Paintbrush, Klu River, Chugach Mountains

The Chugach mountains of the upper Klu River, in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

The Chugach mountains of the upper Klu River, in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Hey Folks,

This photo is from an area not too many people get to visit. The upper Klu River valley is absolutely beautiful, but pretty far from most points of access. From Tebay Lakes or Bremner Mines it’s a few days hike, at least, for most people.

It’s a fun area to visit though. I always wish I had a little more time when I venture through. The Klu River is a gorgeous stream, and one of these days I’m going to packraft it. Some of my friends have done so, but I’ve never run it. The lower section is a burly canyon which looks, from the air, pretty much unrunable. But the upper and mid sections are a treat indeed.

The eastern Chugach Mountains run in to the park across the Copper River, all the way as far as the Tana River.

The wildflowers in the foreground are Yellow Paintbrush (Unalaska Paintbrush), Castilleja unalaschcensis.

Cheers

Carl

Sunset over Icy Bay

A gorgeous sunset over the Guyot Hills and Icy Bay.

A gorgeous sunset over the Guyot Hills and Icy Bay. Part of the St. Elias Mountain Range. Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Hi Folks,

I shot this sunset over Icy Bay last summer. We had one night at Icy Bay, and what an amazing treat it was to have an evening like this! The sky got better and better. The icebergs came, almost on call, across to the east side of the bay, and everything just kept improving.

Photography is all about time. Spending time in a place, and more time, and more again. Being there. Most often, we’re either not there, or “it” isn’t there. Sometimes, those rarest of moments, things turn out “just right”. And when that happens in a place like Icy Bay, it’s a treat indeed! Good times.

Cheers

Carl

The Hubbard Glacier

the Hubbard Glacier calving massive sheets of ice into Russell Fjord at Gilbert Point. The Hubbard Glacier is known as the calvingest glacier in the world, and lives up to its reputation. Hubbard Glacier, Russell Fjord and Disenchantment Bay, Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Hubbard Gacier calving chunks of ice into Russell Fjord, Wrangell

Hey Folks,

A test blog post. A photo of the Hubbard Glacier calving into Disenchantment Bay, near Gilbert Point.The Hubbard Glacier is one of the largest tidewater glaciers in North America, is extremely active, and a well-visited tourist destination. There are few experiences quite like watching a 200-300′ tower of ice crash into the sea!

I shot this photo on a trip I made to the Wrangell – St. Elias coast in 2007, first to Icy Bay, and then up into Disenchantment Bay, Gilbert Point and Russell Fjord.

Cheers

Carl

Porcupine Photo

An American Porcupine, Erethizon dorsatum, in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

An American Porcupine, Erethizon dorsatum, in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

An American Porcupine – finally, I got a decent photo of a porcupine. It’s funny, we envision wildlife photography as a pursuit of the exotic. Wildlife photographers spend hours, days, weeks, months and years trying to capture those charismatic megafauna; the wolves, the bears, wolverines, eagles and owls and such. Yet we overlook the common; the raven, the squirrel, and, yes, the porcupine.

I’d wanted, for a long time, to make a decent photo of a porcupine, but never had much luck with it. Well, not so much as luck, but I didn’t really put the time into that specific pursuit. I hoped I’d make a good porcupine photo someday, but didn’t spend my time in places where I was likely to see one. Mostly I’d see them in passing, while I was doing something else, like skiing or snowshoeing, or driving down the road. And inevitably, when I’d see a porcupine, I’d miss the opportunity for one reason or another.

Or, I’d catch a photo, but the porcupine spends so much of his time sitting in the thick of trees, surrounded by very un-photogenic branches and tree limbs; so I’d get photos that, well, bluntly, sucked.

This photo I took on a spring trip I did up the Nizina River valley, near the toe of the Nizina Glacier. The porcupine had ventured out on to the broad open riverbed, feeding on fresh shoots of the poplar tree saplings that about in that dry, rocky ground. I was able to position myself in a place I thought he’d wander towards, and with a bit of good fortune smiling my way, he did just that. Cute little fella!

Cheers

Alaska wilderness

Hiker silhouetted against the Chugach mountains.

Hiker silhouetted against the Chugach mountains, Wrangell – St. Elias Park.

I shot this image years ago, on one of my first trips in the park. Me and my good friend Frank flew in from McCarthy to Iceberg Lake, and backpacked form their to Bremner Mines. I’d been to Iceberg Lake the previous year, and hiked to a pretty little alpine valley in the Chugach mountains called, locally, Allie’s Valley. But this year I wanted to hike a slightly different route, and go further west to Bremner Mines. We had a fantastic trip, all the adventure one could ask for, and tons of fun.  Continue reading

Mount Sanford Photo

Mount Sanford, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Mount Sanford, early morning, fall colors and a kettle pond, boreal forest, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Mount Sanford, just after sunrise one gorgeous fall morning, is a real treat to see. Mount Sanford stands 16 237′ tall, is the 6th highest mountain in the United States, and the 4th highest mountain in Alaska. Mt. Sanford was first climbed in 1938 by noted mountaineer and photographer Bradford Washburn and his climbing partner Terris Morris.

Mount Sanford is one of the more regularly viewed mountains in the park, because it’s so clearly visible from the surrounding roads. Mounts Bona, and Saint Elias, for example, are both taller mountains, but are deep within the park’s backcountry.

Two favored viewing areas for Mt. Sanford are Simpson Hill Overlook and Willow Lake, both off the Richardson Highway near Glennallen, but I prefer the views from the Nabesna Road. Mt. Sanford towers over the expansive Copper River Basin, and is really a site to behold.

Mount Saint Elias

icy bay, Lupine and Mt. St. Elias, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Lupine fields and the calm waters of Icy Bay sit beneath the towering peak of Mount. St. Elias, an 18 008' peak, 2nd highest peak in Canada, 2nd highest peak in the US (it sits on the border of both countries), Mount St. Elias is the highest coastal peak, and the St. Elias Range the highest coastal mountain range, in the world. Mount St. Elias, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hello,

Welcome to Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve; the largest, grandest and wildest of the many US National Parks. This blog is an introduction to this special place, and what better way to get it started than a photo of one of the park’s namesakes, Mt St. Elias?

Taken on a kayaking trip to Icy Bay, this is one of my favorite photos of the 2nd tallest mountain in both the US and Canada. Mt. St. Elias, at 18 008 above sea level, sits right on the US/Canada border. Icy Bay is perhaps the grandest view of the mountain, if not one of the grandest views of ANY mountain. It’s simply a fantastic place to visit and enjoy the power of a magnificent mountain.

I look forward to adding to the blog from time to time, and introducing you to some of these favorite places, showing photos and telling stories from Wrangell – St. Elias National Park; truly “A Wilderness Park”.

Thanks.