Backpacking trip; Hidden Creek

Backpacking up Hidden Creek, in the Wrangell Mountains, near Kennicott, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Backpacking up Hidden Creek, in the Wrangell Mountains, near Kennicott, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. To view a larger version of this image, please click on the photo above.

Hey Folks,

Here’s a shot again from the Hidden Creek backpacking trip this past summer. Well, if one can really call the last week of August in Alaska “summer”. We had a great time on the trip, as I mentioned in a few earlier posts, in particular because we were fortunate enough to have some fine weather. Those big sunny skies make the world of difference when you’re sleeping, eating and doing everything else under them.

I miss the summer already! Right now we’re kind of in that dead era between fall and winter. I’ve been back from my last trip (photographing grizzly bears in Katmai National Park) over 2 weeks now .. the longest stint i’ve spent inside the house since May. I think next week I’ll try to head to somewhere and sleep in my tent again. I need some wilderness, especially after sitting in a court room all week (so far) doing my civic service of jury duty.

This particular hike was rewarding as well,, because last year I did this section as part of a longer route, from Nugget Creek to Kennicott – 65 miles through the Wrangell mountains. However, most of the trip was under socked in, gray, cloudy skies, cold damp air and gusts of winds. It was a treat to get to see at least some of what we hiked through in the fog.

I think I’ll probably add this hike to my regular set of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park backpacking trips. It’s a flexible route, with a lot of options for detours, sidetrips, basecamps, extended hikes or shorter trips, etc, etc. And the scenery is simply superb.

We also got to see a number of Dall sheep and mountain goats up in the high country, which is always nice. We didn’t see any bears, though last year we saw some in the area. But the mountain views more than made up for any lack of wildlife here.

I shot this photo using the intervalometer on my camera (Nikon D300s). In the past I’ve used the self-timer, but that limits me to just one shot at a time. With the intervalometer, i can program the camera to take any number of shots, in sequence, starting at a given point in time, and also set the timing of the shots. So, for example, I think here I set it up to start 2 minutes from when I programmed it, and take about 8 or 9 shots, 1 second apart. That allows me to move, turn around, etc, and try some different shots. It’s definitely the best way, IMO, to take this kind of shot without a model or without using some kind of handheld remote shutter release.

I usually take one shot, or 2, using the self-timer, to get a ballpark of where I need to be, what focal length I want, etc, and make sure everything is right. Then I turn on the intervalometer, and away I go. Nikon cameras mostly come with an intervalometer now, while I believe Canon cameras do not (but it’s possible to buy one after market). For shooting images in the backcountry, if you don’t have a model along, they can be invaluable.

I had hiked up this ridge, and was waiting on the folks in the group to join me, so I set up the tripod and took a few images while they were still climbing up. By the time they’d caught up, I had taken the photos and packed up again, ready to hike over the hill to camp. And then, to dinner. 🙂



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