Chasing Ice

Chasing Ice Trailer from milkhaus on Vimeo.

To celebrate the Mayan apocalypse in proper fashion, last night we went to see Chasing Ice, the new documentary movie about acclaimed photographer James Balog and his monumental efforts to document the receding glaciers of Greenland and Alaska.

Anybody with their head out of the sand can clearly understand that our planet is in turmoil; nevertheless, it is still utterly shocking and sobering to actually SEE through Balog’s cameras and time-lapses how rapidly these enormous glaciers and ice sheets are melting away. We are witnessing a planetary transformation of stunning speed and scale, and it’s difficult to imagine “smooth sailing” for our civilization in the coming decades. How many wake-up-calls do we need as a society to realize that we need to get our sh-t together and move forward with more sustainable energy policies?!

I encourage you to go see this movie as soon as possible. Go SEE how our Earth is transforming while we all go about business as usual. Go SEE for yourself.

Pre-Storm Sunset

Ouray, Colorado, sunset, San Juan Mountains, December

Prints Available

A wild sunset over Ouray on Tuesday evening, signaling the approaching storm that barreled through the San Juan Mountains and most of Colorado the last few days. This last series of storms dumped something like 5 feet of snow at Wolf Creek Pass on the south side of the San Juans, and we made sure to be there in the midst of it to score our first powder day of the season! And what a day it was on Wednesday, with bottomless powder and nuking snow all day long! Sorry, no pictures… I was too busy choking on snow! I’m glad that winter finally showed up around here.

Norwegian Leftovers

Since I’m lacking any new recent photos to share, I dug into the “vault” and found a few unreleased photos from my 2009 trip to Norway to share. The first two are new drum scans from my stack of 4×5 film.

Otertind, Norway, reflection

Otertind Reflection : Prints Available

Otertind reflects in a calm river.

Above is the beautiful mountain of Otertind, in northern Norway, reflected in a calm river on a gorgeous blue sky morning. Otertind’s striking profile is actually more attractive from a more distant perspective.

Hermannsdalstinden, summit, Lofoten Islands, Moskenesøya, Norway

Hermannsdalstinden Summit : Prints Available

A rugged view over the Lofoten Islands, as seen from the summit of Hermannsdalstinden (1029m), the tallest mountain on Moskenesøya Island.

The scrambly climb up Hermannsdalstinden in the Lofoten Islands was one of the most challenging and fun hikes I did during my six weeks in Norway, and the view from the top remains one of the most rugged mountain vistas I’ve witnessed to date. This view here is only one slice of the incredible 360º panorama encompassing granite peaks, deep fjords, alpine lakes, and of course the endless ocean beyond.

Moskenesøya, Lofoten, Kjerkfjorden, Norway, Vindstad

Vindstad Peaks : Prints Available

This 732m peak on Moskenesøya Island looks like a Norwegian version of Half Dome in Yosemite.  Kjerkfjorden and the little settlement of Vindstad are below the clouds. 

Just phenomenal scenery over there in Norway! I hope to return someday.

Red Mountain Moonrise

Red Mountain, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Red Mountain Dusk : Prints Available

Dusk light atop Red Mountain 3, between Ouray and Silverton.

On Wednesday evening we hiked up to the 12,890 ft. summit of Red Mountain No. 3 to watch the sunset and the full moon rise.

Red Mountain, Brown Mountain, moonrise, november, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Red Mountain Moonrise : Prints Available

A full moon rises over Brown Mountain, as seen from the summit of Red 3, November.

As you can see we’re hurting for snow out here in the San Juans. But, the lack of snow made for a fairly easy hike up there in just our regular hiking boots and gaiters. No snowshoes necessary!

McMillan Peak, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, moonlight, november

McMillan Moonlight : Prints Available

Moonlight illuminates McMillan Peak above Red Mountain Pass, November.

It felt good to pull the camera out again and scratch that photo itch!

WideRange.org is now MountainPhotography.com!

I am pleased to announce that after over 12 years of publishing my gallery website under the address of www.WideRange.org, I have changed the address to www.MountainPhotography.com! This address is obviously a perfect descriptor of my online gallery, it’s easier to remember, and it dovetails nicely with this blog address of www.MountainPhotographer.com.

All my old page addresses will redirect to the new corresponding addresses, so all existing external links will still work properly. Enjoy!

Mesa Verde

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde, cliff dwellings, Ancestral Puebloans, Colorado

Cliff Palace Sunset : Prints Available

Our last stop of our desert road trip was to visit the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde, in southwest Colorado. We toured the Cliff Palace – the largest cliff dwelling there, with more than 150 rooms. The cliff dwellings were built around the year 1200 A.D. by the Ancestral Puebloans, who farmed on the mesa above the dwellings.

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde, cliff dwellings, Ancestral Puebloans, Colorado

Cliff Palace : Prints Available

What a fascinating place!

Cliff Palace, ruins, Mesa Verde, Colorado

Cliff Palace Building : Prints Available

Election Night on Cedar Mesa

Evening on Cedar Mesa, Utah
Election night festivities.

After our time in Page, we realized that circumstances were pulling us back home and our long desert trip was coming to a close. For one final night in the desert on the way back, we car camped on the edge of Cedar Mesa, with a commanding view spanning all the way from the San Juan Mountains on the far eastern horizon to Monument Valley far to the south.

Being November 6, we fortunately had just enough cell reception up there to check the election results – the suspense would have killed me otherwise. I’m not going to say much about it here, except that I’m proud to be a Coloradan! For the half of the population that is sorely disappointed, well, now you know how I felt in ’04. Life goes on, hopefully for the better.

Cedar Mesa, Utah, Goosenecks, San Juan River, sunset, panorama

Cedar Mesa Panorama : Prints Available

Panoramic evening view from the southern edge of Cedar Mesa, overlooking the Goosenecks of the San Juan River - November.

Hazy and Lazy on the North Rim

North Rim, hazy, Grand Canyon, Arizona, burn, November

Hazy Grand Canyon B/W : Prints Available

Smoke from a large scale prescribed burn on the North Rim fills the Grand Canyon with haze on a November day.

Exhausted from our strenuous trek into the Grand Canyon, we needed a day of relaxing to recharge our batteries, so we camped at the North Rim campground and enjoyed the viewpoints from around there. The campground was virtually empty, aside from a large group of firefighters who were conducting a seemingly large-scale prescribed burn in the forests along the North Rim. The smoke from the burns drained into the canyon, filling it with haze and making for some strange atmospheric conditions.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, Bright Angel

Claudia enjoys the view from up close.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, sunset, Bright Angel, North Rim

Bright Angel Sunset : Prints Available

Sunset over the Grand Canyon, as seen from the Bright Angel Trail on the North Rim.

Point Imperial, Grand Canyon, Arizona, haze, sunrise

Point Imperial Sunrise : Prints Available

Sunrise light beams through the haze of prescribed burns along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, as seen from Point Imperial - November.