Yesterday afternoon, I met up with Alan Gordon and a friend of his as they worked on a film to document ice climbing on the Mendenhall Glacier. Their location near the medial moraine was about as high as I had ever trekked on the glacier during the winter, but it provided a spectacular view of the terminus and some nice pitches for climbing. Sunset was in progress shortly after I arrived, so the light in the photos of some of Alan’s free climbing was really sweet. Down on the lake (before I started up), the sun was lighting up the larger icebergs into a brilliant turquoise. I worked on that for a while, but the images needed more processing than I had time to put in before posting this. Thanks for reading/viewing, and have a great week!
I know it was a long time ago because of how much hair I had in the photos taken during the trip, but though my memories are faded by time, I couldn’t help smiling as I reflected on the month I spent traveling across the country with my friends Corey and Greg. Thousands upon thousands of images and hours have moved my photography a great distance in the years since the adventure, which was my first “real” photography trip. Still, its fun to look back and see that some of the inclinations in my expression of the world as I see it were already embedded at the fledgling stage.
Nearby to where I took the photograph in my previous post (but from over two weeks prior), this image shows a passage I’m convinced has now been lifted twenty feet into the air. It’s the constant state of change that makes me wish I could visit the location even more often than I already do.
While out on the lake yesterday, I met a guy working on a film to document the unique opportunities for adventure, discovery, recreation, and observation of natural beauty afforded by the Mendenhall Glacier. We talked about the potential for the glacier to recede from the lake in the coming years, and even how neither of us might have the chance to revisit the phenomenal location where we chanced to meet each other. I was photographing under an iceberg in an enormous cavern that had not been there at all at the time of my last visit, a mere two and a half weeks earlier. My speculation is that the recent single digit temperature and thick lake ice were slowing the roll of this berg that otherwise might have happened overnight instead of over the course of weeks. The other visitor was ice climbing some remnants of moulins and other nearby cracks in the ice with his camera attached to the slick walls by a chassis fitted with an ice screw (a pretty genius set-up). I helped him get some video of a roughly fifty foot repel from a precipice on a corner of the giant iceberg. I regret not getting some more documentary images from outside the cavern, but I just wasn’t thinking in that way at the time. I was soaking in a once in a lifetime view.
After a week of fairly heavy rain, Friday began what promises to be a stretch of clear, cold, winter weather. On Saturday I was back at the lake for sunrise and on the ice again in the last of the afternoon light. While I enjoy the mountains, coastlines, and forest trails; this winter has been dedicated to Mendenhall Lake, its icebergs, and the glacier of the same name. Every year, the area wears a new face over its more sustained character. I want to relearn to recognize and appreciate it through my photography, and yesterday was another step in the process. I’m not quite where I aim to be, but I do get the feeling that I’m getting close – almost as if I’m approaching near enough to hear some whispered message. I’ll keep you posted.