It’s Trivia Tuesday, so here’s a little bit of trivia about “The Mountain.” Mount Rainier is an “episodically active” volcano and the most-glaciated peak in the Lower 48. The indigenous people named this mountain Tahoma or Tacoma, but it’s present-day moniker was bestowed upon it by one Captain George Vancouver, after sailing into Puget Sound in 1792. He named it after his buddy Peter Rainier. Mount Rainier National Park is America’s fifth national park.
Looking at this image might cause you to think I’ve deliberately oversaturated it. Nope. I can honestly tell you that for 20+ seconds, the sunrise colors are indeed this saturated. You have to work quickly to catch the scene, because as quickly as the colors appear, they disappear and are replaced by regular sunlight which turns the snow on the peak blindingly white and risks overexposure of a photo.
See that tiny person standing at the edge of Tipsoo Lake, in the lower center-ish portion of the shot next to the tree? That gives you an idea of the majesty of the landscape: One Big Mountain, One Teeny Person.
This sunrise shot was captured one fine autumn morning, a few months after I’d moved from Texas to Washington state. It’s early summer as I post this photo, and if you were to go there now, the lake would be mostly covered still in ice and snow.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
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It’s Fun Fact Friday! So, here are a few facts about Denali Mountain and Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Did you know that only about 30 percent of people visiting the park ever get a glimpse of the mountain? Like Mount Rainier, Denali Mountain makes its own weather and these conditions can hide the 20,310-foot tall mountain behind a wreath of clouds and fog most of the time. The first climb to the top of this tallest peak in North America was done in 1913, and a member of the climbing party – Harry Karstens – would later become Denali’s first superintendent.
There’s an interesting article in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler about Denali Mountain. Climbing rangers out there are voicing concerns about inexperienced climbers trying to summit the mountain, and after reading the article, I see there is very good reason for them to be concerned. To read that article, click on the image above.
I visited Denali National Park and Preserve for five days several years ago, and was lucky to have been able to see Denali every single day I was there. This image is the result of one such day of clear viewing.
Here’s something interesting you might or might not have known about life in Denali National Park and Preserve, in Alaska. There are 39 species of mammals in the park, including the Big 5 (moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, grizzly bears), and 139 species of birds. But, only one amphibian has managed to adapt to life under the harsh conditions of the park’s landscape. The wood frog can actually freeze itself solid during the winter! It’s heart stops, it doesn’t breathe, but there are cryptoprotectant chemicles that keep the frog’s cells alive, and when spring arrives, the frog thaws out and starts searching for a pond and a mate. Pretty cool, huh? (pun intended).
As for this image, it was captured during my 5-day stay at Camp Denali, located near the end of the one and only road through the park. There’s a little pond right outside of the main camp building called Nugget Pond, and on this particular day, I captured three different shots of it as the morning lightened up. The first shot you can see if you look at a previous post. This is the second shot, captured a little later during sunrise, and I’ll post the final shot later on.
I cannot drive past Tipsoo Lake in Mount Rainier National Park without stopping. No matter what. And, in the morning, it can be difficult to photograph, unless you are right there for those all-too-short moments of sunrise. After sunrise, the colors on the mountain vanish and the snow on the mountain becomes blown out. Sunsets are better times to photograph this place, but I’m never around during that time and during the summer, sunset occurs quite late at night, when I have usually driven back home. Someday, I’ll stay to capture the sunset, as I’ve seen beautiful images captured during that time.
Snow still lingers around Tipsoo Lake, and I was glad I took along my snowshoes when I visited the park a week ago. I got my morning exercise snowshoeing around the lake.
Dawn’s rosy fingers gilding the top of Mount Rainier, looming over Tipsoo Lake
Ok, I don’t really know what alliterative thing it is for Monday, but since it’s the start of the work week for most of us, it probably feels like you are climbing a steep mountain to even get out of bed this morning, right?
So, how about a little bit of colorful sunrise to go on that mountain top?
The Mountain in the morning, Mount Rainier National Park, WA
Sunrise colors are fleeting, so I was happy to have made it to Tipsoo Lake, in Mount Rainier National Park, just in time to set up camera and tripod to capture several shots of those gorgeous, saturated colors, before they disappeared.
A serene morning at Schwabacher Landing, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
I’m all done with my national park portion of my road trip move from Texas to Washington State. I’ve visited 5 national parks on this trip and have come away with some stunning photos (imo). I’m in Bozeman, Montana, visiting friends and will leave tomorrow to continue on to central Washington. It’s been an awesome trip, so far, but I’m ready to see the end of the road (literally).
Here is an image I captured one early morning at Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park. No visit is complete without a stop in this area. Be warned, though. Except for a very short portion of paved road, the rest of the route is a gravelly, bumpy, potholey drive to the parking area. And it’s best to arrive in the morning, not only for lovely lighting but to beat the crowds (if you visit in the summer). Do walk along the trail as far as you can, because there are many views with still water and mountain reflections all along the way.
This image was taken 10 years ago, during the very first photo workshop I’d ever taken, using one of my very first full-frame cameras (Canon 5D). The workshop took place in Glacier National Park, Montana and – while a bit strenuous in terms of hiking for my tastes and physical capabilities – was a worthwhile event that led me to continue joining up in other photo tours and workshops (yes, there is a slight difference between the two and I actually wrote an articleabout it in the National Parks Traveler back in 2014).
This image is looking back on part of the trail from St. Mary Falls leading onward to Virginia Falls.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
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I‘m a bad blogger, I know I am. It’s been a month, right, since I last posted? Until recently, I’ve been traveling, then I had a food photo session last weekend and now am preparing for a wedding photoshoot in a couple of weeks and – oh yeah – I have my day job with which to contend.
I actually have an upcoming article that will be published in the National Parks Traveler, the link of which I’ll provide in a new blog post. For now, though, here’s something I wanted to post for your viewing pleasure.
Remember my last article that was published for the National Parks Traveler? It dealt with returning to the same scene in a national park but during different seasons, different times of day, and different weather patterns in order to get totally different looks for the same place.
Well, I applied this during my recent visit to Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, while staying at Camp Denali. The scene you see is Nugget Pond, situated right in front of Camp Denali’s lodge building. Time of day was either morning or afternoon. The weather ranged from sunny to overcast to stormy, with clouds in between.
Enjoying my first cup of coffee for the morning on the porch of the Potlatch Building. Do I look a little tired? Well, I probably was, from all of the activities in which I’d been involved and with plenty more fun ahead of me.
Stay tuned for my upcoming article about photographing in Denali National Park that will be published in the National Parks Traveler.
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