The grey snake may have been a rubber boa, I saw one last year near shadow lake. It was really weird looking!
The gray one was a very small snake, much like a garden snake. I don't know anything about snakes; it might as well have been a rosy boa. The other snake, the black one with two yellow strips along its body, was scary. That one was much bigger and mean looking. Especially that I only saw it when I was in the air. I landed my foot right on where the snake was. Lucky me, the snake got startled and disappeared in a fraction of a second. It would have been nice to have been able to take photos of these two snakes, but each encounter was only a second long. Thank you very much for your comment.
That blue flower is Polemonium and grows in the Sierra above 10,000 feet. It's also known as Sky Pilot (although I've never heard anyone call it anything other than Polemonium).
So that is Polemonium! Thanks for the message. You are right, I've seen that flower a lot a high elevations.
Very nice report. Some friends and I are planning to try Split Mountain in a couple of weeks. What was the shape of the road to the trailhead? We're going to have an intermediate SUV, likely not 4WD.
Ambret, have a lot of fun on Split. (I also wrote details about the road if you click on the pic with the car.) The road is easily drivable in a SUV. You will not need a 4x4. If you haven't been there before, use a GPS: it's easier to see your location and all those roads. Follow the signs (easy to miss) for RL TH.