Thursday, September 4, 2014

Geo 730: September 4, Day 612: Dorsal Fin

Climbing the long, winding road from the Snowstorm tunnel up to the top of the ridge, one arrives at the notch of Red Heifer Pass. Just before that notch, there's a logging access road off to the left. Though narrow and rough, it's passable for both large (up to 12-passenger vans and SUV's) and small vehicles if you take it slowly, and there's a wide area a hundred yards in or so where you can park and turn around. On the other hand, if you're uncomfortable with driving on a narrow road with a steep drop-off to one side, there's no reason not to park along the main road and walk in, other than it's farther to carry samples back.

The feature of interest in this spot is that black dorsal fin sticking up out of the hillside: a massive quartz vein. It's a bit beyond the pile of dirt and rock blocking the road, but if you look up the hillside just past that block, it's easy to spot. It's quite a scramble to get up to it. You have to clamber up a talus pile at the angle of repose, then hoist yourself up over a 6-foot dirt step to get to the spot where I took this photo. The hillside is a lot steeper than this photo makes it look, so even once you're past the first two obstacles, it's a lot of work getting around. I've never seen anyone hurt here (fingers crossed), but there is a real risk of injury. So if you visit, use caution.

Photo unaltered. August 5, 2012. FlashEarth Location.

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