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Anyone coming up to Alaska this winter? Here’s a good reason why.
The Wrangell mountains, in al their alpenglow-ing glory are second to none in the winter.
Here I’m looking across the Copper Winter toward the Wrangell Mountain range. From the left the peaks you can see are Mt. Sanford (in the background), Mt Drum, Mt. Snyder, Mt. Zanetti, and Mt Wrangell at the right hand edge of the frame.
Tonight we have some rather ugly news. Sadly, I present to you that portion of the US Tax Bill passed by the US Senate tonight that seriously threatens a place very dear to me. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, as it’s casually called.
Click to read it and weep.
“The Secretary shall issue any rights-of-mayor easements across the Coastal Plain for the exploration, development, production or transportation necessary to carry out this section”.
Here’s a nice surprise. I just finished a week of bald eagle photography, and picked up a new lens from B&H photo and a night sky of aurora borealis. So what better way to finish a 600 mile drive back to interior Alaska than to enjoy my new Zeiss 25mm f1.4 lens shooting the northern lights over the Wrangell Mountains in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve?
The mountain peaks are, from left to right on your screen, Mt. Sanford, Mt. Drum, Mt Snyder, Mt Zanetti, Mt. Wrangell and Mt Blackburn. Blackburn, far in the distance on the right hand side of the range, is actually the tallest of these mountains. Mt Sanford is the 2nd highest. You can also see the fog rising off Copper River in the foreground.
The aurora was pretty crazy tonight. At times I was shooting at 1/5th of a second, ISO 1000 @f1.4. That’s pretty intense aurora. Speaking of aurora, wanna join me on the Spring Aurora Borealis Photo Tours this coming year? Love to have you come along.
Oh, and the Zeiss lens is pretty sweet. More testing to come.
Wow, November is here already. Here’s an image from our Canning River Rafting trip in the ANWR this past summer. This year we took group of 6 people out in the refuge for 12 days, with 2 rafts, tons of food and we all had a blast. Fun trip, a great mix of people, and nice weather.
And because I didn’t get a chance to keep up with the blog too much this past summer (it’s many, many long stories), I’ll add a couple images from this trip for you here as well. Be sure to click the images to see a larger view.
The Marsh Fork is such a beautiful section of river, that gorgeous turquoise water is SO inviting.
The trip was a blast. Saw a wolverine right by camp, had a nice batch of weather, great camping, great food, and some awesome, awesome kayaking.
The Tyndall Glacier was in the news a good bit recently. A landslide right by the toe of the glacier (out of frame on the left of your view) dumped many, many tons of debris into the Taan Fjord and on top of the glacier. A Tsunami several hundred feet high resulted, scouring the fjord and completely redrawing the landscape. It was amazing to get back to the area and view some of the carnage. I’ll write a review of that for you later. Incredible what power that wave wrought.
Look for more coming blog posts here over the next few months. The season has wound down a bit, and I’ve time to catch my breath and update the blog. until then, enjoy the view.
LOL .. woke up this particular morning a few years ago to see all these icebergs washed up on our shore. We’d been paddling in clear open water the night before, not an iceberg in sight. Fortunately, a few hours later, the tide came in, and all these ‘bergs were soon gone.
We’re heading down to Icy Bay again next week, and have a few trips this summer, so I thought this might be a nice Image of the Month to start off our summer 2017 season.
Here’s an image from last fall. The Bald Eagles Photo Tour on the Chilkat River always provides something interesting. It’s a matter of patience, of letting the moments come. And they do. Always.
Space available this fall if you’d like to join us.
Fun fact: bald eagles aren’t really “bald“. The word “bald” comes from the old English “balde” which means “white“. Referencing, of course, the classic white head of the adult American Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus Ieucocephalus.
Hiking trips in Alaska are a little bit different to hiking elsewhere. Alaska itself is a little bit different.
It’s bigger. Wilder. Harder.
Hiking in Alaska is harder than what you’re used to. Most correctly, I’d suggest that hiking in Alaska is substantially harder than what you’re used to.
That is the ultimate caveat to this question. What are the best weeklong hikes in Alaska?
Well, best for who? My buddy Todd did a weeklong hike last year in the Alaska Range and he covered 185 miles. So a weeklong hike for a ridiculously fit, ultra light speed freak is probably not going to be the best weeklong hike for you. Or for me.
We’ll look at 5 days hiking time. There’s every possibility you’re going to need at least a day travel either side of the hike getting to and from your AK destination to your trail head. And if your hiking trip involves a bush flight, or two, that could easily be more.
So here are a few of the best hikes or hiking areas for a week long hiking trip in Alaska. Continue reading…