OK in Nepal

Plane in the Clouds

After a grueling 36-hour series of flights, we have finally made it to the impressively chaotic city of Kathmandu, Nepal!

Flying Into Kathmandu

During our approach into Kathmandu we were treated with a fantastic view of Mt. Everest and the Himalaya range smothered in what looked like a fresh coating of snow. We soon discovered that it was fresh snow indeed — and lots of it. On Tuesday a cyclone from India hit the mountains and dumped several meters of snow. Tragically, at least 27 lives of trekkers and climbers were lost during the blizzard, mainly in the Annapurna area. [News story here].

This stunning and saddening news has us wondering about our upcoming trekking plans; we will speak with those in the know to see how all this snow will affect the possibilities. But I just wanted to let you all know that we are safe, and will play it safe while we are in the mountains. Our hearts go out to those who were lost in the mountains, and their friends and families.

Chasing Yeti

Khumbu - google earth
A Google Earth aerial view of the Khumbu region of Nepal. Mount Everest (29035 ft / 8850 m) is the mountain at top right. Everest gets the spotlight as the tallest mountain in the world, but it is surrounded by a plethora of equally impressive peaks. For a sense of the enormous scale of these mountains, consider that the prominent valley in the center is over 12,000 vertical feet deep!

Tomorrow we fly around the world to Kathmandu, Nepal to spend two months trekking in the Himalaya – the world’s tallest and grandest mountains! We plan on hiking in the Khumbu/Everest region during the first month, staying in teahouses in the small villages along the way. (No, we won’t be climbing Everest). Our plans are open for the second month, so we’ll just play it by ear. I am so excited for this trip I can hardly cope!

Although I will mostly be unplugged during our adventures in the mountains, I am still accepting print orders through my gallery website. Prints ordered in October, November, and December will be delivered according this print delivery schedule. The deadline for ordering prints for Christmas gifts is November 21. I will respond to image licensing requests and other inquiries as quickly as I am able to.

Namaste!

Autumn Glory

Colorado,Crystal Lake,Red Mountain Pass,San Juan Mountains, aspens
Crystal Lake Autumn Reflection : Prints Available

Morning reflection of the Red Mountains and golden aspens caked with fresh autumn snows. San Juan Mountains, Colorado – September.

Is there ever a more beautiful time and place than autumn in the aspen forests of Colorado? I seriously doubt it.

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Moose in the Aspens

Mr. Moose agrees. More photos below! Continue reading

Stormy Sunset over Potosi Peak

Colorado,Potosi Peak,San Juan Mountains,Sneffels Range, sunset, Yankee Boy Basin
Potosi Autumn Sunset : Prints Available

Stormy sunset over Potosi Peak and Yankee Boy Basin – Sneffels Range, San Juan Mountains, Colorado.

This afternoon I spontaneously decided to attempt an evening hike of Mt. Sneffels. I suppose I was overly optimistic about the weather forecast because when I arrived in Yankee Boy Basin the ominous dark clouds had me scared to get out of my truck, much less hike a peak! So I sat in my truck for a few hours, enjoying the sound of the rain and the flash bangs of lightning and thunder.

Right before sunset the storm relaxed and some sunlight beamed through the clouds, illuminating the landscape with an eerie warm glow. It would have been a stunning scene to see from the summit, though probably not worth dodging lightning bolts for!

Alpensoak

Colorado,Conundrum Hot Springs,Elk Mountains, Aspen
Soaking with a view in Conundrum Hot Springs near Aspen, Colorado.

There are few things in life finer than soaking in natural hot springs, especially when those hot springs are situated at treeline in an alpine basin surrounded by high peaks and valley vistas! Such is the case at Conundrum Hot Springs, a remote but popular wild hot springs in the Elk Mountains between the towns of Aspen and Crested Butte in Colorado. Continue reading

A Visit to Columbine Lake

Relaxing at Columbine Lake

The lazy melancholy atmosphere of autumn has arrived in the high country… the tundra is golden brown, the air has a crisp edge, and the marmots have either burrowed into their holes or retreated to lower elevations. Yesterday we went out for a quick overnighter at Columbine Lake, in the San Juans of Colorado, to savor some time up high before the winter snows cover the tundra for another nine months.

Colorado,Columbine Lake,San Juan Mountains, sunrise, September, Lookout Peak
Sunrise at Columbine Lake : Prints Available

Sunrise light on Lookout Peak (13,661 ft.) above Columbine Lake – September.

Colorado,Columbine Lake,San Juan Mountains, September
The brilliant blue waters of Columbine Lake on a bluebird September morning.

Handies Peak

14er,Colorado,Handies Peak,San Juan Mountains, Sloan Lake, Jones Mountain, Niagara Peak, La Plata Mountains
Handies Peak Summit View : Prints Available

Looking southwest from the summit of Handies Peak (14,053 ft.) towards Sloan Lake, Jones Mountain, Niagara Peak, and La Plata Mountains in the far distance.

After a wet rainy week stuck inside the house, by Thursday I’d had enough and decided to get out and hike up Handies Peak, a fourteener here in the San Juans which I haven’t hiked before. Despite the cold wind and nasty looking clouds, I continued up the peak, encouraged by the occasional glimpse of blue sky. Sure enough, as I approached the summit the clouds started clearing off a bit, so I sat up there for a few hours bundled up in my down clothes and waited for sunset – which never really did much, but anyways it wasn’t a bad place to hang out for a while!

14er,Colorado,Handies Peak,San Juan Mountains, Sunshine Peak, Redcloud Peak
Handies Peak Summit Sunset : Prints Available

Fast moving clouds at dusk on the summit of Handies Peak (14,053 ft.).  Redcloud and Sunshine Peaks are two more 14ers visible on the left side horizon.

On a side note, earlier this summer in July, Adam Campbell, a runner in the infamous Hardrock 100 endurance race, was nearly struck by lightning high on Handies. He and his pacer were both knocked off their feet, but otherwise uninjured, and he continued on to finish third place!

8 Days In the Wind Rivers

Ambush Peak,Mount Bonneville,Raid Peak,Wind River Range,Wyoming
Desolation Sunset : Prints Available

Sunset above the jagged peaks of Desolation Valley, including Ambush Peak (12,173 ft.) and Raid Peak and Mount Bonneville in the background.

The Wind River Range forms 110 miles of the Continental Divide in central Wyoming. Notable for its plethora of alpine lakes, its soaring granite walls, and some of the largest glaciers in the US Rockies, the Winds are a supremely majestic mountain range and a paradise for backpackers, climbers, and fishermen.

It’s been eight years since my last backpack treks in the Winds, and I’ve been excited to get back ever since. Last week Claudia and I went up there and did an eight-day, ~55 mile backpack trek through the southern portion of the range.

Cathedral Lake,Wind River Range,Wyoming, Cathedral Peak
Cathedral Sunset Reflection : Prints Available

Cathedral Peak (or technically an arm of Cathedral Peak) reflects in Cathedral Lake at sunset.

See lots more photos from our journey below! Continue reading