams at the top to race each other down.
Fantastic views of this glorious range of mountains, tricky to photograph through the smeary windows, I’m hoping to capture their spirit in a watercolour painting, impossible to do en plain air, the summit is a dusty windy place with nowhere suitable for paper and paint.