Archive for the ‘Chatter’ Category

Just kinda ‘chatter’.

Aurora borealis and the Corona

Sunday, April 12th, 2015
The aurora borealis and corona, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

The aurora borealis and corona, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Please click on the phone above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

As the northern lights season, or aurora borealis season, starts to wind down for those of us here in Alaska, it’s often harder and harder to be motivated to get out yet again and spend the night hoping for some nice displays. Last night I saw the data online looking promising for the northern lights, and the skies here started to clear up a bit, I thought I’d keep an eye skyward.

So after movie-time finished, I checked outside and sure enough, the northern lights were kicking overhead. I grabbed my camera gear, threw on some pants, and headed out.

This shot above is a photo of the aurora borealis corona. I’ve often been asked what the corona is, and why it’s called the corona. No, its not enough the famous song, Muy muy muy muy, Corona, by English punk band The Knack.

I’ll tell you a little known secret. The activity or display we call a “corona” is named for a very simple reason; (more…)

Nikon Coolpix L22 – Backpacking Photography Gear

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
On our Bremner Mines to Iceberg Lake trek, Amy and Cindy take a quick break before we ventured down to the glacier.

On our Bremner Mines to Iceberg Lake trek, Amy and Cindy take a quick break before we ventured down to the glacier. Photo taken with Nikon Coolpix L22..

Hey Folks,

Just editing some of my files from this past summer, and I ran across this picture from our August Iceberg to Bremner Mines trek. I shot this photo with my little Nikon pocket camera, a Nikon Coolpix L22. I started carrying a point and shoot (P&S) this summer, for the first time in I don’t know how long; too long!

It’s definitely nice to have something handy and accessible, without trying to deal with a larger SLR hanging from a strap while hiking. I generally carry my SLR or SLRs inside my backpack, stashed away where they won’t get (a) damaged and/or (b) left behind quite so easily. It’s SO easy while backpacking to stop and take a quick break, put something down, and walk off without it. That sucks when it’s a can of bear spray or a Nalgene, but it REALLY sucks when it’s something like an SLR, and insanely expensive.

So this summer I hiked with a trusty little Nikon Coolpix L22 in my shirt pocket – the perfect size for a P&S camera. I miss the image quality, of course, when I get home to view the images, but I mostly miss the functionality of the camera in the field. This could well be simply because I’m not as familiar with that camera as I should be, and so I just “point and shoot”, rather than fussing with trying to make some kind of manual controls. There were a few times when I really thought “man, I wish this camera would let me do x-y-z” – which of course I could easily have done if I’d had the SLR in my hands. (more…)

Win a Free Calendar

Friday, December 21st, 2012
Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) male walking on fresh snow, waiting for freezeup in the arctic. Many polars come on shore in the arctic for the summer, before returning to the sea ice pack of the Arctic Ocean for the long winter. Adult male polar bear, or boar, Beaufort Sea, Alaska.

Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) male walking on fresh snow, waiting for freezeup in the arctic. Many polars come on shore in the arctic for the summer, before returning to the sea ice pack of the Arctic Ocean for the long winter. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

 

Hey Folks,

In the holiday spirit, I’m offering three 8″x12″ monthly calendars (the image at left is the cover image) as giveaways this year. All you have to do to enter is (a) be a subscriber to the “Ramblings” newsletter (you can subscribe below), and (b) correctly answer the question posed in the latest version of that newsletter.

You’ll see the information on the “Holidays 2012” newsletter here.

Please do NOT enter your answer on this blog post, but send it to me via email.

(more…)

Happy Holidays – from Expeditions Alaska

Saturday, December 15th, 2012
Evening light on a winter Black spruce tree in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Evening light on a winter Black spruce tree in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska

 

Hey Folks,

Just a quick hello, and best wishes to everyone out there for a wonderful holiday season; all the best for a great new year. Enjoy your loved ones.

Be well,

Cheers

Carl

Happiest of holidays to everyone

Sunday, December 18th, 2011
Winter in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Kuskulana River, Alaska.

Winter in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Wrangell Mountains, Mount Blackburn, Kuskulana River, Winter, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

I’d like to take a few minutes to say thanks so much to everyone for a really great year this year. We had some fantastic adventures, I met some wonderful people, and am so grateful to you all for coming out, as always. It really means a lot to me that so many people come out and share this amazing place with me. Thank you.

And I’d like to wish everyone the absolute happiest of holidays, and all of my very best to each of you for the coming New Year.

Travel safe, and travel well. Thanks again.

Cheers

Carl

Back in a month

Thursday, October 13th, 2011
Backpacking in Chitistone Canyon, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Backpacking down the Goat Trail, Chitistone Canyon, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

So now the “season” has officially ended, I want to thank everyone that came out this year for such a fun summer/fall. It’s always a treat to see familiar faces, those who’ve returned yet again for another Expeditions Alaska trip, thank you. And for all those who took their first trip with us this year, thanks so much, and I sincerely hope you had a great time here. Thank you.

So now, it’s time for me to take off and explore some more. I’m taking 4 weeks to join up with Erin and Hig, of Ground Truth Trekking, for part of their ‘Life On Ice’ adventure, down around the Malaspina Glacier and the Lost Coast of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, a little travelled part of the world for sure. I’m super excited about this trip,  for a number of reasons, one is simply to spend a month in the backcountry. I’m also stoked to join up with Erin and Hig, great people with a wealth of experience and wisdom to learn from. That’ll be a great experience. (more…)

Waterfall, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
Waterfall, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Waterfall and boreal spruce forest, Nizina River drainage, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s another waterfall photo from a trip I took to Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve early this summer. This is a waterfall I’ve flown over many times, along the Nizina River, but never had the opportunity to shoot it. This summer we took a trip to the Nizina Glacier and hiked around the area a bit, shooting a few waterfalls, flowers, the glacier and surrounding landscape. Overall, a productive and fun trip and a fantastic place to visit.

Cheers

Carl

Northern Lights over Denali

Friday, March 11th, 2011
Aurora borealis and Denali, Denali State Park, Alaska.

Aurora borealis lights up the winter night sky over Mt McKinley, highest mountain in North America, also called Denali. Viewpoint from Denali State Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey folks

The highest mountain in North America, Denali, or Mt McKinley as its more officially known, of the Alaska Range are dwarfed by the Aurora borealis, spiralling overhead in the night sky.

What a treat it was to see this last night. Well worth waiting up for. It’s 10:45am right now, and I’ve only been home maybe 30 minutes. A long night, cold and windy, but some fantastic sights to see. Winter in Alaska can be long and cold and dark; but those things are quickly forgotten in the moment.

On another note, my thoughts and prayers go all the way out to those folks in Japan; I haven’t seen all the reports yet, but from what I understand, the situation is pretty horrible. I feel for you.

Cheers

Carl

Viking Lodge Cabin

Sunday, March 6th, 2011
Viking Lodge Cabin, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Winter in Alaska. The Viking Lodge Cabin, a public use cabin in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, makes a fantastic getaway for a winter trip. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks

Here’s a shot of one of my favorite places in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve; Viking Lodge Cabin. The cabin is not far off the Nabesna Road, which is nice; accessible. Unlike most public use cabins in the park, this cabin requires reservations, though that also means when you arrive, you know ahead of time you don’t have to share the cabin with anyone else who might show up. There is no fee to use the cabin, which is nice. It’s quite a treat, being able to head out in the winter and have a cozy, comfortable cabin to relax in.

An old barrel stove sits in the middle of the cabin, and warms the cabin pretty quickly, even in the depths of winter. It makes the world of difference after a day out in the mountains, skiing or snowshoeing, to come back to a warm cabin, rather than a cold tent. Perhaps in the morning it makes even more difference, waking up and having a nice warm pair of boots sitting by the cabin, rather than crusty frozen boots outside the door.  (more…)

2011 Calendar online

Thursday, February 10th, 2011
Campsite on the Goat Trail.

Bret snapping a photo of camp and the killer scenery on the Goat Trail, Skolai Pass - Wolverine, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Just a quick note to say ‘At last’ .. the 2011 calendar is online. Take a quick look at the trips listed. Also, if you don’t see a trip you’re interested in, or the dates don’t quite match what you’re looking for, send me an email and we’ll see what we can do about scheduling that.

It’s set to be a great year …. the Gates of the Arctic trip to the Arrigetch Peaks should be a blast. 2 weeks exploring the Brooks Range, awesome. We have room for only one or 2 more people, so if this might be a trip for you, definitely drop us a note ASAP. This is an exploratory trip, so intermediate – advanced hikers only. All transport taken care of from Fairbanks to the backcountry and back! I’ve wanted to return to the Gates for 15 years now, and have long been wanting to explore the Arrigetch area. This one will be amazing.

More info on new trips and events coming soon. Stay tuned!

Cheers

Carl

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Owner and guide Carl Donohue.

 

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