Tag Archives: Chitistone Pass

Mount Bona and alpenglow

Mount Bona, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Russell Glacier and Mount Bona and Mount Churchill, alpenglow at sunset, and an array of wildflowers in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s an oldie but a goodie; well, not really an ‘oldie’ in the sense of a photo I took a long time ago, but a recent version of a favorite scene of mine; Mt. Bona, Mt. Churchill, the University Peaks and the Russell Glacier, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. I shot a very similar composition to this a few years ago on a Skolai Pass Photo Tour in the fall.

We very nearly didn’t get this scene last week. After a long backpack (made even longer by twice running a grizzly sow with her 3 cubs) we made camp and had a well – deserved supper. Tired, I watched as the light started to get better in the late evening, and thought it might be worth a hike a little further over toward this scene. In part because I wanted to shoot the alpenglow, but also because I wasn’t sure if the weather would hold until the next day, and I so wanted the 2 people on the trip to get to see this view while it was clear; I convinced one of the folks to join me for a walk, and we headed off toward the glacier.

When we arrived, the sun was still well up, and the light not nearly so warm. We made some photos, scouted out possible compositions, and waited around for the evening light; instead, the light faded; distant clouds behind us blocked the fading sun from the mountains, and the light dimmed. I thought it might be worth heading back toward camp in the hope of maybe catching some colorful clouds at sunset. We walked about 10 minutes in that direction and starting shooting some images in that area. I turned and saw the light in this direction start to glow again, and knew it would be a good idea to head back.

I had to hustle back got back just in time to catch the last of the alpenglow. Having already been here earlier, I knew exactly the foreground I wanted, which lens and composition I wanted, and this shot was merely a matter of pointing and shooting.

I guess in some ways this scene isn’t anything new, as I’ve shot almost from this very spot before; but it’s not a bad place to spend a nice afternoon, and even make some photos all the same.

Cheers

Carl

Waterfall and sunset at Skolai Pass

Waterfall and sunset, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A waterfall, known as Roane Falls, glows in the light of a colorful sunset. Near Chitistone Pass, looking toward Skolai Pass, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Roane Falls near Chitistone Pass, is a little known, and even less photographed, waterfall in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. This is another image from the same sunset in the previous image here.

We were on a hiking trip in the area last week, and were treated to some gorgeous weather (along with the obligatory nasty weather as well);  The days were well spent walking, talking, eating, and tooling around on the tundra, exploring a glacier, watching wildlife and enjoying this spectacular place. Skolai Pass in the summer is about as grand a place as I know of.

So you won’t find Roane Waterfall on a map, but longtime readers of this blog might remember how it got it’s name. If not, use the search function in the sidebar here and dig around a little. 🙂 This waterfall has appeared on this blog before!

I shot this with multiple exposures, then blended them together in the computer using a combination of the automated HDR tool in Photoshop (CS4) and also manually masking layers of the original frames. I find the HDR program often adds a funky look to the colors, particularly in the foreground, that I can’t seem to properly correct.

I added very little saturation to the sky at all; in fact, I left the waterfalls a little earlier than I should’ve because the sky got even more intense after I moved up the hillside to the location of the previous photo linked above.

Folks often ask whether I bring a tripod on my backpacking trips for photography, due the extra weight and ‘stuff’ factor; I can’t remember the last time I did not bring a tripod on a backpacking trip. Though I don’t always use it for every photo I take, it’s a critical part of my photography; when the light and moments provide the most spectacular opportunities, they almost always require a tripod. There’s be no way I could’ve made an image like this one without the three-legged camera holder.

Cheers

Carl

Mt Churchill and Mt. Bona, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park.

Tallest peaks in the University Range, Mt. Churchill and Mt. Bona rise dramatically from Russell Glacier, catching the last rays of the day, Fall colors in the foreground, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Tallest peaks in the University Range, Mt. Churchill and Mt. Bona rise dramatically from Russell Glacier, catching the last rays of the day, Fall colors in the foreground, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Here’s an image that I am amazingly lucky to have made. Probably luckier than I deserve to be. Not because of the luck involved in catching this scene like this; this image has been a long, long time in coming. The scene is taken from the south end of Chitistone Pass, near Skolai Pass, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska. I’ve spent more time here than I probably should admit to, waiting, hoping and wondering if I’d ever actually happen to catch it in the light that I knew graces these peaks from time to time. Finally, this September, I was up there with our phototour and we were really blessed with some great weather. I was giddy with excitement and I’m sure the folks along on the trip were wondering just what they’d got themselves into. Within 20 minutes of landing we’d already found and photographed a Least Weasel, which I’d never had the opportunity to photograph inside the park previously. Next up we ran into some Woodland caribou, apparently the only woodland caribou herd in Alaska, so that was pretty awesome. Then we saw some Dall sheep rams, and managed to stalk up on them a little. Next up was sunset, Continue reading