Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow and Ice

Mt. Hood as seen from Trillium Lake

Last Monday and Tuesday were my first real opportunities to get out and play in the snow. I started Monday snowshoeing around Trillium lake about sunrise. That morning it was about 4 degrees and -16 with the wind chill, cold for sure but a nice day to be out. The shot above was pretty much the only time I saw the mountain that morning. I hadn't ever been around the backside of the lake, let alone on snowshoes. At 14" the snow was a bit shallow for my taste in winter photo ops but certainly deep enough to provide a nice workout. I couldn't really tell how thick the ice was, clearly thick in some places and looking thin in others so I wasn't about to venture out on it. Besides, I was the only person there that morning, making safety a primary concern. On the way out I did pass a couple cross-country skiers going into the lake and someone snowshoeing into the cabins nearby.

Following a much needed brunch in Government Camp I snowshoed about a mile into Sahale Falls which is near Mt. Hood Meadows. It was actually so froze over that the photos really didn't show anything. The snow was about 2 1/2 feet deep with no broke trail, hard going for sure but I'm sure everyone that comes after will appreciate me breaking trail for them.

Late that afternoon and the next day were spent in the Columbia Gorge. The waterfalls and icefall were spectacular even though there wasn't much snow. If you've never seen it iced up then I'd suggest making the trip, photos really don't do it justice. The roads can be a bit difficult (like now), but when I was there they were nearly clear so driving was a non-event. Unfortunately I'm on-call through 12/26 so chances are I won't get back to see the gorge with all this fresh snow in the wintery mix but I'm sure January will bring more opportunities to see the Gorge in all its winter glory. I'll try to get my web page updated with the balance of the set. In addition to some documentary style ones I took in Oneonta Gorge of various ice formations, there's a couple other nice ones from the Women's overlook and from Vista House looking east just after sunset.

Below are Multnomah Falls (with walk bridge) and Horsetail Falls.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Last weekend and next

Racing into the warmth of late day sun.

Last weekend I shot USGP Cyclocross racing at PIR (see website). It was my first time shooting bicycles and an interesting experience. The turnout for this event was huge, both in contestants and spectators.

You're probably wondering why I would do that and it's a fair question. I found shooting sports really helps hone my skills for catching the action. Comes in quite handy when trying to capture wildlife, especially the skiddish ones. I only shot Saturday although originally there were plans to shoot Sunday too.

Sunday started out at sunrise with a couple hours at work, but not wanting to spend all day at the track shooting cyclists I headed off to Smith and Bybee Lakes nature area for what proved to a an uneventful and increasingly wet morning. Clearly shooting at the track that afternoon would be wet and miserable so I finally gave it up for the day after a couple hours of pouring rain and elusive subjects.

Fast forward...

If you hadn't noticed the weather report for this weekend is calling for some rather cold and nasty conditions, especially in the Columbia Gorge. Up high there should be fresh snow Friday-Sunday, with some clearing Monday and sunshine expected Tuesday. Exactly the kind of weather I've been waiting for so I booked some vacation time and plan to spend Saturday-Tuesday in the Gorge and up high too, around Mt. Hood or Jefferson. I'm hoping for some snow or maybe even waterfall ice in the gorge and lots of deep fresh show up high. Perfect for some snowshoeing with the ol camera in tow. Should make for a fun time :-)

So... I might have some nice winter photos to post later next week!