Category Archives: Skiing

Room with a View

View of Mt Blackburn from the Nugget Creek outhouse, winter, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

View of Mt Blackburn from the Nugget Creek outhouse, winter, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

How’s this for a view from an outhouse? 16 390′ tall Mt. Blackburn towering over the Wrangell mountains. I took a little spring soiree recently over to Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and ventured up the Kuskulana River and Nugget Creek area. I’ll be back there this summer hiking a couple of routes in the area, one of which I did last summer. There is a great public use cabin at Nugget Creek, which I stayed in for the week. The outhouse, which you can see here, looks directly at Mt Blackburn. It’s kind of a nice view to take your mind off things, so to speak.

Unfortunately, I chose a week of cloudy crappy weather, which I meant not a lot of great photo opps for me, but some good skiing and snowshoeing time in the area. Me and my Karhu skis went up the hills, down the hills, up the river, down the river, over the glacier, over the moraine and through the woods. I really enjoyed the trip.

I’ll try to post a little over the next week and catch up a bit; it’s always kinda weird coming back from the quiet of the woods to the social media world of blogs and facebooks and tweets and whatnot. Rather than come back inspired to write, I often come back inspired to “not write” – the quiet and stillness of the northern winter seems to steer me in a direction that is a little more ‘internal‘ and a lot less ‘external‘. It doesn’t do a lot for my blog, but it does a grand job on my soul.

Anyway, I hope you all had a great March, and here’s to spring!

Cheers

Carl

Cross country skiing photo – Wrangell St. Elias.

Backcountry cross country skiing (XC skiing), Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Backcountry cross country skiing (XC skiing), Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click the image to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey folks,

In honor of my ambitious plan to go skiing tomorrow, tuesday, I thought I’d post this scene from last spring – cross country skiing in Wrangell St. Elias National Park. It seemed like every day for the entire month of April was like this last year, and this is pretty much how I spent each morning – gliding over a nice crust of snow, surrounded by snow-covered mountain ranges, wide open spaces, blue skies and wildness.

I’m enjoying my time in Anchorage this year, but am OH SO wishing I were over in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park again. There is no place quite like it. Continue reading

Photos of 2009.

Dawn rising over Mount Blackburn, elevation - 16,390 feet (4,996 M), winter, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Dawn rising over Mount Blackburn, elevation – 16,390 feet (4,996 M), winter, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Click the image to see a larger version and to browse the rest of the gallery.

Hey Folks,

I thought I might make a blog post, the first for the new year, with a quick presentation of my favorite images from the past year. Not necessarily a “best of”, but just a collection of 12 images, one from each month, each of which mean something to me. Some of these have appeared on the blog before, some have not.

The first one is my favorite image of Mt. Blackburn I’ve taken so far, taken one cold morning a year ago. One of the primary reasons I wanted to spend winter in the McCarthy area was this particular scene. I knew the mountain would get great light in the winter, though I’d only viewed it from here in the summer previously. During the summer the great light is on the northside of mountains here in Alaska, so I’d never really viewed this scene in the great alpenglow you see here. A couple of winters in a cabin in the woods rewarded me in many ways, and I consider this image a nice memory of those days. Good times.

The 2nd photo Continue reading

Winter’s comin’

snow swept hillside in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Winter’s right ’round the corner, so I thought I’d post a shot from last winter. High on a mountainside in the Wrangell Mountains the wind had swept the snow into some really cool patterns of ridges and valleys. I loved the curves in this scene, and with some nice dramatic side-lighting right before sunset (around 2:30pm), this scene was cooler than cool. Cooler than being cold, in fact. For scale, you can see a lone spruce tree in the background, shaded by the rising ridge beyond it.

Funnily enough, the temperature up on the hillside was markedly warmer than down at the Shack. Everytime I ventured up on to the mountains, the temperature was noticeably warmer. Folks tell me the inversion is simply because warm air rises and cold air drops, so down into the Kennicott River basin it goes. T Continue reading

Breakup – Cross Country Skiing

Backcountry cross country skiing, along the Kennecott River, near McCarthy, springtime, breakup, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Cross Country skiing this spring along the Kennecott River. This is why they call this time of year (April)  “breakup”. This spring was probably some of the funnest times I’ve had in a long time. What a great time and place!

You might notice my hip new Karhu 10th Mountain XCD backcountry skis. All I can say about ’em is these skis ROCK!!! Continue reading

Wendell Berry and Guy Tal.

Winter in the Mentasta Mountains, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park.

A winter sunset over the Mentasta Mountains, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

“The effort to clarify our sight cannot begin in the society, but only in the eye and in the mind. It is a spiritual quest, not a political function. We each must confront the world alone and learn to see it for ourselves”. So says Wendell Berry, one of my favorite writers, in his book “The Unforeseen Wilderness”. The book, a dearly needed plea to save Kentucky’s Red River Gorge from a nefarious plan to dam it, was written nearly 40 years ago. I haven’t read the book completely yet, as I just bought it this afternoon. But I glanced at it, and this passage caught my attention. Berry continues on:

“the figure of the photographic artist – not the tourist-photographer who goes to a place, bound by his intentions and preconceptions, to record what has already been recorded and what he therefore expects to find, but the photographer who goes into a place in search of the real news of it”.* Continue reading

Cross country skiing

Cross country skiing on the Kennicott river, springtime, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

 

Hey Folks,

I had to show this image from my most recent skiing outing. Here I take the last in a run of drops that started with the mountain in the background behind me (Bonanza Ridge) – with all that descent, I’d gathered a lot of speed, probably several hundred miles per hour. I was lucky enough to pick my line well in advance, and come right by my tripod. I’ve included the last in this series here below, without me in the image, to show you what an immaculate line I took, right between the boulders, and what a carve. I mean, does it get any sweeter?

Cross country ski tracks, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Cheers

Carl

Cross Country Skiing, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Skier, cross country skiing, springtime, in the forest, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

 

Hey folks,

Truth be told, I haven’t been shooting too much these last few weeks. I’m back in McCarthy, at the Shaq, and though the weather has been pretty nice, I just haven’t found much to photograph. It’s the end of winter, in that season known locally as ‘breakup’, a kind of pre-spring interim. The snow is melting, quickly, which means limited mobility – after about midday, its just slushy goo. however, when we get a nice clear sky, at night, the temperature drops dramatically (it’s been comfortably warm in the daytime), and the snow cover re-freezes .. so skiing in the morning is awesome. Continue reading