Here’s another from the Arrigetch Peaks trip we did last month, August. This was our first morning up in the valley; really a treat to wake up to something like this. Of course, waking up at 4:30am isn’t such a treat, but such is the life of photography in the Arctic summer.
The 3 peaks in this frame are Xanadu, the largest in the background, with Albatross in front of it, and Ariel on the right hand side of the frame. Going out of the frame to the right is Caliban.
A mile or so up the creek from here we saw a, wait for it .. a beaver. That was pretty wild, I never thought they’d be up in rock climbing territory. Animals are just full of surprises.
Just a quick snapshot. Here’s a photo from the campsite a day previous to the recent posting of my backcountry campsite. Camped at about 7 200′ ASL in September, in Alaska, snow can be expected.
There was a pretty good cover of fresh snow when we arrived at this spot, but we got another good dumping in the few days we were there, So, plenty of snow to go around! For the record, the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 handled the snowfall just fine.
Here’s a funky story to go with this campsite. Somehow I contracted Strep throat on this trip. I’m not sure where I got it, and who’s to blame for passing on this nasty little bug to me, but on day 3 of our trip, I didn’t feel so good. Continue reading
As I mentioned in a post a few days back, I am pretty excited about some of the grizzly bear photos I took on this most recent trip to Katmai National Park. Over the years I’ve spent so many weeks there, shooting and re-shooting photos of grizzly bears, that it can be difficult to really bring home some new images. This photo is one I was super happy with.
I took, of course, countless images of bears eating salmon, chasing salmon, catching salmon, standing around, sitting down, sleeping, fighting, playing, etc. But what I really wanted to capture was some dramatic images in dynamic weather or dynamic lighting situations. We were fortunate to have an abundance of both, Continue reading
Here’s a photo from the first morning out on my recent trip to Katmai. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and I was able to get out and shoot before returning to camp to meet the folks coming out for the first week’s photo tour. I’d also walked and photographed the river the previous evening, and it gave me a great opportunity to scout around a bit and get a head’s up on things like the river level (which fluctuates greatly year to year, even week to week), which bears were hanging where, where the best fall colors were, etc, etc.
The bear population this year was even higher than last year, with over 70 bears in the area. I recognized many from previous trips I’ve made here, but this beautiful dark bear was one I hadn’t seen before. Continue reading
Another shot of Mt. Sanford. I know this might be a few too many, but trust me, t’s a REALLY cool mountain. And, if you had any idea how many times I’v tried to take this photo, you’d offer me your sympathies. And maybe some therapy.
So nearly 5 years ago I “found” this little pond and thought ‘ahhh, this could be a nice spot to photograph Mt Sanford from’. And it is. However, the pond is prone to some ripplage, particularly right around dawn, when the alpenglow lights up the mountain. So, all too often, I’ve been thwarted in my efforts; either the pond is rippling and the reflection is lost, or the light is not great, or the mountain not visible (most common). This week I thought I had a good shot at something happening, so I made the trip over to that area and spent a total of 3 mornings trying my hand.
On the 3rd morning, the conditions came together; Continue reading
A view from just near the Simpson Hill Overlook, near Glennallen. The mountains here are (from left) Mount Sanford and Mount Drum. Mount Sanford is over 4 000′ the higher of the 2, but because it’s further away, looks to be shorter here. Mt Drum sits about 25 miles away from the Copper River and Glennallen.
The fall colors here can be quite spectacular on a good year. This year was a little dull compared to most, but the Cottonwoods, even on a poor year, still glow in evening light.
The alpenglow on this particular evening was quite grand, and I, of course, pretty much missed photographing it. I have an uncanny knack for not being in the right place at the right time, and true to form, was down walking through the woods when the light hit its peak.
Maybe next year I’ll do better. I did find another really nice viewpoint to shoot one fall evening, so hopefully next year I’ll manage something more.
I just returned from a few quick days over in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park before heading off to Katmai for a photo tour. We’re enjoying some of the finest days of the summer, and I wish I could’ve stayed longer, but I must pack and get my gear ready for this trip. It sure is hard to get on the road and take the park “exit” when these mountains are standing tall and strong amid clear blue skies behind you.
It’s been a really great summer, though, and I’ve had a blast. This next 2 weeks in Katmai should be a great finish to a really good summer. Ironically, Anchorage has had one of the dreariest, and wettest, summers on record, while I’ve had some great weather, amid the fog, rain and snow. All good fun, though, eh?
Mount Sanford rocks.
I’ve headed out again for the next trip, but will schedule this post in advance. This is from close to the pass above Hidden Creek, looking back down the valley we’d just hiked. We walked up the south side of the valley (right side in the frame), then crossed and climbed up to a bench on the north side of the pass. Camping up there was simply awesome. 2 bands of Dall sheep were wandering the mountains above us, and we saw mountain goats higher still.
Hidden Creek is simply stunning. This particular afternoon, we crested the pass and camped on the other side of the saddle, which is where the previous post’s photo (“Reflections”) was taken. Suffice it to say that the back half of the trek is just as rocking as the front half.
Suffice it to say, I’ll be on this route again next year. 🙂