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Waking Up at Unnamed Alpine Lake
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:29 pm    Post subject: Waking Up at Unnamed Alpine Lake Reply with quote

This was my second trip to this basin and lake system in the southwest Olympic Mountains. This is an EXTREMELY tough climb up a canyon to get to the basin, starting at 'rain forest' level at 600 feet elevation, and climbing up difficult hillsides with hidden cliff sections for about 2 1/2 miles to the 5000 foot elevation.

When I get time, I'll explain how this is probably the toughest cross-country hike/climb I've personally ever encountered - steepness, navigation, difficulty of terrain, heat, and untold amounts of scratches and bloody holes in my legs and arms from pulling myself up the demented hillside. There is one hike/climb that MIGHT equal this one in difficulty (for me), but this is right up there with the level of difficulty.

Of course, with all that work and blood and sweat, there are rewards. In this case NO sign of man whatsoever, large amounts of wildlife, and a 'hidden basin' with five subalpine lakes at different levels, that are sweet and succulent eye candy.

I'll try to give more detail later, but this image was from my tent door at sunrise, just as the light was hitting one of the pristine lakes. It may not be the best image in the world, but had a lot of meaning for me, so that's why it's posted.

Of course, what is even MORE demented than anything mentioned above, was that this was my SECOND time up here. Go figure! But in all seriousness, I was very gratified that my almost 67 year old skeleton and muscles and brain was able to get me up here in the first place. The temperature was a little over 90F, or about 32C, so this was a real test. The key of something like this is to stay hydrated, and even in this record-setting heat there were enough springs coming out of the hillsides to keep a good water supply on the way up. And...of course...slow and steady wins the game.

The image may seem a bit blown out on the left, and perhaps I could have fixed it. But...it's actually how bright the sun was on the trees, as compared to the deep shadow in front of me and in the trees on the right. Lots of light variations here, so I just left it alone. It's hard to pick up the 'enchantment' I felt looking out of the tent with my sleepy eyes that morning. I was anticipating the equally difficult descent down and out of the basin and canyon, so this was doubly sweet to me.

Also, right after I took the picture a bull elk starting bugling somewhere up on the meadows behind me. Also, see the little peninsula jutting out into the lake in the right middle of the image - just to the right of the sunlit tree reflection? I was there the evening before, and looked up to the meadows just out of sight to the left, and watched a mountain lion wandering around towards the higher lakes in the upper reaches of the basin. How cool is that? Shocked

More pix to come as I get them scanned. I'm slow at getting things set up to scan - it seems that time is always at such a premium.

Edit: Just FYI this was in June, and there should have been about 3-5 feet of snow here in a normal year - there was almost ZERO snowpack this past Winter. That, coupled with the heat and lack of precipitation, has put a lot of stress on the ecosystem in the area. This is the second Summer in a row with record heat and dryness. The only thing saving this ecosystem is the fact that it has its own built-in resources. The meadows hold a lot of water and release it slowly and methodically, which helps a lot. I just hope that we don't continue the hot and dry trend over the next several years.


Dawn View of Unnamed Lake in Unnamed Basin
Yashica ML 35/2.8 on Contax AX
Exposure unrecorded - I'm guessing about f:8 and 1/125th based on Provia slide film at ISO100. I do remember that I bracketed exposures by one stop plus and minus.


PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful photo and place. My brother would love to be there. He is always wanting to be in a place
where no other people are.


PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

awesome!


PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My wife said I should show the picture of my scratched-up legs. I don't know what she finds so 'intriguing' about it, but here it is!

Aside from the weird perspective from taking this shot inside my tent at my own legs, this is an example of what brush crashing and cliff scrambling is all about when trying to get up into the high country without trails in this area.

Actually, these amounted to only half of the scratches and stabs, as I added the other half of the total on the way back down and out of the basin.

By the time I finally got back to the trail, they looked like chopped liver, but of course they are healed up again now. And yes, it's worth every little jab.

My arms looked similar as well, with the added bonus of a few beautifully blue-colored bruises.

This was taken with a small digital camera - Fuji X100 - that I carry along in my pack, but I wanted you to see the nice red scratchings! Haha!

Punishment for Trying to Travel Through the Brush!
Fuji X100 at automatic setting



PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:37 pm    Post subject: Magical Waterfall Reply with quote

In the process of navigating to the basin and lakes, there was a series of waterfalls downstream from this rather perfect waterfall, that I used as a 'marker' from memory. The downstream series of approximately a dozen cascading falls was about 800 vertical feet lower down, so I stayed near them as I climbed the slopes, and found my way back to this same waterfall that I had visited 26 years ago on my first trip here. So I felt very lucky to have been able to come right back up to this spot!

It was a relief to have navigated correctly, as this was the only place that was really safe enough to access and cross through the gorge, so that I could cross the stream and head up a hogsback for the final rise into the cirques. Even at that, I had to pull out my 80 feet of rope to descend into the creek, coming down the wall of green that you see on the right side of the image, right into the water.

This falls is only about 25-30 feet in height, but is simple and neat in beauty and form. The isolation, difficulty of approach, and green walls simply added the necessary ingredients to make the place magical, at least to me.

It looks like it would not hurt to have done some photo editing to pull away some of the cyan hues, but that's okay. Overall, the greens and yellows are exactly true, which is one advantage of Provia. And, of course the Planar speaks for itself.

I enjoyed my small victory with a small lunch of sardines and rye bread before tackling the final phase up into the cirque above and to the left of the camera.


Magic Waterfall
Contax AX and Carl Zeiss Contax Planar 50/1.4
Provia
f:11 and 1/4 second
(cropped)


PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tough, but worth to pay for result!!


PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, amazing. Great photos and especially with the accompanying story. Here where I live there is almost no place you can go where you can be truly alone. People everywhere, if not visitors and hikers, then local farmers or whatever. No real wilderness anywhere.

Well, actually we have one piece of preserved virgin forest here. It's around 40 hectares big, that's a rectangle about 1000x400m or in other words 40 football fields. That's all there's left. And you can hear the distant hum of the motorway when standing in the centre of it. So I envy you people who live where you can go to a place and there's no sign of civilization anywhere in sight.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing shots and what a wonderful story you shared Larry!! Great you made it and that all has healed again Wink


PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
tough, but worth to pay for result!!


Yes Atttia!
thank you
Larry


PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

miran wrote:
Wow, amazing. Great photos and especially with the accompanying story. Here where I live there is almost no place you can go where you can be truly alone. People everywhere, if not visitors and hikers, then local farmers or whatever. No real wilderness anywhere.

Well, actually we have one piece of preserved virgin forest here. It's around 40 hectares big, that's a rectangle about 1000x400m or in other words 40 football fields. That's all there's left. And you can hear the distant hum of the motorway when standing in the centre of it. So I envy you people who live where you can go to a place and there's no sign of civilization anywhere in sight.


Miran, I now feel even more incredibly lucky to have this kind os access to wilderness.

But, what REALLY intrigues me at this moment is your FANTASTIC Flickr stream link! I seldom see so MANY images that simply are GORGEOUS. Your ability and propensity for outrageously beautiful images is as good as it gets, man. Oh, how pretty, and what I would give to have half as many great images as I see on your stream. I've spent a lot of time just looking for almost 20 minutes now; you seem to wring out the best in what you see.

Do you primarily use the Meyer-Optik lenses? And, speaking of the lenses, even your images of the lenses themselves have a special quality about them. Almost dream-like, similar to all of your other images. I'm truly in awe of your talented work. I don't even know how I would BEGIN to critique those vignettes of true art.

Larry


PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
Amazing shots and what a wonderful story you shared Larry!! Great you made it and that all has healed again Wink


Klaus, I tend to get carried away in descriptions, but I think you already know that! So, thanks for being patient and for the nice reply. And yes, I'm nit only healed again, but planning foe the next trek into unknown territory. Haha!


PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laurence wrote:

Miran, I now feel even more incredibly lucky to have this kind os access to wilderness.

But, what REALLY intrigues me at this moment is your FANTASTIC Flickr stream link! I seldom see so MANY images that simply are GORGEOUS. Your ability and propensity for outrageously beautiful images is as good as it gets, man. Oh, how pretty, and what I would give to have half as many great images as I see on your stream. I've spent a lot of time just looking for almost 20 minutes now; you seem to wring out the best in what you see.

Do you primarily use the Meyer-Optik lenses? And, speaking of the lenses, even your images of the lenses themselves have a special quality about them. Almost dream-like, similar to all of your other images. I'm truly in awe of your talented work. I don't even know how I would BEGIN to critique those vignettes of true art.

Larry

Thank you very much for you kind words. Smile But if you look around even just on flickr you will find many much more talented photographers. Quite a few regular contributors to this forum are on flickr and continuously produce stunning images. Smile The Meyer's are a recent addition to my arsenal, I quickly move from one thing to the next Wink


PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gorgeous shots, due to the fact that we all have just one life to spend, you're in the right path!
Enjoy your trip,

Cheers,

Renato


PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RSalles wrote:
Gorgeous shots, due to the fact that we all have just one life to spend, you're in the right path!
Enjoy your trip,

Cheers,

Renato


Absolutely, just one life to spend, and we need to make the most of it in our own ways. Thanks for the nice reply Renato.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
Amazing shots and what a wonderful story you shared Larry!!

+1. Fabulous shots! Thanks for sharing Larry!


PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy Dog