Hiking poles and Alaska backpacking

October 29th, 2014 by
A hiker backpacking up Harry's Gulch in the eastern Chugach mountains of Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A hiker backpacking up Harry’s Gulch in the eastern Chugach mountains of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Hiking poles, or trekking poles, can be considered an integral part of the setup for a trek like this one from Bremner Mines to Tebay Lakes.

Hey Folks,

 

So one question I’m frequently asked about pertains to hiking poles, or trekking poles, and how important or useful they are for backpacking here in Alaska. In short, I’d suggest they’re more than useful, almost mandatory. Of course, few things in the mountains are ever so objective; the mountains are a subjective place, and so we shouldn’t look for objective answers like this. What’s right for me mightn’t be right for you, and what’s right on August 15 mightn’t be right on August 16 (or even 3 hours later on August 15), and so on. But as a general rule, I’d urge anyone coming to Alaska to backpack, and particularly someone on their first ever trip here, to count on using your hiking poles.

Jon, pictured above here, is a great hiker; in super shape, he’s athletic, well-balanced and a very good walker; safe to say he’s a much better hiker than the average backpacker. Much better. He cruised the Bremner Mines to Tebay Lakes route with virtually no trouble at all, and that’s a tough walk, by almost anyone’s metrics. Even Jon mentioned how useful and helpful the hiking poles were for him on this trip. This image, taken as we walked westward up Harry’s Gulch, shows one of the most strenuous parts of hiking in the mountains around here; …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Polar bear cub and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Image of the Month, Oct 2014

October 10th, 2014 by
A young polar bear cub cautiously approaches over the slush ice and snow of the Beaufort Sea, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.

A young polar bear cub cautiously approaches over the slush ice and snow of the Beaufort Sea, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Still here in the arctic. And it’s very arctic indeed . we’ve had some crazy weather the last week, but things settled today and we were able to get out and shoot some images. This young cub approached us over the slush ice and snow at the edge of the barrier island, and I used a 28-70mm lens for the wide view. How cute is cute?

Cheers

Carl

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Brown Bear in Katmai National Park: Image of the Month, Sept 2014

September 10th, 2014 by
Brown bear (Ursus arctos), and a reflection in a lake, sunset, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Brown bear (Ursus arctos), and a reflection in a lake, sunset, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Sorry for the delay again, I’ve been in the field, and still catching up with everything here since getting out; And part of that catching up involves packing for the next trip, where I’ll be leading 2 sold out photo tours to Katmai National Park for the Grizzlies in the Fall trip. Definitely a favorite trip of mine, and one I look forward to getting back to every year.

Hopefully this year we get some light and scenes like this one to make a few images. Fingers crossed!!!!

Cheers

Carl

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Chugach Mountains Campsite; Image of the Month, August 2014

July 29th, 2014 by
Campsite in eastern Chugach mountains, near Iceberg Lake, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Campsite in eastern Chugach mountains, near Iceberg Lake, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

A quick post from the eastern edge of Alaska’s Chugach Mountains, near Iceberg lake in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Camping in a place like this is a real treat, even more so when the weather is this superb. Awesome place.

Cheers

Carl

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Packrafting Malaspina Lake – Image of the Month, July 2014

July 1st, 2014 by
Chuck takes a swig of water from his Nalgene bottle while we're out paddling around in our packrafts on Malaspina Lake, in southern Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Chuck takes a swig of water from his Nalgene bottle while we’re out paddling around in our packrafts on Malaspina Lake, in southern Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

What an awesome area; Malaspina Lake, near Malaspina Glacier and Icy Bay. We spent nearly 2 weeks down here, hiking and packrafting and sea kayaking along the Lost Coast and Icy Bay. This day was a memorable one, spending the afternoon paddling around Malaspina Lake in our Packrafts. Had a bit of a mission of a hike to get to the shore of the lake, but it was all so worthwhile when we arrived.

Cheers

Carl

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Grizzly Bear Paw print

June 24th, 2014 by
A footprint in the mud of a grizzly bear paw and a human footprint.

A footprint in the mud of a grizzly bear paw and a human footprint side by side. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks

A recent trip to Malaspina Lake, and the Lost Coast and Icy Bay treated us to this set of prints, along the silty shores of Malaspina Lake.

So whoever saw a grizzly bear with one bear paw and one human foot? Amazing. The Malaspina Monster, evidence at least. The missing link? Who knows?

Cheers

Carl

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Harbor Seals, Icy bay – Image of the Month; June 2014

June 4th, 2014 by
A mother harbor seal and her pup rest on an iceberg in Icy Bay, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A mother harbor seal and her pup rest on an iceberg in Icy Bay, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

A tolerant female Harbor seal and her young pup watched us curiously from this iceberg. Paddling back to camp one afternoon, we snuck by her as we were weaving our way through a throng of icebergs. Quietly trying not to frighten the seal from her place of rest, we paddled by and headed back to camp. Fantastyic afternoon sea kayaking in Icy Bay.

Cheers

Carl

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Image of the Month, May 2014: Male Polar Bear

May 6th, 2014 by
Male polar bear walking on snow, Alaska.

Male Polar bear walking across the snow, in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Please click on the image above the view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

A few days late, of course. It’s May, and sunny and great weather, and I’ve been getting a few things done other than update the blog. April was really some great weather here, and that makes it hard to keep up the blog. So here’s a brief post for the Image of the Month, from last year’s Polar Bear Photo Tour. A beautiful young male polar bear walking across the snow-covered tundra of the frozen arctic, in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

This year I have 2 spaces available on the Week 1, Oct 3-9 polar bear photo tour, and have offered a great discount for that trip through the end of May. Take a look!

I love the head down, eyes closed, pose.

Cheers

Carl

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Image of the Month, April 2014; Northern lights and a backlit tent

April 7th, 2014 by
A backlit tent and the northern lights in the White Mountains, Alaska

Using my tent as a foreground subject, I lit it from behind with my headlamp, while the northern lights danced overhead. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s a shot from the recent aurora borealis photo tours in March; I set up the tent for the shot, it was merely a prop. It took a few times to get the balance right with the headlamp for the exposure. Trial and error is really the only way to make this work.

Foregrounds matter when shooting the northern lights, as they do when shooting just about anything. Adding anything of interest to the foreground can really help balance the colors and dynamism of the northern lights overhead.

Cheers

Car

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Image of the Month: Wrangell St. Elias in Winter

March 3rd, 2014 by
Winter in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park.

A bluebird day in the lowlands of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Wonderful winter weather! Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

We’ve had some stupendous weather here in Alaska this last few weeks, and I was lucky enough to get out and about for some photography. Here’s a shot from my favorite park, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve one gorgeous bluebird day. It just doesn’t get much better than this!

Hopefully this weather will hold through March for the northern lights photo tours. So far the auroras have been pretty rockin’ in 2014, and I’m really looking forward to shooting them some more this coming month.

Hope you enjoy it,

Cheers

Carl

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Carl Donohue and Expeditions Alaska avatar

Owner and guide Carl Donohue.

 

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