On the last morning of January there was a lunar eclipse over much of western North America; here in Colorado the eclipse happened right at moonset, just before dawn and sunrise. This was a perfect scenario for us photographers, since photographing the eclipsed moon near the horizon is far more interesting than when it’s high in the sky. With this rare celestial lineup I had an ambitious plan to hike up to a 13,000-ft ridge to hopefully shoot the eclipse right behind Castle Peak in the Elk Mountains.
My friend Ann Driggers joined me and we backpacked into the mountains and set up a base camp in the snow at 11,600 ft. At 2:30 in the morning we woke up and hiked in the moonlight up a pass and along a long windswept ridge to 13,000 feet, only to have our hopes dashed by a thick layer of clouds blocking any potential for the dream shot I had in mind. Not only that but the brutal wind grew worse with sideways blowing snow, so we had little choice but to retreat and navigate back down via GPS.
Of course I was sorely disappointed to miss this rare photo opportunity that I had envisioned, but at least we put in a valiant effort!
Happy New Year from Crested Butte, Colorado! My wife tells me of a German tradition that the first 12 nights of dreams in the new year signify omens for the next 12 months. Well, last night my first dream of 2018 was of a new invention called “Feetza” — which was pizza shaped like a foot. Needless to say, I think my January is going to be brilliant!
In late October my buddy Kevin and I hiked down the Warner Route and camped along the Gunnison River at the bottom of the Black Canyon for a night. We brought our fishing rods for the “gold metal” water, and it did not disappoint! We caught a bunch of brown trout and kept a few for dinner. Delicious!
I floated and fished the lower Gunnison Gorge with my dad a couple times back in 2007 and 2008; you can see those photos here.
Kebler Pass is easily my favorite place to enjoy the aspens in Colorado, with the largest continuous mature aspen fields in the state and perhaps the world. This October was one of the stranger autumns transitions I’ve seen in Colorado; the aspens up on Kebler went from mostly green to peak gold in just a couple days, and a few days after that the color faded away. Myself and some photographer friends who were visiting Crested Butte were lucky to do a sunset hike up near Kebler Pass on the perfect day of peak color.
For all of August and September 2017, my wife and I lived out of our truck and tent while traveling around and backpacking in our great state of Colorado. We did over a dozen backpacking trips in various mountain ranges throughout the state, including the Flat Tops, Gore Range, Sawatch Range, San Juans, Sangre de Cristos, and Indian Peaks. I’ve posted my various photo journals from each trek on the Trip Reports page of my gallery site; here links to all those journals, in chronological order.
Just a quick update for those of you who follow my blog and haven’t seen a new post in over a month! At the end of July after our travels in Germany and Austria, we returned to Colorado and have been on the road here ever since, living out of our truck and doing back-to-back backpacking trips pretty much the entire time. So far we’ve backpacked in the Flat Tops, twice in the Gore Range, thrice in the Sawatch Range, and twice in the Sangres. Basically my goal this summer is to re-visit all these other mountain ranges in Colorado that I’ve neglected for the last decade or so while living in the San Juans and Elks. For the remainder of September we plan to spend more time in the Gores, as well as Indian Peaks and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Suffice it to say, after three weeks of hut-trekking in the Alps and two months of backpacking in the Colorado Rockies, I have a truckload of new photos to share! Once we’re back settled into our place in Crested Butte in October, I’ll start rolling out the photos and trip reports from all of our summer adventures. Stay tuned!
It’s off season in Crested Butte; the ski lifts are closed and the town is quiet. So when a spring storm dropped over a foot of fresh powder last week, we had the ski area pretty much all to ourselves! We spent the last four days hiking and skiing/snowboarding all the best lines on the Butte, except now there was no tracks, no moguls, no people, and no hurry – just perfect untouched pool-table-smooth powder. Here’s a few snapshots from our fun.