Dean M. Chriss
Shark's Teeth, Alabama Hills, California

Shark's Teeth and Winter Storm, Alabama Hills, California

(Click image to enlarge)

The Alabama Hills are rock formations on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California's Owens Valley. They are composed of two types of rock. One is a drab orange, weathered, metamorphosed volcanic rock that is 150-200 million years old. The other is 90 million year old granite that weathers into large potato-shaped boulders. A great number of these stand on end due to spheroidal weathering, which acts on the many nearly vertical joints.

 This image was the last I captured late one afternoon just before the light was snuffed out by an approaching winter storm. The forecast called for up to 10 feet of snow, and we were less than 10 miles from the highest point in the lower 48 states, so my wife and I decided to leave. As the snow starting falling early the next morning we moved to a location in Death Valley, less than two hours away and 4600 feet lower than where this image was captured.