Autumn Tundra

Stony Pass, sunrise, Silverton, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Stony Pass Sunrise : Prints Available

A spectacular sunrise over Stony Pass, east of Silverton - September.

Desiring a leisurely change of pace after our recent tiring backpacking treks, Claudia and I decided to go car camping this weekend up on Stony Pass east of Silverton, Colorado.

Stony Pass Peak, Weminuche Wilderness, Grenadier Range, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Stony Pass Peak Sunrise : Prints Available

Sunrise atop Stony Pass Peak, looking over the high rolling tundra of the northern Weminuche Wilderness towards the Grenadier Range - September.

Nearby Stony Pass Peak provided an easily-accessed wonderful vantage point over the rolling tundra of this area and the rugged Grenadier Range in the distance to the south.

Stony Pass, autumn, tundra, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, September, abstract

Stony Pass Abstract #2 : Prints Available

The contours and textures of the tundra around here make for fantastic abstract photo opportunities with a telephoto lens, especially with the golden autumn colors!

More photos below! Continue reading “Autumn Tundra”

The Lime Loop

Needle Mountains, Weminuche, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, hiking

Over Labor Day weekend some friends joined us for a strenuous 3-day loop trek in the Weminuche Wilderness, south of the area we hiked through last week.

Turret Peak, Emerald Lake, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, reflection

Emerald Cloud Reflection : Prints Available

The weather was a bit wacky during this trek – ominous clouds threatened rain and thunder during the days, but the rain only came during the night.

More photos below! Continue reading “The Lime Loop”

The Wild Heart of the San Juans

Needle Mountains, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, Weminuche Wilderness, clouds, reflection

Misty Mountain Morning : Prints Available

Storm clouds break up and lift off of the Needle Mountains, in the high Weminuche Wilderness - August.

Mountain goat, Weminuche Wilderness, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Father Goat #1 : Prints Available

Mountain goat in the Weminuche Wilderness.

Vestal Peak, Arrow Peak, Grenadier Range, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, sunrise, reflection

Grenadier Sunrise Reflection #2 : Prints Available

Reflection of the Grenadier Range during a fiery sunrise.

Last week we went on another 7-day trek through the high peaks of the Weminuche Wilderness in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado. During our backpacking trip we were treated not only to spectacular mountain vistas, but to some pretty cool wildlife encounters too! See LOTS more photos from our trek below! Continue reading “The Wild Heart of the San Juans”

Bridge of Hayden

Hayden Trail, Weehawken, Potosi Peak, hiking, Ouray, Colorado, August

Hiking the Hayden Trail, with Potosi Peak and Weehawken valley of the Sneffels Range in the background.

We started my birthday off right this morning with a hike up Hayden Mountain, high above Ouray. We found a new ridge-route to an awesome overlook point that I never realized was there, despite having hiked up past here numerous times before. This is definitely now one of my favorite Ouray hikes, along with the Bridge of Heaven on the opposite side of Ouray.

Hayden Mountain, Ouray, Colorado, August

We are excited to finally go backpacking again in a couple days – for a week long trek in the Weminuche – woohoo!


Hiking the Weehawken Trail near Ouray, Colorado

..we’ve been going on a lot of day hikes around Ouray with Claudia’s mom and sisters. It’s been fun to show them around! Here we are on the Weehawken Trail.

Arches National Park, Utah

We even went for a quick road trip to Moab, despite the inferno heat! Her family has never seen the desert before, so Arches and Canyonlands National Parks were are good way to start!

Red Mountain summit, San Juans, Colorado

Here’s a summit cairn complete with Tibetan prayer flag on the top of Red Mountain #3.

Our Big Day!

Claudia and Jack Brauer
Jack & Claudia Brauer. Photo by Melissa Plantz.

On August 4, Claudia and I got married! We had a small but immensely fun wedding ceremony and party here in Ouray. I want to give a big THANKS to all our family and friends that came to celebrate with us; and for those who couldn’t make it – we missed you but we will celebrate together soon!

It still amazes me how our paths from America and Germany crossed in the Cordillera Huayhuash in Peru two years ago. Crossed, and joined for good! I am forever grateful for that fateful trip, and I look forward to many adventures to come with Claudia – my friend, my partner, and now… my wife!

Goodbye Glacier!

St. Mary Lake, Wild Goose Island, Glacier National Park, Montana, stars, shooting star

Saint Mary Stars : Prints Available

Stars and a shooting star over St. Mary Lake and Wild Goose Island.  The clouds are illuminated by the lights of the town of Apgar on the west side of the range.

Our last night in Glacier National Park: sitting by Saint Mary Lake, drinking wine, reminiscing about all our recent adventures and dreaming about more to come. All in all, it was a great trip – we packed in a lot of adventures during our three weeks away. In fact, except for the big driving days, we hiked every single day of the trip! Now we’re happy to be back home in the San Juans where thankfully it’s been raining nearly every day while we were gone, ending the drought that spurred us north to Montana three weeks ago.

Piegan Pass

Piegan Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana, hiking

Hiking towards Piegan Pass, from the Going to the Sun Road.

For our last hike during our stay in Glacier National Park, we went up to Piegan Pass – a nice day hike from the Going to the Sun Road.

Piegan Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana, hiking

Once at the pass, we were greeted with an awesome view of the sheer walls of Mt. Gould.

Piegan Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana, hiking, Mount Gould, Cataract Creek

Hiking above Piegan Pass, with Mount Gould and the Cataract Creek valley in the background - July.

After lounging around on the pass for a while, we decided to hike up to another pass that’s about 1,000 feet higher.

Piegan Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana, hiking, Going to the Sun road, Logan Pass

An awesome vista from the pass higher up to the southwest from Piegan Pass, between Pollock and Piegan Mountains.  The valley below is where the Going to the Sun Road passes, just to the east of Logan Pass.

Epic views!