Tag Archives: snow

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

Wendell Berry and Guy Tal

Winter in the Mentasta Mountains, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

A winter sunset over the Mentasta Mountains, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

“The effort to clarify our sight cannot begin in the society, but only in the eye and in the mind. It is a spiritual quest, not a political function. We each must confront the world alone and learn to see it for ourselves”. So says Wendell Berry, one of my favorite writers, in his book “The Unforeseen Wilderness”. The book, a dearly needed plea to save Kentucky’s Red River Gorge from a nefarious plan to dam it, was written nearly 40 years ago. I haven’t read the book completely yet, as I just bought it this afternoon. But I glanced at it, and this passage caught my attention. Berry continues on:

“the figure of the photographic artist – not the tourist-photographer who goes to a place, bound by his intentions and preconceptions, to record what has already been recorded and what he therefore expects to find, but the photographer who goes into a place in search of the real news of it”.* Continue reading

Mt. Sanford photo, Wrangell St. Elias

Mt. Sanford catches dawn light, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Here’s another photo of Mt. Sanford from a recent trip to the north side of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska. The park is basically accessible via 2 roads, one from the west that runs into McCarthy, and the other from the north, that runs south to Nabesna. Generally, I’ve always enjoyed the south side area of the park more, but I think the views along the road are often more impressive on the north side.  On a clear day, the Wrangell Mountains lie to the west and dominate the landscape. Mt. Sanford, pictured here, 16 237′ tall, is a great view. Mt. Wrangell, over 14 000′ tall, is also visible, and even a distant Mt. Blackburn can be seen from the entrance of the park. 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

Yin Yang Photo #2

An absract photo, shadow and light, winterm representing yin yang, on snow bank, Wrangell St. Elias National park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

A follow-up to my ‘snowbank’ scene. I’d been reading a bit of eastern philosophy, some of which I really admire, and the yin yang idea resonated strongly with me. It just seems, so clearly, to represent the world; light and shadow, sound and silence, space and solid, energy and matter, left and right, short and tall, love and fear, being and non-being. The philosophy delves much more deeply than those mere examples of its (yin yang) manifestation, but I won’t go into all that at the moment. It’s pretty cool stuff though, check it out. Continue reading

Snowbank in Black and White

A snowbank in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, winter, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Here’s an image I made in January. I’d not had a good morning, hoping for some alpenglow on Mount Blackburn, but was thwarted by an unscrupulous cloudbank. But, I figure I may as well enjoy the mountain morning, right? So I wandered around a bit, soaking up the quiet. There’s nothing quite so silent as a winter dawn in Alaska. I found this little snowbank and thought it might by a good photo study, particularly once the sun a crested nearby ridge. Maybe two hours later the sun peaked it’s nose over the ridge south of me, 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. 🙂



Mount Sanford, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Mount Sanford, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

This is a photo of Mt Sanford, in winter, taken early one morning. In 2 weeks I had 3 mornings with some alpenglow. The first one I didn’t shoot because it was so socked in with cloud an hour before dawn that I didn’t figure the light was going to happen – and being tired, I slept in. I awoke, looked over, and saw a nice magenta glow on the face of Sanford, but there wasn’t really any kind of way to shoot it from where I was. Such is my life, it seems. I did enjoy a hot coffee and Continue reading