A View of Aconcagua

Aconcagua, Andes, Argentina, Rio Horcones

Aconcagua Dawn : Prints Available

Aconcagua and the Rio Horcones valley at dawn. At a height of 6962m (22,841 ft.) Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the western hemisphere. Read more about the hike behind this photo here.

One of the reasons for heading through Mendoza on this trip was to photograph Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the western hemisphere. Though I have little desire to actually climb the peak, I was hoping to do some hikes in the valleys around the peak. Unfortunately, however, we discovered that the park is for all intents and purposes “closed” until mid-November… something about too much snow and a general getting tired of winter rescues.

So, with that option off the table, I researched the map, did some scouting on Google Earth, and decided that a good alternative plan would be to shoot a sunrise from Cerro Banderitas Sur, a 4184m peak across the valley to the south of Aconcagua park. It was quite an adventure to get up there… read more about it and see more photos below! Continue reading “A View of Aconcagua”

Weminuche High Loop

Animas Mountain, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, Weminuche Wilderness, sunset

Animas Sunset : Prints Available

A brilliant sunset above Animas Mountain deep in the Weminuche Wilderness, August. 

Last week we did a 7-day loop trek in and around the Needle Mountains, the rugged heart of the Weminuche Wilderness in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. As usual, we had some crazy weather during our trip, including lots of lightning, thunder, and several stunning sunrises and sunsets. See lots more photos below! Continue reading “Weminuche High Loop”

Sawtooths Trek

Alice Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho, reflection

Alice Lake Morning : Prints Available

Dawn reflection at Alice Lake.

For many years I’ve been longing to visit the Sawtooth Range in Idaho, and last week I finally got the chance! We went on a 7-day backpacking trek through the range, starting from Pettit Lake and ending at Redfish Lake, taking a few detours along the way.

hiking, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho, Twin Lakes

Hiking above the brilliant blue Twin Lakes.

The Sawtooths did not disappoint, with their seemingly endless supply of emerald lakes surrounded by jagged granite spires.

See more photos from the trek below! Continue reading “Sawtooths Trek”

Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop

Snowmass Lake, Snowmass Mountain, sunrise, alpenglow, reflection, Elk Mountains, Colorado

Snowmass Lake Alpenglow Reflection : Prints Available

Brilliant alpenglow on Snowmass Peak and Snowmass Mountain (14,092 ft.), reflected in Snowmass Lake - July. 

Last week we spent 6 days backpacking around the famous Maroon Bells in the Elk Mountains of Colorado. The photos pretty much tell the story so I won’t say too much else except that it was another great trek in Colorado!

See many more photos below! Continue reading “Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop”

Wetterhorn/Uncompahgre Loop

Wetterhorn Peak, Uncompahgre Wilderness, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, sunflowers, sunrise

Wetterhorn Sunrise Sunflowers : Prints Available

Sunrise light on Wetterhorn Peak, with Matterhorn Peak to the left.  Uncompahgre Wilderness, July. 

Last week Claudia and I went on a 5-day backpacking loop in the Uncompahgre Wilderness in the San Juan Mountains east of Ouray. Our route circumnavigated the fourteeners Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre Peaks and took us through a paradise of expansive green tundra, wildflowers, and peaks.

See a LOT more photos below! Continue reading “Wetterhorn/Uncompahgre Loop”

Springtime at Blue Lakes

Sneffels Range, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, sunset, tundra

Sneffels Range Tundra Sunset : Prints Available

The sun sets behind the Sneffels Range, as seen from the tundra near Upper Blue Lake - June. 

Claudia and I spent Thursday night up at Blue Lakes in the Sneffels Range. We enjoyed an exciting thunderstorm, followed by a windy evening, a night with an unidentified animal stalking around our tent, and finally a gorgeous clear morning. But the highlight of all – Claudia said yes and we’re engaged!!!

Blue Lake, Dallas Peak, Sneffels Range, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, panorama

Blue Lake Vertical Panorama : Prints Available

A vertical panorama of Lower Blue Lake under Dallas Peak and the Sneffels Range.
Lower Blue Lake, Sneffels Range, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Blue and Green : Prints Available

Shore of Lower Blue Lake, Sneffels Range, June. 
Blue Lake, Sneffels Range, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Lower Blue Lake Wideangle : Prints Available

A wide angle view of Lower Blue Lake in the Sneffels Range - June. 

North Crestone

Sangre de Cristo, Colorado, North Crestone, sunset, June

After I left the Great Sand Dunes in the morning on Tuesday, on a whim I headed to nearby Crestone and went backpacking up the North Crestone Trail in the Sangre de Cristo Range. Unlike the San Juans, which are still smothered in snow, the Sangres are almost totally dry already. Although I was planning on camping up at North Crestone Lake, when I finally arrived there [six fairly grueling miles later] I was disappointed to find no suitable spot to camp near the lake. Besides, it was very windy up there… too windy. So I retreated back to the next meadow down where I spotted a nice established camp spot in the forest next to the creek. Exhausted from my lack of sleep the night before in the Dunes, I took a nap, shot the sunset, lit a small campfire for a while, then fell fast asleep in my tent for nearly 12 hours!

The valley where I camped was not particularly photogenic, imo, and the boring blue sky was not inspiring either. After wandering around for a while the most interesting thing that caught my eye was a bunch of dead trees up on the mountainside. So I hiked up there and shot the setting sun beaming through the bare tree skeletons. Certainly not my best photo ever but I like it and I was proud of myself for putting in the effort to find one intriguing scene to shoot when normally I probably would have just not even bothered.

Sangre de Cristo, Colorado, aspens, North Crestone, June

The lower/middle portion of North Crestone Creek is special because the valley is chock-full of aspens. This would be a spectacular hike to do in the fall when the trees are golden yellow!

A Night in the Dunes

Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes, Colorado, clouds

Medano Twilight : Prints Available

Spooky clouds hang over Medano Creek and the Great Sand Dunes after sunset. 

On Monday I headed to the Great Sand Dunes for a quick overnighter. I hiked in at about 10pm, slept on a dune for about 4 hours, then woke up around 3:30am to shoot the setting (nearly full) moon, followed by sunrise.

I had a blast out there with the camera… so much fun! And the hike out with Pink Floyd Meddle playing on my iPod was pretty groovy too! Here are some photos from the trip.

Continue reading “A Night in the Dunes”

Griessental

Rugghubel, Rugghubelhütte, Switzerland, Engelberg, Alps

Rugghubelhütte : Prints Available

The Rugghubel alpine hut sits on a snowy ridge above Engelberg, with a hazy Swiss Alps backdrop - February.

Yesterday I hiked up to the Griessental valley, a photogenic alpine valley that I vowed to return to after seeing it the first time during the Brunistock traverse a few weeks ago. This valley is directly above the town of Engelberg; in fact you can see the Rugghubelhütte (above) from town!

Griessental, sunset, Switzerland, alpenglow

Griessental Sunset : Prints Available

Alpenglow light illuminates the snow-filled valley of Griessental, February. 

See a wider version of this one here (Tough to decide which one I prefer).

Ruchstock, Hasenstock, Switzerland, moonlight

Ruchstock Moonlight : Prints Available

Full moon light illuminates Ruchstock (2812m) and Hasenstock, February. In this 30-second exposure, at the left is the last light of dusk, and at the right is the glow of city lights under low cloud cover.