Dawn light on the Wrangell Mountains and reflection in an alpine tarn near Hidden Creek and the Lakina River, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image to view a larger version of the photo.
Here’s another photo from the trek we did in August, from the Fosse, near the Kennicott Glacier, over to Hidden Lake, up the Hidden Creek drainage, and down to the Lakina River. What an absolutely gorgeous morning this was!
We’d spent the previous day basecamped near here, and it rained and sleeted virtually all day long. Rather than pack up wet and move on, we simply dayhiked and spent another night here. The main hope was to avoid packing up camp in the rain, but part of me was also hoping maybe, just maybe, we’d get a break, and score some nice light in the morning. Fingers crossed, I went to bed listening to the endless patter of rain on my tent, the temperatures sinking ever lower and lower.
The rain ended around 3am, and the temperature had dropped further. I went back to sleep hoping against all hope the skies might clear up.
Unfortunately, I slept too soundly, and missed first light, but immediately upon waking, I knew things must be good. It was very cold, definitely below freezing, and silent. A good sign. I unzipped my tent door and viola! What a sight!
I threw on some clothes, and got outside to photograph as quickly as I could. I woke the folks on the trip, the Ball family from Texas, because I knew they’d love to see this. ‘Wow’ was all Saundra uttered when their tent door slid open.
‘Wow’ was right. This was definitely a ‘wow’ morning. Indeed, a ‘wow’ trip, but this morning the ‘wowest’ of them all. Fresh snow covered the peaks just west of us, and the air was so wonderfully clean the light literally dripped off the mountains. Absolutely amazing morning.
We photographed for a couple of hours, had a great breakfast, packed up camp, and took a fantastic hike down the valley into the Lakina. We spent the following evening camped on a gravel bar in the Lakina river drainage, with a gorgeous sunset over Castle Peak. This was a great, great trip, and one I’m so glad the Ball family got to share. They still hold the record for ‘worst weather yet’ on a trip, their infamous Skolai-Wolverine trip of August 2006. I can’t think of anyone who needed some really great weather on their Alaska trip than these great people, and I was so glad they got it this time. Good times for sure!