Articles Page

In this space you will find articles about photography, places to photograph and travel, photo-related Web sites (including this one), computers and software, and links. New articles will appear on an very irregular basis. Previous articles are archived. The information presented here is based on my own experiences in the areas listed above. I will avoid how-to articles, as I'm in no position to offer advice or tutorials. Instead, when I find an interesting place to photograph, had a fun or unusual experience making pictures somewhere, or simply have a good story to tell related to making, preparing, or displaying photographs, you'll find it here.

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I hope you enjoy the articles. Use the email link at left if you'd like to comment on anything you read here.

Jay Cross

Lumen Perfectus

Reynolds Mountain Hike, Glacier N.P., August 2008

Friday afternoon, 2 August 2008, my friend Jim called and asked if I wanted to climb a mountain. With a little interrogation I learned this meant "tomorrow" (Saturday), and 9125 foot (2781m) Reynolds Mountain, in Glacier National Park. Jim is well known for his long hikes and climbs. I've known him for a few years and have wanted to tag along on his hikes, but I was concerned I'd have trouble keeping up. I didn't want to hold him back or limit his enjoyment of the day. So of course I said I'd go.

I arrived at his place at 6:00AM, and we headed up the east shore of Flathead Lake for the park. After breakfast at the Belton Chalet Cafe we headed for Logan Pass. Although it was after 8:00, it was dark, very cloudy, and it had rained -- the Sun Road was wet. It sprinkled on us as we approached the east side tunnel, just before getting into the road construction area. This wasn't looking like a great start.

At Logan Pass we did the usual prep (changed shoes, checked gear, etc.) and at about 9:15 got under way. We had a 2500 foot (762m) climb ahead of us. This page at summitpost.org has a better description of the route than I could write, and has some pretty good photos. As we got into the snow fields just off the trail to Hidden Lake the weather began to clear and we had some sun. It improved steadily throughout the day -- it became a perfect day for the hike, partly to mostly sunny eventually, 55° to 60° at the lower elevations. Much of the route was windy, so before we started the serious climbing we donned rain slickers to break the wind.

It was 43° (6°C) at the top, and unlike the description on the page above (which says plenty of great places to relax, enjoy the view and have a bite to eat), the wind was blowing at least 40mph (64k/h) up there, and maybe worse. Relaxing was difficult. There were two other hikers up there. We'd seen them from below; they'd taken a different route and got there just before we did. So up there in the wind and sun we chatted for half an hour. Jim's got dozens of stories and tells them really well. But we were getting cold, and around 12:30 began the descent. Dan and Darce followed us (I followed Jim, of course) so they could avoid the "mistake" they made on the way up.

We saw a number of big horn sheep, some goats with kids, ptarmigans, lots of various types of rodents, an amazing array of flowers clinging anywhere there was a tiny patch of soil-like stuff, and what Dan was sure was a silver-tip grizzly. It didn't take long to convince him it was a silver-tip boulder, really far away.

I did not take my usual photo gear. I wanted to pack nothing heavier than my water bottle, so the 35 pound (16kg) pack stayed home. I used an ancient but solid Canon S50 point-n-shoot to make these snap-shots. I'll let them tell the rest of the story. There are 23 photos.

I had a wonderful time. Thanks for inviting me, and for all the help, pointers, and great stories, Jim.

06 August 2008


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