UCSD-TV Science producer Rich Wargo took his first trip to the White Mountain Research Station near Bishop, California on the first day of spring 2002, barely outrunning a snowstorm that hammered the high altitude station with 2 feet of snow in whiteout conditions. With such an auspicious start, it's no surprise that In the Shadow of White Mountain
has become one of UCSD-TV's most eagerly anticipated new programs for the new year.
Sunset over the Sierras as seen from the Owens Valley Laboratory
The imposing east slope of White Mountain
Skypilots near the summit of White Mountain
A "Sierra Wave
" in the White Mountain sky. This spectacular sight occurs when a cold front approaches California from the northwest, and the westerly airflow increases over the Sierra crest.
A "Sierra Wave
" as seen from Barcroft station. Photo: Joe Szewczak
A relic Bristlecone Pine. For more about relic Bristlecones read "Wisdom from the Ancients
" in "Stories from White Mountain
". Photo: Joe Szewczak
The penumbral shadow of White Mountain as it extends east into Nevada at sunset. The shadow above is cause by a cloud above the summit. Photo: Joe Szewczak
Researches prepare mules for their participation in tests measuring high altitude performance.
A UC Davis research group unloads equipment in preparation for a week of physical testing at high altitudes.
These sheep, frequently seen on the tortuous jeep trail up the west slope of the White Mountains, live in the White and Inyo mountains and are actually genetically distinct from the endangered Sierra Bighorn sheep that inhabit the Sierra Nevada range, only a few miles to the west across Owens valley.
Shoveling out the SnoCat.
The SnoCat, the quickest mode of transport in and out of the research station during the winter months - which sometimes extend from October to May. White Mountain is the tallest peak, Mt. Barcroft (13,040) is the peak to the left. Photo: Joe Szewczak
A researcher approaches the summit of White Mountain in January. The roof of the summit facility can be seen peeking above the ridge at upper left. Photo: Joe Szewczak
Cameraman Gil Barba Jr. using the camera jib at the Owens River near Owens Valley Laboratory
Happy crew at the summit - L to R White Mountain Research Station Associate Director John Smiley with his trusty companion Pulguero, Mike Weber, Matt Alioto, Rich Wargo and White Mountain Research Station Director Frank Powell
Directing an interview at the summit of White Mountain
Rich Wargo prepares a shot in Pine Creek.