A time lapse video of the milky way rising over Mt. Whitney

August 31, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Milky way rising over Mt. Whitney - TimelapseA short time lapse video of the milky way rising over Mt. Whitney and the needles. A series of 500+ images shot over four hours from the Iceberg lake (12,600+ feet) to compile this 10-second clip.

The peaks seen in this clip are (L to R) - Third needle, Day needle, Keeler needle and on the far right, the tallest peak in the contiguous United States, Mt. Whitney.

Music credits:
Track - Everythings Nice
Artist - Jingle Punks

Just 24 hours before I shot this time lapse, we (myself & Prajakta [PK]) were benighted on a small 4x4 feet ledge around 14000 feet high up on Mt. Russell.

We climbed the Mithril Dihedral on Mt. Russell - a beautiful 5.10a alpine rock climb in the High Sierra - in what turned out to be a 2-day epic climb. The night on the ledge was cold and miserably beautiful. The milky way overhead and the glittering stars reminded us of the unimaginable vastness and beauty of the universe. Below us, for some more than 1000 feet, hiding in the impenetrable darkness lay the barren splendor embellished with high alpine lakes and moraine fields.

We were cold, uncontrollably shivering and longed for the warm and cozy climbs on our home gym back in the warmth of Jacksonville, Florida!

We eventually did summit the peak the following day and safely descended to the comfort of our tiny tent and sleeping bags the next day. We vowed never to do alpine climbs again - a vow like our new year resolutions - that would last shorter than the sun burn on our noses! 

However, the night on the ledge left and indelible impression of the milky way on us. Never before did we see our galaxy so clearly with our naked eyes. It was unreal.

24 hours later, there we were, again out in the elements in the cold night of the High Sierras, but this time on the flat boulderfields of the Iceberg lake (12600 feet) foot of Mt. Whitney, this time trying to capture a glimpse of the milky way as it rose over the maginificent peaks of Mt. Whitney and the three needles flanking it on the left.

The clip is barely half a minute long, but comprise of more than 500 images captured over 4+ hours, creating an impression on us that would last even longer, hopefully a lifetime!


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