Thanks for the compliments - it was a spectacular morning. This was made just before sunrise so the clouds were lit, but not the mountains. It's this combination that produced the spectacular colour contrast.
As an artist, I work very hard to re-create each view as I visualized it and felt it, rather than how the camera captured it. I am also a naturalist with many years of outdoor experience so I am particular about nature appearing natural. The blue of the sky is slightly bright due to the conversion from 16-bit ProPhotoRGB colour space to that provided by 8-bit sRGB.
swilsonsct: Why is the location of the sun an "issue"? If it makes any difference, this photo was made before the sun showed its face. When it did rise it was off behind me and to the left.
As far a graduated filters and HDR - I use seldom use either and they are not used for this scene. However, I did use the graduated mask in Lightroom in the preparation of this photograph.