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September-October 2014

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Crowned by the sheer, points of Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the conterminous United States (and highest outside of Alaska) at 14,505 feet above sea level, the soaring wall of bare rock forming the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountain range began rather humbly, underground. A massive stream of subterranean magma, having upwelled under the pressure of the earth's internal furnace, pooled just beneath the planet's surface and slowly cooled.

ED DARACK is an independent author and photographer. Visit his website at

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