Mystical San Juans

Colorado,San Juan Mountains,Stony Pass,wildflowers, July
Paintbrush Sunset : Prints Available

Indian Paintbrush wildflowers backlit by sunset in the San Juans, Colorado – July.

The San Juans were treated to a fantastic sunset last night, followed by an even more spectacular sunrise. I was fortunate to squeeze in a quick trip to the mountains to catch the shows.

Colorado,Grenadier Range,San Juan Mountains,Stony Pass,Weminuche Wilderness, Vestal Peak, Arrow Peak
Grenadier Morning : Prints Available

Sunrise light illuminates Vestal Peak (13,884 ft.) and Arrow Peak (13,803 ft.) in the Grenadier Range, Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado.

Colorado,Grenadier Range,San Juan Mountains,Weminuche Wilderness, Vestal Peak, Arrow Peak
Grenadiers Above the Clouds : Prints Available

Sunrise light illuminates Vestal Peak (13,884 ft.) and Arrow Peak (13,803 ft.) in the Grenadier Range, Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado.

Colorado,Grenadier Range,San Juan Mountains,Stony Pass,Weminuche Wilderness, tundra, July
Weminuche Paradise : Prints Available

The rugged Grenadier Range rises above the rolling green tundra of the Weminuche Wilderness – July.

Colorado,San Juan Mountains,Stony Pass,Weminuche Wilderness, clouds
Rolling Clouds : Prints Available

Misty clouds roll over the high tundra in the Weminuche Wilderness.

Colorado,San Juan Mountains,Stony Pass,Weminuche Wilderness, clouds, tundra
Weminuche Clouds : Prints Available

Misty clouds above the tundra headwaters of the Rio Grande, Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado.

Summertime in the Sangres

Colorado,Sangre de Cristos
Sangres Sunset Pond : Prints Available

Sunset over the Crestone group, as seen from the south.

With our San Juans still covered in quite a bit of snow up high, earlier this week we drove east for 3 nights of backpacking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains where the snow is mostly gone and summer backpacking season is well underway.

Blanca Peak,Colorado,Sangre de Cristos, fourteener
Blanca Peak Dawn : Prints Available

The first light of dawn illuminates Blanca Peak (14,345 ft.), the fourth highest fourteener in Colorado.

We camped the first night up near treeline below Mt. Lindsey, a fourteener I have not yet climbed. Feeling motivated, I set my alarm for 3:00am in order to hike up to the 13,400 foot summit of the “Iron Nipple” (seriously) for sunrise. This rugged peak offered a great vantage point to watch the sunrise light on Blanca Peak, the monarch of this mountain range.

See lots more photos from the rest of our trip below! Continue reading

Through the Dunes

Colorado,Great Sand Dunes
Sunset Ripples : Prints Available

Sunset deep in the Great Sand Dunes.

The Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado are perhaps the most unique landscape in the Rockies, with 700-foot tall sand dunes nestled at the foot of 13,000-foot mountains. Winds that blow across the vast San Luis Valley carry sand grains which become trapped by the towering Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the streams that flow out of the mountains keep the sand in one place, resulting in the tallest dunes of North America.

Last week we spent 3 days trekking around and through the Great Sand Dunes. Similar to a trek I did back in March 2009, in which I circumnavigated the entire dunefield, we hiked up the Sand Ramp Trail along the east side of the dunes, then this time instead of circling around the entire dunes we cut directly through the dunes from north to south back to our starting point.

See lots more photos and the whole trip report below! Continue reading

Springtime in the San Juans

Mt. Sneffels, Colorado, San Juan Mountains, May, spring, aspens, sunset
Sneffels Spring Sunset : Prints Available

Mt. Sneffels and freshly budded aspens in the Sneffels Range, May.

It’s a particularly beautiful time right now here in southwest Colorado, with the snowy peaks towering above brilliant green meadows and freshly budded aspen groves.

Colorado,San Juan Mountains,Sneffels Range, aspens, spring, sunset
Aspen Evening : Prints Available

Sunset light filters through springtime aspens – May.

Mt. Sneffels, Double RL, ranch, Ridgway, Colorado,San Juan Mountains,Sneffels Range, panorama
Double RL Spring Panorama : Prints Available

Mt. Sneffels and the Sneffels Range tower above the Double RL ranch near Ridgway, Colorado – May.

Larger View

Exhibit at Steamboat Art Museum

Steamboat Art Museum

I am pleased to be participating in the Colorado Nature Photography Invitational exhibit at the Steamboat Art Museum from May 30 – July 15, 2014. Five large prints of mine will be on display, along with impressive work from 10 other Colorado photographers including Monte Trumbull, Anne Rusk, Rich Voninski, Todd Caudle, Angela Classen, Joshua Hardin, Jason Hatfield, Scott Fricke, Jim Steinberg, and Rod Hanna. Go see!

Sneffels Ski

Colorado,Yankee Boy, Gilpin Peak,San Juan Mountains,Sneffels Range

What better way to cap off a memorable winter season in the San Juans than a spring descent of Mt. Sneffels, the monarch of the Sneffels Range.

Skinning up Yankee Boy Basin

My partner for the day was Karl, our new friend from Germany who we randomly met and skied with the previous day. We left the truck at sunrise in order to get up and down the mountain before the hot May sun nuked the snow.

Colorado,Mt. Sneffels,San Juan Mountains,Sneffels Range, Lavendar Col
Climbing up the Lavendar Col on Mt. Sneffels – May.
Colorado,Mt. Sneffels,San Juan Mountains,Sneffels Range
Hiking to the summit of Mt. Sneffels (14,150 ft.) – May.

What a glorious day to be up high in the San Juans! There’s no denying by now that Mt. Sneffels has to be one of my favorite peaks in the world.

Colorado,Mt. Sneffels,San Juan Mountains,Sneffels Range, skiing
Karl Trellinger skis down Mt. Sneffels.

And there’s no better way to enjoy a favorite peak than to ski/snowboard down it!

Colorado,Mt. Sneffels,San Juan Mountains,Sneffels Range, skiing
Skier: Karl Trellinger.

Still Going

Hiking by Teakettle Mountain

At the end of May we’re still enjoying great snow up here in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado! Here’s a few shots from the weekend.

snowboarding,Colorado,San Juan Mountains,Sneffels Range
Rider: Mikel Goicoechea.

Mikel made the journey down from Boulder and as usual he brought his good snow karma with him. We repeated a big route in the Sneffels Range that Charlie and I rode a few weeks back.

May powder

Showers on Saturday night dropped about 7 inches of snow in the high country. Sure, we’ll take some powder turns in late May, why not?

snowboarding, Colorado,Mt. Sneffels,San Juan Mountains,Sneffels Range

Snowboarder: Mikel Goicoechea.  Mt. Sneffels in the background.  May.

skiing, Colorado,San Juan Mountains,Sneffels Range
Skier: Claudia Brauer.