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Brrr... It's the Alpine! But it's not your Fault! EarthCache

Hidden : 07/02/2014
2 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Bronze Pin

Welcome to the Inyo National Forest!

At these coordinates, the elevation is well into the Alpine Zone, topping out just shy of 10,000 feet at 9945 feet. This high point is known as Tioga Pass. We are just outside Yosemite National Park, on famous Tioga Road.

A note from the Public Affairs Specialist of the Inyo National Forest:

"As always, we would ask people not to leave tokens for trash accumulation, food that can lead to wildlife habituation, honor leaving no markers or other such tokens in the wilderness, respecting sacred and historic sites, encouraging digging or altering the landscape, and making sure the activity is consistent with our laws and policy, etc.  As you know, people tend to like to leave something even if it's just a GPS coordinate listed. As you also know, many of these places have no cell service, so if they want to track with the web, they need to upload the information in advance.

Anything you can to help with this ethic is much appreciated.


Deb Schweizer

Public Affairs Specialist

Inyo National Forest"

Alpine Zone:

The Alpine Zone includes any altitude between 9500 feet and 13,000 feet (below 9500 is the Sub-Alpine Zone). The Alpine Zone is easy to identify because the cold and windy conditions inhibit trees from growing. The tree line almost always separates Alpine from Sub-Alpine. Many times, snow persists on the peaks of mountains in the Alpine Zone through the summer. This can be observed multiple times while driving along Tioga Road and keeping your eyes peeled on the nearby peaks. This "summer snow" occurs on Alpine mountains world wide. The cold climate is caused by the low air pressure.

Inyo Mountain Formation:

The Inyo Mountains are located just to the east of the Sierra Nevada's, being a very small range of approximately 70 miles. The Sierras and the Inyo mountains were formed by fault block, and are considered by some as the best known Proterozoic and Cambrian sections in the United States. Faults are simply cracks and fissures in the Earth's crust. The surface of the Earth moves along these faults, and surfaces and rocks can be pushed upward whereas others collapse down. With fault block mountain formation, large (very, very large) chunks of rock are broken off from faults and enormous pressure begins to build. Under this pressure, these large chunks can be lifted and tilted within the fault. These broken and pushed chunks of rock are called the Horst, and any valley formed in-between mountains are called the Graben. The Horst is wedged in between the fault, blocking it, hence the name. Over time, erosion and other natural occurrences settle the rocks into a solid position, and they remain as the huge mountains we see and enjoy today.

Logging this cache:

•Send me a note with:

•1)The name of this Earthcache at the top

•2)The number of people in your group

•3)In which direction (north, east, south, west) is the Horst?

•4)Can you see the Graben?

•5)If so, in which direction is the Graben?







Additional Hints (No hints available.)