November 3rd, 2007 by Carl
I think I’m going to upload some photos and stories on this blog this fall/winter, instead of doing the usual slideshow for the year. Hopefully it’ll be a little more interesting.
This photo was taken on the Tebay Lakes trp we did this year, with Sergei and Mark. What an awesome time that was! The flight from McCarthy to the Tebay Lakes landing strip is along one, nearly 45 minutes. We took off from McCarthy in gloomy drizzly weather, and I know Sergei was a little anxious about that. he came out the previous year on a trip from Skolai to Wolverine and got absolutely nailed for 10 days with this kind of weather. The look on his face was ‘oh no, not again’!!!
So we flew to within maybe 100 yards of the upper, or southern most lake, where the landing strip is, before Don, pilot extraordinaire, turned around, saying “I’m not flying into THAT!” A blanket of fog lay in front of us, right over the lake, and there was simply no way to get through it to the landing strip. Don turned us around, and we flew all the way back. A 90 minute flight-seeing trip!
Then we spent the rest of the day hanging around McCarthy, waiting to see if the weather would clear. Because we were at the whims of the weather, we couldn’t really go for ahike or anything, but had to wait around in case we granted clearance to take-off. So we did the McCarthy tour – we at the Mercantile store, at at the Potato, went back to the Merc for some icecream, had a latte back at the Poatato, and talked to the good folks in at Wrangell Mountain Air. Not really an exciting day, per se, but we did enjoy the ice cream.
Gradually, the clouds lifted, but I wasn’t too optimistic. It was something like 7pm or so before Don took off again with us in tow, and this time we made it all the way in to Tebay. The flight is absolutely amazing, and it really was a treat that we got an extra one. We landed, set up camp, had a nice dinner under a tarp, and went to bed.
The following morning, the sun was shining, the clouds gone, and the mood changed markedly. Sergei smiled. We found some blueberries, and Sergei smiled even wider. We had a pretty easy day, stopping to eat blueberries at every turn, and Mark and I had a swim in this gorgeous little tarn not too far from the lakes. Sergei ate more berries. The pace slowed a little after that, in no small part due to our running into a little brush from time to time to clamber through.
We had an amazing campsite that night, up on a ridge over a tributary of the Bremner River, camped right by a steep cliff face. My tent was probably 5 feet from the edge of a sheer drop, and the view was out of this world. Unbelievable!
This photo was taken on the 3rd day, right at dawn, about 50 yards from my tent. The wildflowers on this trip are something to behold, really incredible. I’m super-keen to get back and explore this little travelled area, and photograph more of this landscape there.In 2008, I really am looking forward to improving my Wrangell St. Elias National Park portfolio. I’m working on a photo book of the park, and am very excited about that. Hopefully this photo will be included.
More to come.