Tag Archives: Winter

Working by your self

Snowboarder near Anchorage, Alaska.

I was photographing toward the mountains when 2 snowboarders came on by. I snapped this photo of one of them before he took off down the mountain. A snowboarder walks across the ridge near Flatop Mountain, Glen Alps, near Anchorage, in winter, Alaska. Mt. McKinley, known as "Denali" in the distance. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey folks,

A quick word of advice. If you think it looks like a nice afternoon to go out and shoot some photos (i.e., the light is rockin’, fresh snow on the mountaintops, etc, etc, etc), the very best of advice I might offer you is this: Head out on your own.

I know better than to think I might do some photography when I head out with non-photographers. Well, I like to THINK I know better, but I today did it yet again. Sometimes I’m a just a flatout non-learner, I guess.

So, as the setting sun turned the sky and nearby mountains a glorious pink, instead of photographing the grandeur, I was packed up and skiing my way back to the parking lot, my camera and tripod safely tucked away inside my daypack.

Photography and non-photographers just don’t mix well. The first time I was given this lesson was years ago, in a discussion with the late Bill Silliker, Jr (a  great photographer and a good man); we were talking about being a photographer versus being a musician. Bill had been a drummer in his younger days. His words were “Carl, one of the best things, for me, about photography as a gig is that I don’t need a bass player”. Continue reading

Winter’s comin

Snowshoeing in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Winter travel through the boreal forest, in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Hiking on snowshoes through the snow-covered taiga, white spruce forest in winter. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Well, Fall’s well and truly over, now. I skied through a whiteout this afternoon, over in the Chugach Mountains, and decided winter’s here. So I think I’ll welcome the new season with a trip to “the park”, as I call Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

The plan is to head over early this week and spend a few days on the north side of the park, snowshoeing and skiing around in the forest. I took this photo last winter on a trip to this same area; it’s always a treat to return and wander through the silent whiteness.

Winter is such a fascinating time of year in Alaska, so stark and silent, yet completely amazing. It lacks the vitality of the summer, but owns a kind of sublime depth that simply isn’t present at any other time of year. It’s very alive. Right now it hasn’t yet got down to the crazy winter temps of -40˚, but there should be plenty of snow around.

Tomorrow I’ll spend part of the day packing for the trip. Even though I’m only going to the park for a few days, colder weather means more gear, and more careful packing is required. Then, Tuesday, it’ll be off to Wrangell – St. Elias National Park to see what I can find to photograph. If nothing is on offer, I’ll just spend the time skiing a few areas  want to explore a little more, snowshoeing through the forest, and enjoying the greatest National Park in the world. 🙂

Cheers

Carl

Print Sale – 20% off, Nov 1 – 25, 2010.

A dumping of fresh snow loads this young willow sapling, Wrangell mountains, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A dumping of fresh snow loads this young willow sapling, Wrangell mountains, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. To view a larger version of this photo, please click on the image above.

hey Folks,

I just thought I’d do a quick plug here and announce my first ever print sale. That’s right, the holidays are coming on soon, and why not order your loved ones a fine art print for their wall? Better yet, order yourself a fine art print. So, Nov 1 through Nov 25, 2010, I’m offering 20% off regular prices for ALL prints. A 16″ x 20″ print (or 24″) of this image typically sells for $180. Right now, until Nov 25, that means it’s yours for $144.00.

Canvas Wraps are also available – a beautiful canvas print, laminated for protection, wrapped, mounted on a handcut, solid wooden frame and ready to be hung on the wall. Printed in Atlanta (myphotopipe.com do some of the finest Canvas Gallery Wraps in the nation), the finished product is simply exquisite. For $280.00 (+S&H), this, or any other image on my website, will be printed at 20″ x 30″ and mounted, ready for your wall. That’s a $70.00 savings!

Wildlife Photos? Take a look at the Grizzly Bears gallery for over 500 wild grizzly bear photos. Elk, whitetail deer, bald eagles, you choose. Landscape photos and scenics on sale as well, such as the snow-laden willow sapling here, taken one winter in the Wrangell Mountains, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Also, note this offer includes any image posted on the blog here that is not yet posted to the gallery section of the site. Browse the website, decide which images you might like, or your friends and family might like, and place an order. 3 or more images and I’ll cover S&H .. just use the Coupon Code “Go-Ahead-‘n’-Get-Ya-One”.

In order that I can get all prints finished and shipped in time for the holidays, the sale ends Nov 25. Waiting until later can mean your print likely won’t arrive in time, so please go ahead and place your order asap.

Credit Card orders welcome.

Cheers

Carl

Wrangell mountains and winter’s release.

Stairway Icefall and Donoho Peak, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, winter, Alaska.

Winter snow covers Kennicott Glacier and alpenglow catches the peaks of the Wrangell Mountains and Stairway Icefall, Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the photo to view a larger version of the image.

Hey Folks,

The Wrangell Mountains in winter. Alpenglow catches the eastern edge of the range. This view is looking up the Kennicott Glacier. At right is the edge of Bonanza Ridge, Jumbo, Then Stairway Icefall, Donohue Peak just left of center, and the Ahtna Peaks behind that to the left.

Winter’s finally wrapping itself up here in the north; it lingers much as the sun’s final rays cling to these high peaks at days end. Spring makes it’s way north slowly, and and is completely diurnal for now. The days, growing longer weekly, yield. But the night belongs to the winter, the cold, dark silence of the quiet time.

This is the first real “view” I ever had in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, all those years ago when I first ventured north on a backpacking adventure. I’d taken a bus from Fairbanks south, and the weather wasn’t so great; not raining, but overcast. I didn’t really have any idea of the scale of the landscape I was amongst at the time. The bus dropped me off on the highway, at the Edgerton Cutoff, and I hitch-hiked from there in to McCarthy (about 90 miles). That was an adventure in itself, maybe I’ll recount it another time. Continue reading

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

Male Pine Grosbeak photo, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.


Male Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) perched on a spruce tree, Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A male Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator), perched on a small spruce tree in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click the image to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s a photo I took last spring of a male Pine Grosbeak. I had set up a couple of feeders around the Shack and these gorgeous birds would come in every day and have a good ole time. Other regular visitors to the buffet were Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees, Common Redpolls, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Gray Jays and, of course, the effervescent Red Squirrel. Ravens came by, from time to time, but rarely dropped down to the feeder.  The Pine Grosbeaks were my favorite though.

The grosbeaks are actually a finch, the largest of the boreal finches. A group of these birds together is called, wait for it, a ‘gross’ of grosbeaks. They’re such a cool bird, and very tolerant of my puttering around the cabin; they’d generally ignore my comings and goings.

I grabbed a small white spruce sapling that some snow-machiners had run over and destroyed, and used it to set up the perch. For a background I hung a fleece blanket up and positioned it for a nice clean background. It’s a little bit ‘contrived’, but hopefully it works OK. Continue reading

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

Photo sale to the CIA.

Winter snowshoeing, boreal forest, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Winter snowshoeing, boreal forest, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Click the image to view a larger version.

Hey Folks,

All photo sales are unique, but this one was pretty weird. My phone rings around 5:30am, I kinda half open my eyes, clasp for the phone, miss, knock it off the table beside my bed, try to catch it, bang my head on the guitar standing against the wall, drop the phone, and it crashes to the floor. My go-to response in this situation is pretty simple; I curse. It’s a sin, I know, but it’s a hard habit to break. So I curse again, and then pick up the phone.

Surprisingly, the person on the other end of the phone is still there. I gurgle a quick greeting;

hello, this is Carl.”

hello, this is special agent ——– ………. “ Continue reading

Winter, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Snow covered spruce trees in the boreal forest, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Snow covered spruce trees in the boreal forest, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

This photo from my most recent trip to Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, over the Xmas- New Year. The note below was penned one beautiful evening last winter, by candlelight in a tiny cabin in the Alaska. There’s nothing quite like the silence and the cold of the boreal forest in an Alaskan winter.

The Paradox of Silence and the Cold

Silence is the aural equivalent of stillness. Both appear related to time, or at least our perception of it. Winter in the north seems to be abundant in both. The northern winter, often so harsh and unrelenting, is also the time when the place becomes still and silent. Continue reading

Here Comes the Sun.

Winter dawn on Mt Sanford, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Dawn touches Mt Sanford, Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Click the image to see a larger version.

Hey Folks,

After the George Harrison classic song of the same name – Abbey Road is such a great tune. This song is actually the first Beatles tune I ever learned how to play on guitar. it struck me when I learned it how similar it was to a classic song my favorite band at the time, Cream. The song ‘Badge’ has a similar intro-guitar riff. Come to find out that George Harrison actually co-wrote the Cream tune with Eric Clapton, for the Goodbye album, and it was that same song-writing session that produced “Here Comes the Sun” for Abbey Road. On the record, Harrison’s song-writing name was “L’angelo Mysterioso”. Sly devil.

This photo is of Mount Sanford, as the peak reaches high into the cold night air to meet the first light of the coming morning. The light gracefully kisses the mountain top good morning, and comes down to say hello to my cold fingers an hour or so later.

Cheers

Carl