Best time for sky pilot (Polemonium) on Mount Dana?

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RSC
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Best time for sky pilot (Polemonium) on Mount Dana?

Post by RSC » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:15 pm

My wife and I always seem to be just a little late for sky pilot (Polemonium eximium) in the high country. So we're thinking about making a trip to Mount Dana specifically for this. Any idea what would be the best date for this in 2019?








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bobby49
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Re: Best time for sky pilot (Polemonium) on Mount Dana?

Post by bobby49 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:40 pm

It varies from year to year depending on how much winter snow there was and how much moisture still remains in the sandy soil. There are two high altitude species that I look for, Polemonium eximium (Sky Pilot) and also Hulsea algida (Alpine Gold). I watched these for decades on the Mount Whitney Trail. Sky Pilots like a little more cool shade and a bit of moisture in the soil. Alpine Gold likes a bit more direct sun and a little less moisture in the soil. As a result, it is unusual to find both species together. I've photographed the two together on Mount Whitney several times now. The lowest elevation that I've seen either is around 12,000 feet.

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MichaelRPetrick
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Re: Best time for sky pilot (Polemonium) on Mount Dana?

Post by MichaelRPetrick » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:03 am

My boyfriend was on top July 1st and they were just starting to bloom on Dana.

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c9h13no3
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Re: Best time for sky pilot (Polemonium) on Mount Dana?

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:04 pm

Yeah, from my little experience, it's been roughly a month after the snow melts that they're peaking.
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Re: Best time for sky pilot (Polemonium) on Mount Dana?

Post by RSC » Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:59 pm

I want to thank everyone for their responses. We ended up climbing yesterday, July 22. They seemed to be in prime time for blooming, and there was a veritable garden of them. You have to get almost all the way to the summit, though.

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