Tag Archives: Mount Blackburn

Click This; April 2011

Brown bear backlit at dawn, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

A coastal brown bear, Ursus arctos, walks along Brooks River shoreline at dawn, backlit, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Hey Folks

Next up in this series of news of the month pieces.

This month, I haven’t been spending as much time in the woods, and even less reading the news. Mostly, I’ve been grating sandpaper over my eyeballs … more commonly called “working on website updates”. I need to take about a  year off, and learn how to do this properly, then start over from scratch and rebuild everything (yeah, that’s gunna happen).

Below I’ve compiled various bits from around the web that held my failing attention long enough to actually read through the piece.  Feel free to add your own stuff of note, I’d love to see some things I’ve missed.

In a completely random order: Continue reading

Photography; it DOES get in the way

Winter in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Mt. Blackburn, Alaska.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Wrangell Mountains and the Kuskulana River, Mount Blackburn, near Nugget Creek mine. Winter, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger versoin of this photo.

Hey Folks,

The other side of the same coin, I suppose. How many hours have I spent looking at a computer screen, sifting through snippets of html code for a closing bracket (>) or some php code for a dollar sign, etc, etc, etc. Please, don’t answer that. 🙂

How many hours have I hacked, stabbed, mauled, wrestled with and mangled some code to tweak my website/s? Days (i.e., months) fiddling with photoshop, trying to learn how to process an image. Upgrading software, learning software, relearning software, replacing software, trialling software, etc, in the interest of my photography. Those hours could’ve been spent in the woods. Continue reading

Mount Blackburn Photo

Hey Folks,

Winter in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Kuskulana River, Alaska.

Mount Blackburn – Winter in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Wrangell Mountains, Mount Blackburn, Kuskulana River, Winter, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Mount Blackburn, the 5th highest peak in the US; a grand mountain!

Sometimes those moments in the mountains are just too grand to describe; This is one of those views that is beyond the sublime. The Great Horned Owls hooting behind me only added to the ambience. The more time I spend in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, the more impressive the place appears.

As the light faded, I quietly breathed my “thank you”, turned the skis around, and eased toward the night.



Mount Blackburn Photo

Mount Blackburn Photo, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Mount Blackburn Photo, Wrangell Mountains and the Copper River Basin, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s a view of Mount Blackburn and the Wrangell Mountains, at sunset.

One of the hassles with shooting in Alaska in the dead of winter is, of course, the cold. We all understand how that’s a hassle, right? Cold fingers, batteries that die, and so forth. The list goes on.

Getting a vehicle started at 40 below zero deg F is itself an art. An engine block heater for your car helps – well, it’s pretty much a ‘must have’. But at minus40deg, even that won’t get you far. The engine block heater helps warm up the mechnical parts of the engine block, but at these frigid arctic temperatures, even the oil thickens up so much it doesn’t flow; problematic for a car engine. So , an Oil Heater works well. Another useful tool is something to warm up the battery.  The 3rd item that’s a good tool to have is a battery heating pad – cold temperatures can dramatically affect the cranking power of a battery, so heating it up will help get your car started. Continue reading

Skiing, Wrangell-St. Elias

Skiing, Wrangell-St. Elias Alaska.

A backcountry skier stands above the Kuskulana River, near Mt. Blackburn. Cross country skiing in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, winter, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

A quick photo from Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

Skis: cheap
Pack: not very much $$
View: free

Temperature: Minus 40 degrees.

By the way – if you want to see some great work – check out Jim Goldstein’s blog post, including links to  over 160 photographers’ favorite photos from 2010.



Editing art

Backcountry skiing near Mt. Blackburn, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Winter is a great time for backcountry skiing in Alaska. Cross country skiing and ski touring in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, along the Kuskulana River, near Mt Blackburn and the Wrangell Mountains, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Happy New Year, and Welcome back to the blog. I had a somewhat mixed couple of weeks, which I’m sure I’ll tell you all about here soon enough. Before I get all that together however, I’ll post a short note about this news I saw, an article concerning a new publishing of the Mark Twain classics: “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” edited by Professor Alan Gribben of Auburn University at Montgomery. It differs from other editions of those books because Mr. Gribben has turned the word “nigger” — as used by Tom and Huck — into “slave.” Mr. Gribben has also changed “Injun” to Indian.

This is interesting to me. I’m a huge fan of Twain, particularly those novels, and the idea of editing (i.e., rewording) such great work is almost ghastly .. on the surface. On the other hand, we live in a world where art, including ‘great art‘ is constantly being ‘adapted‘ for presentation: consider films presented on television, for example. How are bleeps, voice-overs, cuts and blurred body parts any different to a publisher swapping out words that might be offensive or inappropriate? Or updated versions of Shakespearean classics, making them infinitely more readable for kids? How about song lyrics bleeped for radio play? Or, better yet, literary classics like Nabokov’s “Lolita” banned from schools altogether?

How about the outcry over John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High”? The US Senate held a hearing in 1985 to deal with explicit lyrics in pop music. So we’re not talking about anything new here at all. Indeed, one of the most popular shows on TV in recent times is American Idol, where countless classic tunes have been butchered by this generations’ most current attempts to throw its own heros up the pop charts. 🙂 Continue reading

Mt. Blackburn and John Muir

Mt. Blackburn in alpenglow, early fall, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska.
Mt. Blackburn stands tall to catch the sun’s first rays of alpenglow, high above the Kennicott Valley, early fall, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

I just visited my friend Mark Graf’s great blog, and read with interest his commentary on mountains and the import and grandeur of nature, the role it can play in our lives. Mark prefaces his post with the legendary John Muir, so I’ll do the same:

“Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature’s sources never fail. – John Muir, Our National Parks, 1901”

While I think it’s a fantastic photo Mark posted, and a great post, (I’d ask that you read it and the comments that follow) I have to be the lone opponent in the discussion here;  Continue reading

Mount Blackburn photo

Black and white photo of Mount Blackburn, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

I hope you’re not tiring of Mount Blackburn. It’s an awesome mountain. One of the primary reasons I wanted to spend some time here in the winter is to catch this mountain in good light. In the summer time, when travel here is a bit easier and the weather much warmer, the good light is on the north side of the mountain. So here I am, running around at 50 deg below F trying to make a decent image of the mountain. I went up new year’s eve to shoot, and the light was amazing.

Of course, both my camera batteries died, due to the cold, and I made 3 photos, then spent my time sitting in the cold watching the alpenglow light up the mountain as if it had a fire inside. It was something special to witness, but I’ve not a single image of the event. Since then it’s been cloudy.

The weather did warm up to a comfortable 20 below though, so there’s always something positive. That and the little rubber foot off my tripod that fell off, and I thought was long gone, lost; I was wandering back to the shack just at dusk, when  I saw this little black thing half buried in the snow .. I kicked it (as I’m prone to do such things), and it was my rubber foot off my tripod. Woo hoo!

You all stay warm. I’ll try to get some images of something other than Mount Blackburn here sometime soon.