Through and Around the Great Sand Dunes

Colorado, Great Sand Dunes, sunset, San Luis Valley
Peach Dunes Sunset : Prints Available

Sunset over the San Luis Valley as seen from the northern Great Sand Dunes, Colorado.

Colorado, Great Sand Dunes, ponderosa pine, sunset, Sangre de Cristos
Ponderosa Dunes Sunset : Prints Available

Ponderosa pine and sunset light on the Sangre de Cristo mountains above the Great Sand Dunes.

Eager to go backpacking while the mountains are still filled with snow, in early June we returned to the Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado to trek for three days all the way through the dunefield then back around them. This was a variation of the same trek I’ve done twice before, but this time we went clockwise and camped in the dunes the first night and in the foothills above the dunes the second night. Continue reading >>

2019 Spring Skiing in the San Juans

Colorado, Mt. Sneffels, San Juan Mountains, Sneffels Range, skiing

Claudia Brauer skis below Mt. Sneffels, San Juan Mountains, Colorado – June.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you may wonder if I’ve given up on snowboarding since I haven’t posted hardly any ski/snowboard photos this winter. Well, while I haven’t been posting much, I have been out on the snow a lot this season, especially this spring! Continue reading >>

Starlight on Sneffels

Colorado, Mt. Sneffels, San Juan Mountains, Sneffels Range, summit, Milky Way, Telluride
Sneffels Starlight : Prints Available

The Milky Way as seen from the 14,150 ft. summit of Mt. Sneffels in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. The clouds are illuminated by the lights of Telluride, and the horizon glow is from Durango.

The winter of 2018-2019 in the San Juan Mountains has been one for the records books, with about 600% of average snowpack at the start of June. With all this beautiful snow in the mountains this spring, lately I’ve been having some hairbrained photo mission ideas – one of which was to hike up Mt. Sneffels in the dark to take some star photos from the summit. With no moon and a decently clear weather forecast I figured this last Friday night was my opportunity. I’ve hiked up Sneffels several times before via moonlight, but this was my first time with just starlight and a headlamp! See more photos >>

A Snowy Sunrise in the San Juans

Arrow Peak, Colorado, Grenadier Range, San Juan Mountains, Vestal Peak, Weminuche Wilderness, sunrise
Snowy Grenadiers : Prints Available

Winter sunrise light over Vestal and Arrow Peaks in the Grenadier Range – May. Wham Ridge is the curved ramp-like ridge on Vestal Peak on the left.

The exceptionally snowy winter in the San Juans keeps on going into May and our snowpack is currently 187% of average for this time of year! As I’ve been out splitboarding lately, I’ve been admiring all the peaks draped in thick snowpack, and thinking about how they’d look with colorful sunrise light. So this morning I woke up at 2am, drove up into the mountains, and slogged up one of my favorite peaks for sunrise. I brought my telephoto lens for a closer look at some of the standout peaks above the Silverton area. Continue reading >>

Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge

Colorado, Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge, San Juan Mountains, United States Mountain, cabin

Dusk at the Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge, with United States Mountain towering above. San Juan Mountains, Colorado.

This weekend we had a wonderful stay at Eric Johnson’s Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge. Located in Richmond Basin in a remote corner of the San Juan Mountains between Ouray and Telluride, the lodge is surrounded by a powder playground of skiable terrain. With heaps of fresh snow awaiting us, we were excited to have three days to ski and splitboard to our hearts’ content. Continue reading >>