Glacier Lake Thunderstorm and Sunrise
Blue-grey glaciers, looming cliffs, and towering peaks line the backbone of the Northern Wind River Range . On our approach to the Northern Winds this summer, we stopped just up-valley of Glacier Lake. The Continental Divide zigzags along the northeast side of the valley surrounding Glacier Lake, and the ~11,500 foot (~3,500m) cliffs catch the air masses approaching from the west. We pulled into camp around 2 PM and barely had a chance to set up our tents before intense rain and hail started. After cooking dinner in the driving rain, we headed to the tents. I managed to take the first panorama in a brief lull as some of the clouds recirculated off the divide and back down our valley. Our tents were sitting in a few inches of water, and lightning struck the peaks just overhead for about 3 hours. This lightning storm was likely the most harrowing of the storms I experienced last summer. However, in the morning there was a deep red sunset and a glowing, warm light on the cliffs that rose just south of our kitchen (see the second panorama).
Glacier Lake Recirculating Clouds, Wind River Range, WY (16″x58″)
Glacier Lake Post Storm Sunrise, WInd River Range, WY (16″x56″)