After the fires this summer, views of Mount Sopris from Carbondale and the surrounding area were sadly hazy and smoky. A few evening rain clouds blew in over Sopris, but there wasn’t enough precipitation or wind to fully clear the air, leaving the views of one of my favorite mountains slightly obscured.
Sopris, Clouds, and Smoke, near Carbondale, CO (12″x18″)
Fortunately, on my last night in the area, the winds changed direction and pushed some of the smoke out of the region. It felt like I’d put on glasses- the view of Mount Sopris appeared crisp and well-defined as the setting sun cast a pink glow on the flanks of the mountain.
Sopris and Evening Clouds, near Carbondale, CO (12″x18″)
I stopped to photograph Hayes Creek Falls along Colorado-133 (south of Carbondale, just west of Mount Sopris). Water was barely trickling over the Falls, so I crossed CO-133 and shot a few bulb exposures of the water flowing around the rocks in the Crystal River. Hoping this area recovers from drought and fire season.
Crystal River (Bulb Panorama), near Bears Gulch, CO (16″x54″)
Crystal River (Bulb Single Frame), near Bears Gulch, CO (10″x18″)
As we approached Winfield from Hope Pass along the Continental Divide Trail, the clouds parted near the horizon and allowed a few rays of golden light to shine across the valley onto Emerald Peak, Mt Belford, and Mt Oxford.
Light on Ridge near Hope Pass, near Buena Vista, CO (12″x18″)
While in Colorado this summer, I helped a friend scout Hope Pass for the Leadville 100. Before stopping for lunch at the saddle (~12,500 feet elevation), I took this panorama to the west and north looking back down the valley towards Twin Lakes.
Trail to Hope Pass, Continental Divide Trail, near Buena Vista, CO (16″66″)
Visiting the same location year after year forces me to try to see the same scene from new perspectives. This summer, I spent more time to the right of the falls taking a few long exposures of the water flowing out of the limestone at Spouting Rock above Hanging Lake.
Spouting Rock (Horizontal #3, Color, 2018), Hanging Lake, Colorado (16″x20″)
Spouting Rock (Vertical #3, Color, 2018), Hanging Lake, Colorado (28″x16″)
Here are a few more panoramas taken around sunrise at 14,000+ feet in Colorado.
Ridge Line from Mt Lincoln, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x50″)
Ridge Shadows to Mt Democrat, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x70″)
Rising Sun over Mt Lincoln, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x64″)
After hiking up the flank of Mt Democrat, we turned to the east and headed towards Mt Lincoln to avoid the large crowds on the first peak. We followed the ridge to Mt Licoln, ate breakfast, then walked up the side of Mt Bross and down to Kite Lake. The mining equipment, pits, and trails are quite the spectacle at 14,000+ feet .
Mining Equipment, Trails, and Mount Democrat, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x67″)
Scree and Talus Field on Mt Bross, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x60″)
A few photographs from the Buckskin Creek cirque/headwaters and my Kite Lake-Mt Lincoln-Mt Bross hike.
Alone in the Sky, near Kite Lake, CO (12″x18″)
Looking Back from Mt Bross, near Kite Lake, CO (12″x18″)
While working Boulder this July, I drove up to Kite Lake near Fairplay and Alma, CO. The camping areas near the lake were packed, so I hiked up a cirque along Buckskin Creek and set up camp near 12,500 feet in an isolated meadow. The cirque was relatively close to the parking area, but the steep hill blocked the view of the road and trails, so the area felt like the middle of the wilderness. The next morning, I slid out of my sleeping bag before sunrise to hike up a few peaks in the area- see future posts for peak panoramas.
Snow Field and Stream, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x54″)
Unnamed Crescent Lake, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x60″)
A few weeks ago, I hiked past Bluebird Lake (along the Wild Basin trail in Rocky Mountain National Park), scrambled up a scree field, and made my way along an old cirque above tree line just below Isolation Peak. The towering cliffs and exposed rocks are stunning when viewed up close. Looking down valley, I seemed to be standing above the clouds.
Unnamed Ridge, Cliffs, and Clouds, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (16″x42″)