Monday, June 27, 2005

Snow in June?! Yes, indeed, there is LOTS of snow in Squaw Valley, elevation 8,200 feet. So much snow that we even went ice skating! We rode the gondola up to the top and went for a fun walk across the snow fields. We even saw the famous Devil�s Peak from the top. Actually, it�s infamous in my family. My dad and Jim Harvey once climbed Devil�s Peak, known for sharp rocks and vertical ascents/descents. The Sierra Nevada Mountains are known for large outcroppings of granitic rock. The mountains were formed by intrusive lava formations called plutons approximately 90 million years ago. Uplift occurred 25 million years ago and tilted the entire area towards the west. An ice age 2.5 million years ago created glaciers that slowly carved away at the rock (and created present day Lake Tahoe). The combination of river and glacier erosioin exposed the granitic plutons that were previously buried. Remnants of earlier metamorphic rock can still be seen at the top of some sierra peaks.