Blue Lakes Hut

aspen, moonlight, Sneffels Range, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, December
Winter's Breath : Prints Available

On Wednesday Claudia and I skied along snow-covered County Road 7 to the Blue Lakes Hut, one of five huts in the San Juan Huts system here in southwest Colorado. These small but cozy huts provide great winter base camps for exploring the remote northern side of the Sneffels Range.

sunrise at the Blue Lakes Hut
December sunrise at the Blue Lakes Hut, as seen from the outhouse.

The Blue Lakes Hut is situated in small meadow a short distance from the summer Blue Lakes trailhead. From the hut you have a foreshortened view of the summit of Mt. Sneffels (14,150 ft). There are south facing windows that let a good amount of light in, and a wood stove that cranks so hot that we had to open the windows at night!

skiing in front of Mt. Sneffels
Skinning with a great view of Mt. Sneffels.

We had hoped for some decent tree skiing on the slopes above the hut, but unfortunately all we found was impenetrable forest and flat meadows. After two hours of breaking trail through the powder on switchbacking old forest roads with no skiable terrain in sight, we pulled the plug and basically skied back down our skin track with the occasional bushwhack mixed in. A bit frustrating, but once we were back in the hut a hot cup of gluhwein made everything ok! I think there are some worthy ski descents in the area up in the higher peaks, but they are far from the hut and would require a full day tour and stable avalanche conditions.

More Powder Shots

skiing, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, December
Skier: Jeff Skoloda

Here’s some photos from the last several days of playing in the San Juan powder. So nice lately…

skiing, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, December
Skier: Claudia Brauer

Claudia is fast becoming a powder fiend, stepping it up a notch or two every time we go out!

sundog, Red Mountain, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, December

A sundog over Red Mountain #3, December.

The storm broke on Monday morning with a glorious sundog to greet the blue skies. This was the first sundog I’ve seen in Colorado! Always an awesome sight…

skiing, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, December
Skier: Chris Cover
skiing, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, December
Skier: Chris Cover
skiing, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, December
Skier: Chris Cover

Remember: don’t forget to study the avy report before heading into the backcountry!

Playing in the Powder

Scott Kennett, skiing, San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Scott Kennett doing what he does.

The snow keeps coming here in Colorado! I’ve been getting after it lately, splitboarding just about every chance I can get. My lack of recent posts here is simply due to a lack of good photos to share; we’ve mostly been skiing in the trees where the avalanche danger isn’t so severe. On tap: more snow, more riding, and perhaps even a hut trip next week! What a great winter so far…

3 Feet of Powder!

Snowy Trees, Colorado

Winter continues to produce here in southwest Colorado; the last series of snowstorms dumped another 3 feet of snow across much of the San Juans! On Friday and Saturday we scored some fantastic powder days at Wolf Creek ski area in what is becoming an annual early season pilgrimage. I could be wrong but I think that right now Wolf Creek and the San Juans have more snow than anywhere else in the country! Pretty awesome for November in Colorado. To see how much more snow there is this year so far, compare these photos to how bare it was at the same time last year!

Backcountry skiing, San Juans, Colorado

On Monday the storm broke and we enjoyed a glorious bluebird day up on the pass, where Claudia put all her recent powder training to good use. I continue to be impressed and excited about her skiing progression; she’s definitely getting the hang of skiing powder!

Happy skier, Colorado

Stoked!

The snowpack is very reactive right now so we chose mellow routes to ski yesterday. Remember, always read (and take heed of) the avalanche reports before venturing into the backcountry.

A Morning to Remember

I just processed some more panoramas from an epic morning in front of the mighty Fitz Roy in Argentine Patagonia back in December 2011. This was one of the most memorable photo experiences of my life; read about it in my trip report post here. Click on each one to view larger!

Fitz Roy, El Chalten, Argentina, Patagonia, sunrise, panorama, Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
Fitz Roy Sunrise Panorama #1 : Prints Available
Fitz Roy, El Chalten, Argentina, Patagonia, sunrise, panorama, Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
Fitz Roy Sunrise Panorama #2 : Prints Available
Fitz Roy, El Chaltén, Argentina, Patagonia, sunrise, panorama, Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
Fitz Roy Sunrise Panorama #3 : Prints Available

You can see all my photos from the Fitz Roy range here.

New Gallery Design

Matterhorn, winter, moonlight, Zermatt, Switzerland
Matterhorn Moonlight B/W : Prints Available

Moonlight illuminates the Matterhorn as a winter storm clears. 

After a solid month and a half of development work, I’ve finally launched my new gallery website design! Check it out at www.MountainPhotography.com.

A few notable new features, aside from the new darker design, include the big full-page homepage slideshow and a reworked galleries page that showcases the first six photos of each gallery followed by a link to view them all. The website is also responsive, so the page layouts and images will expand and contract as necessary to fit a variety of screens ranging from cell phones to big screen monitors.

I’ve also reorganized and simplified the galleries. I’ve grouped the photos together into broader categories – still location-based, but more generalized and without so many divided sub-galleries. For example, instead of having separate Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana galleries, I’ve bunched all the photos into a single “Northern Rockies” gallery. Not only does this tactic reduce the amount of clicking around, it also frees me from the feeling that I need to populate all those separate location sub-galleries with “filler” photos.

Despite my best efforts to test the new website on a variety of devices, I’m sure there’s bound to be some issues I missed. So if you see something wonky please let me know! Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think of the new website, good or bad.

Mount of the Holy Cross

Mount of the Holy Cross, Sawatch Range, Colorado, Notch Mountain, October
Stormy Holy Cross : Prints Available

Mount of the Holy Cross, 14,005 feet, as seen from Notch Mountain – Holy Cross Wilderness, October 2003.

I just dug up this photo from deep in my archives while searching for a photo request of this mountain. I took this shot way back in October 2003, just over ten years ago! Back then I was in the early stages of being serious about photography. So much has happened in my life and my photography in the decade since then… It almost seems like it should have been 20 years ago, not just ten! It’s so amazing how much life you can fit into ten years. And it makes me wonder what’s in store for the next ten years…

Anyhow, Notch Mountain, in the Sawatch Range just south of Vail, Colorado, has a perfect front-and-center view of Mount of the Holy Cross and its east facing cross couloir, made famous in 1873 by legendary wilderness photographer William H. Jackson. In the early 20th century, the mountain became a destination of Christian pilgrimages, and a rock hut was built on Notch Mountain (very close to where this photo was taken) for shelter during Sunday mass at 13,000 feet. The hut is still there, and back in October ’03 my friend Todd and I backpacked up there and used it for shelter ourselves. This was a memorable trip, so I thought I’d write up a trip report, ten years later. Continue reading “Mount of the Holy Cross”

Page 20 of 71« First...10...1819202122...30405060...Last »