Born in 1912 Glen Dawson was a prolific California rock climber in the 1920s and 1930s. His most notable climb was the first ascent of the East Face of Mt. Whitney with Jules Eichorn, Norman Clyde and Robert Underhill in 1931.
Some friends and I skied 40 miles across the highest stretch of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California - a route known to backcountry skiers as the Sierra High Route. It is an east/west traverse of the range topping out at 13,000 feet elevation at it’s highest point and averages around 10,000 feet and is normally completed in about 6 days. I took this photo at 11pm on the second night just as we’re starting to get into the high stuff, under a full moon so bright that I could almost do a handheld exposure… but not quite. I made a brief tripod exposure, long enough for my friends on the bottom right to blur. Most nights we would sleep under the stars, right on the snow, but there was a chance of bad weather that night so we made our basic shelter which is a hole dug down into the snow with a lightweight roof suspended over it, held up with our skis and poles.
I remember this was one of those times I had “quit smoking” cigarettes and had taken a pipe with me… After six days of greedily inhaling pipe tobacco smoke along the High Route the first thing I did when returning to civilization was buy a pack of Camel Lights.