Tag Archives: outdoors

The creative life.

A backpacker stands, naked, in the Chugach Mountains, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A backpacker stands, naked, in the Chugach Mountains, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Click the image to see a larger version.

Hey Folks,

“It can be a difficult journey to live a creative life, if you live within an environment which does not understand or value creativity. Seek-out and surround yourself with positive soulmates”.

I read this note on a Status Update on facebook a while back, posted by a great photographer from Australia, Steve Coleman. Steve posts consistently valuable stuff on his facebook page, and I try to read every one of his insights. It’s nice to see someone so giving of their talent. I’ve never met Steve, but looking over his website I can tell you I already know I like the guy; click on ‘Workshops‘. That page tells me all I need to know; what a wonderful perspective!

The strength of the quote is in the paradox that it holds; creative work comes from within, yet what rises up from within is a function of the external. The input we open ourselves to form the outputs our work brings. But it’s more than that; I think a collective energy exists that is very real, very tangible, and we tap into that if we surround ourselves with a vibrant, creative community. Our neighbors, our friends, our peers, our families; these are all critical sources of creative energy that we draw upon, whether it be consciously or unconsciously.

To create and bring to life an idea, your idea, is a terribly frightening process; it opens us to vulnerabilities few of us wish to expose. A ‘support group‘ is critical. Continue reading

Shopping for gear?

Hiking in winter along the rim of the Kuskulana Gorge, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Hiking in winter snow along the rim of the Kuskulana Gorge, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Click the image to see a larger version and just how styling I look in my fat eVent jacket.

Hey Folks,

I thought this might be a good photo to accompany a post plugging my friend Ron Niebrugge’s new site Outdoor Gear Deals. Why? Because I’m looking so p-h-y-n-e in my flash orange jacket that you can clearly see the need for staying on top of fashion, even in the wilderness – ESPECIALLY in the wilderness. A while back some of the outdoor online retailers started running a “Deal of the Day” on their websites to draw traffic – offering some pretty good prices and great deals from time to time. As that marketing strategy has burgeoned, Ron did the world a favor and compiled a webpage that shows a bunch of these “Deals of the Day”. I’m sure he’ll add more sites to the page as time permits.

Continue reading

Breakup – Cross Country Skiing

Backcountry cross country skiing, along the Kennecott River, near McCarthy, springtime, breakup, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Cross Country skiing this spring along the Kennecott River. This is why they call this time of year (April)  “breakup”. This spring was probably some of the funnest times I’ve had in a long time. What a great time and place!

You might notice my hip new Karhu 10th Mountain XCD backcountry skis. All I can say about ’em is these skis ROCK!!! Continue reading

Cross Country Skiing, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska

Skier, cross country skiing, springtime, in the forest, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey folks,

Truth be told, I haven’t been shooting too much these last few weeks. I’m back in McCarthy, at the Shaq, and though the weather has been pretty nice, I just haven’t found much to photograph. It’s the end of winter, in that season known locally as ‘breakup’, a kind of pre-spring interim. The snow is melting, quickly, which means limited mobility – after about midday, its just slushy goo. however, when we get a nice clear sky, at night, the temperature drops dramatically (it’s been comfortably warm in the daytime), and the snow cover re-freezes .. so skiing in the morning is awesome. Continue reading

Snowboarding Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Snowboarding the Mentasta Mountains, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

I’ve been practicing this one a bit. Trying to get a snowboarder’s eye view of snowboarding. It’s pretty hard. Well, I’ll be honest – for me, it’s really hard. Really, REALLY hard. I fell over more times than I want to admit. Certainly more times than I wanted to fall over. And the slope is a good bit steeper than the image appears, so I was moving pretty fast.

What’s hard is lifting the camera to the eye without making a turn.

On a snowboard, like a skateboard or surfboard, one turns the board by turning the head and torso.

Every time I’d lift the camera up, I’d unconsciously turn my torso a bit, and the board would go with it, doing a ‘heelside turn’ effectively. Then I’d realize I was turning too far left, turn back the other way, doing a ‘toe-side turn’, over-correct, catch an edge and bust my ass.

Trying to hold my camera so it wouldn’t hit the ground as I wiped out was a bit of a mission, but I’ve so far managed to do it OK.

I practiced a bit on some gentler slopes, but there’s no substitute for the real deal. I’m rippin’ along here at probably close to 75 miles an hour or so.

Maybe. 🙂




Snowboarder in the backcountry of the Mentasta mountains, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Don’t look down. Snowboard champion, Carl Donohue, self-portrait. Or maybe that should be ‘Snow Bored Champion’?

Either way, I set about trying to get some photos of myself riding my snowboard. You can see how steep this run was.

One way to tell how good a snowboarder someone is in photos is how much snow is on their pants .. from this clean pair of Marmot Liquid Steel Gore-Tex XCR pants, you get an impression of someone who doesn’t fall down much.

Well, you might get that impression .. then again, you weren’t out there watching me, were ya? 🙂