Nature & Hiking Photography

2020-05-30 Beat the Heat in the Uintas

May 30-31, 2020

The weather in the Salt Lake Valley is starting it inexorable crawl up the thermometer. Saturday saw the highest average temp ([max+min]/2) in May thus far recorded. We decided to beat the heat and get a quick trip to the Unitas where the temperatures were in the mid 70’s. We left Saturday afternoon and went to the Wolf Creek side of the area to avoid what we thought might be a busy weekend. Some of the higher areas and roads are still wet, muddy, or impassable because of snow. Anything below 9000′ seemed fine though. We only camped, ran, and did some exploring.

Nature & Hiking Photography

2017 July 4th in the Tetons

Making dinner with a view.
Making dinner with a view.

July 1-4, 2017

We spent the extra long weekend in the Tetons.  While the weather was generally good it was a bit hot and we didn’t climb much.  What we did climb we bailed 1.5 pitches into because of a thunderstorm.  Still a fun trip and was able to explore some areas we weren’t familiar with.

Photography Ski

2017 April Fools

Carly admiring the views.
Carly admiring the views.

April 1-2, 2017

Just a quick post to share some images from a recent ski/climbing trip to the desert.  Yup, the desert for climbing and skiing.  Outside Moab, UT are the La Sal Mountains, with many peaks topping 12,000′ they are even higher than the Wasatch outside our front door.  We gambled on the weather and got some fresh snow in the La Sals and enjoyed ourselves exploring a new area.  That day after skiing we camped in Moab and enjoyed a desert sunset.  Awesome place this UT.  


Best Photos of 2015

I’m not going to spend time waxing poetic on 2015 and all the enjoyable times, places, and people that I’ve experienced in 2015, even though I had all of those.  New Year’s resolutions are typically not my thing, but I will try one in 2016–more time outdoors and less doing everything else.

Here’s ten of my favorite shots from 2015.

In January Carly, Eric, Matt, and I went up to the North Ridge of the Pfeifferhorn. Unfortunately the splitter conditions seen in this photo didn’t persist and we ended up bailing, though unnecessarily. This mountain still has an amazing look to it in winter and summer.

Fighting to see through the sprindrift.
Carly fighting through the endless spindrift on the Ribbon (WI4) in Ouray, CO. We were suckered into this climb on a bluebird and warm day in February. We didn’t pack super warm stuff and Carly didn’t have sunglasses. It turned out despite the mild conditions on the other side of the canyon we were in for a true alpine day.

The early May weather in Salt Lake wasn’t looking great so Carly and I took the opportunity to be Utah National Park tourists and visit Bryce Canyon NP. We were lucky to get some snow overnight making for amazing vistas the next morning.

The distant mountains had more snow all day.
Another shot from Bryce. The distant mountains got hammered by snow squalls the entire day making for very stark contrast in the desert landscape.

Great sunset over the valley.
Another visit to the Pfeifferhorn. The heat in the valley drove Carly, Matt, and I up to the mountains for some cooler air. The fires west of the city created particulates in the air that made for a really pretty sunset. We just barely were able to catch this view as we were on the east side of a small ridge and desperately hiked our way up to catch the last rays of the sun.

Finishing up the Golden Staircase pitch on the Upper Exum.
Carly’s first foray into the high alpine. We did a three day trip up the Gran Teton in August in really hot conditions. There were no altitude problems and we had a great time. I’m looking forward to doing another route with her next summer.

The Friction Pitch yields some unprotected but fairly easy climbing for a little way up a rounded arrete.
A month later I was back on the Grand, but this time with Patrick and Matt (pictured). This time we blitzed it and did a sub-12 hour Upper Exum Ridge climb. Patrick lead the whole way as it was his first time on the peak.

On the ride home from a great weekend in the City of Rocks we had one of the best sunsets I've seen in a long time.
A late October trip to the City of Rocks with Carly had some good climbing, including her leading all of Theater of Shadows (5.7) on Steinfell’s Dome. It was a great time seeing her lead. On the way home we had one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen.

Thanksgiving brought us to Indian Creek with Matt and Patrick. Here Patrick is battling it out on a long, sandbagged, steep #4’s crack in Donnelly Canyon. Despite the sun it was windy and cold. Ultimately we left the day after Thanksgiving to escape the snow in the desert and to do some skiing. Ah the benefits of living in Salt Lake City.

We conicidentally got to the base of the climb a few minutes before the sun poked around the ridge and we were basked in warmth for about an hour or two.
Despite getting a really good capture with my Canon G10, I was really missing the quality of my 50D on this day. Doug, Matt, Matt, and I headed up to Killer Pillar (WI5) on a splitter day during the Bozeman Ice Festival. A few minutes after getting there the sun poked up over the ridge. The glow created some awesome light when Doug lead the difficult pillar. One of my most memorable shots I’ve taken in a long time.


Favorite Pics of 2013

It is that time of year again.  I’ve selected 10 shots I took in 2013 and collected them here.  Most of these are some of my best shots of the year but a few are just ones that stuck out a little more than the rest when looking back through my stuff.