Image of the Month: February 2012

February 6th, 2012 by
Jenny Creek, near the Savage River, in winter, remains free of ice and flowing, even at minus 40degree F temperatures. Denali National Park and Preserve is a winter wonderland in January, fresh snow and hoar ice blankets the land. Mt. Margaret, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Jenny Creek, near the Savage River, in winter, remains free of ice and flowing, even at minus 40degree F temperatures. Denali National Park and Preserve is a winter wonderland in January, fresh snow and hoar ice blankets the land. Mt. Margaret, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

From my trip to Denali National Park and preserve over the New Year, here’s Mt. Margaret and Jenny Creek, near the Savage River.

Not too many people get to see Denali like this, so it was a real treat to spend some time there. Wonderful trip.

Here’s to a great year.

Cheers

Carl

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Pebble Mine and Protecting Pebble Creek

January 20th, 2012 by
Brown bears at Brooks Falls, in Katmai National Park, watch a spawning Sockeye Salmon attempt to leap up the waterfall. Brown bear, or grizzly bear (Ursus arctos), Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Brown bears at Brooks Falls, in Katmai National Park, watch a spawning Sockeye Salmon attempt to leap up the waterfall. Brown bear, or grizzly bear (Ursus arctos), Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Many of you may or may not be aware of this critical issue. A proposed open-pit mine in Alaska, in the heart of the Bristol Bay watershed, potentially threatens some of the wildest and vital land in Alaska. The salmon fishery of Bristol Bay is one of the world’s most productive fisheries. It is also the pulse of a vibrant and productive ecosystem that’s home to the great coastal brown bears of Katmai National Park and surrounding regions. The bears we love to see and photograph grow fat on the riches of spawning salmon. The bald eagles that gather in the thousands every summer here thrive on spawning salmon.

The proposed mine, the Pebble Limited Partnership, would create a “10-square-mile-wide containment pond are intended to hold between 2.5 billion and 10 billion tons of mine waste that Pebble would produce over its lifetime”, a 700′ tall dam wall and several miles in length. One of the largest mines in the world, it’s expected to span a 20 mile swathe of Alaska State land. The acidic nature of the waste would require environmental treatment and monitoring for years to come. The potential devastation if something goes awry here, in the land of frequent volcanic and seismic activity, would be immeasurable. …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Wrangell – St. Elias Trip.

January 18th, 2012 by
Mt. Sanford photo, at dawn, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Mt. Sanford, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Wow, what a great response to this; I so appreciate everyone taking the time to enter, and especially those who shared the offer around the web. Thanks so much.

So, to cut to the chase, I’ll announce the folks who were drawn here:

1) Adam Wolf/Christina Smith

2) Patsy Lascha/Charles Fry

 

Update: Feb 14, 2012. Unfortunately, the above folks had to cancel. I drew names again, and the following people are confirmed and heading up to visit next month:

Ryan Wright, Paul Robison, Jim Wheeler and Doug Garnhart. It should be a blast and I look forward to meeting all these folks.

It was so cool to hear from people with such a clear passion for the great outdoors and particularly for Alaska. This is definitely a special place, and it’s great to see so many people who are attuned to that.

And that’s it. I’ll try to persuade them to maybe send me a photo so I can post it here and you’ll all get to see who these people are. And we’ll definitely have some photos and videos with a full trip report posted in March.

Thanks so much, and I really wish you all a great year for 2012.

Cheers

Carl

PS: Edit, 4pm – Folks, I’ve had a few people email me and ask about an opportunity to book a trip like this as a regular trip. If anyone is interested, please let me know. If we can get a group together, 3 minimum, we can run a trip for about $1000.00 p.p.

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Brown bear photo

January 15th, 2012 by
A male brown bear, Ursus arctos, approaches up river, fishing for spawning sockeye salmon, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A male brown bear, Ursus arctos, approaches up river, fishing for spawning sockeye salmon, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

I thought I’d post another image from our Katmai brown bear photo tour last fall. I’ve shot this bear for so many years now; it’s awesome to go back and revisit these bears year to year, particularly the bears that are so great to photograph as this one.

When I first started photographing this bear, he was a young subadult, just out on his own. He’s nearly doubled in size over the last few years, and now is a good size bear, though still has a number of pounds to gain before he reaches his full size.

One thing that becomes so readily apparent when photographing bears is how truly individual they are. They can be as different from one to another as we are. Some bears will walk right on by, fishing and wandering the river, with little more than a sideways glance at us, while others wont’ come close at all, and seem to always keep an eye on people around the area.

This means a lot when it comes to things like how to act in bear country; it means the generalized ‘protocols’ that we read about and hear are, while valuable, not set in stone. It’s more important to pay attention to the bear, and to closely watch the bear’s signals. than to think about some line in a book at that said “In situation A, you should do B”; hard and fast rules rarely hold true, but never more so, perhaps, than when dealing with 1000lb+ predators. …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Image of the Month, Jan, 2012; Lunar eclipse

December 31st, 2011 by
The moon glows in the difused light of a full lunar eclipse.

The full moon glows in the diffused light of a full lunar eclipse. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Welcome to 2012!

This image of the lunar eclipse was taken in December. What a cool phenomenon that was to see.

I hope you enjoy this shot, taken from Glenn Alps way too early in the morning.

Cheers

Carl

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Holiday stockings and Seasons’ Greetings

December 25th, 2011 by
Holiday greetings, from Expeditions Alaska

Holiday greetings, from Expeditions Alaska

Hey Folks,

How was your festive season? I finally got around to putting up my stocking just yesterday. Mine’s the one in the middle

Happy holidays folks. Have a great day.

Cheers

Carl

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Free Wrangell – St. Elias winter ski/photography trip

December 23rd, 2011 by
Snowshoeing in winter in the boreal forest of Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Snowshoeing in winter in the boreal forest of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A Holiday Season Special – Spring Equinox Celebration

 

Please note: – 10:00pm Jan 17th; entries are now closed. The drawing takes place the morning of the 18th – see below for details!!!

OK, this one is so simple it’s ridiculous.

In the best of the holiday spirit, here’s what I’m doing. I’m offering a free trip to Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. This offer is open to any who who think they’d enjoy a trip like this. The more people that enter, the more people will win.

If fewer than 250 people enter, I’ll give away a trip for free to 2 people. If I get more than 250 people enter, I’ll give away 4 free spots on the trip.

Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. 6 nights in a backcountry cabin; days spent snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and/or hiking, enjoying some winter landscape photography, possible northern lights photography and the quietest, peaceful-est cabin you never been to. Here’s what you need to know.

The Trip

We leave Anchorage, drive 5 hours to Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. 5 nights in the cabin, March 18-23, and return to Anchorage on March 24. During the day, we can either snowshoe, cross country ski, or, depending on weather and snow conditions, hike.

We’ll have the van nearby so we can easily saunter down to the van, drive 10 miles down the road, snowshoe all day, drive back to the cabin and enjoy the comfort of a wood stove, hot food and a quiet like no other. Next day, we can do the same in the other direction.

The exploratory opportunities are literally endless here. Winter landscape photography opportunities abound. This is a massive landscape; Mt Sanford rises over 16 000′ right out the window. It’s also an intimate boreal forest, for some great shooting opportunities. There’s a decent chance of seeing moose in the area, and possibly caribou. The northern lights are a strong possibility; displays are typically strongest and most active right around the Equinox, so this timing is optimal for great northern lights viewing/photography. There are never any guarantees with the aurora, of course.

Price: Normally $1400.00 per person, this year 2, or possibly 4 people get to come out for free.

Dates: March 18-23, 2012

My holiday gift and thank you to everyone who’s supported what I do.

Requirements to enter …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Happiest of holidays to everyone

December 18th, 2011 by
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

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Hiking Poles

December 5th, 2011 by
Backpacker with Hiking Pole, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Hiker backpacking with hiking pole, Iceberg Lake to Bremner Mines route, Seven Pass route, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

One question I receive at least a few times every year concerns hiking poles, or trekking poles, so I thought it might be a good choice to write about here on the blog.

In short, I can’t recommend hiking poles enough for anyone interested in doing some backpacking here in Alaska. I use one, a Leki Makalu that I’ve had for more years than I care to think about. And I bring it every time I’m backpacking in Alaska; every time.

Most folks, of course, use 2, and I think that’s probably a sound way to go. I use one, and that’s what works for me. But 2 is probably a good call.

Hiking poles benefit you so much hiking off trail, which is what most Alaska backcountry travel is. Science Daily had a great article recently about this. — “trekking-poles help hikers maintain muscle function while significantly reducing soreness in the days following a hike”. …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Image of the Month: Dec 2011

December 1st, 2011 by
Evening light, after dusk, on Mount Saint Elias and Icy Bay, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Evening light, after dusk, on Mount Saint Elias and 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,

We’ll end the “Image of the Month” series for 2011 with a look at my favorite mountain; Mt. St. Elias. Taken after sunset from Icy Bay, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Have a great holiday season everyone, and all the best for the the coming year. Let’s make it a big one, eh?

Cheers

Carl

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Owner and guide Carl Donohue.

 

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