Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pic of the Day

  Denali from Reflection Pond – Denali National Park Alaska:  Denali, “The High One”, is one of the most photographed mountains in the world, and I was in Denali National Park just for that purpose.  Denali is the second tallest mountain on the planet.  At a towering height of 20,320 feet  the mountain creates its on weather, keeping it totally obscured in clouds most of the time.  
    I made my first trip to Alaska in 1981.  After driving some 6000 miles across the United States, Canada and half of Alaska I arrived at Denali National Park eager to see and photograph the iconic landmark.  The day my wife and I arrived at the park the sky was overcast, and my dreams of seeing "The High One" seemed problematic.  After picking-up my photographers permit we drove west to wonder lake which was an arduous ten hour drive.  Heavy cloud cover and a drizzling rain dominated the day, and when we arrived at Wonder Lake no end seemed in sight.
    That night my wife and I camped at wonder lake, and around 2:00A.M.,  the clouds that hid the Alaska range began to break up revealing snippets of the mountains.  As the tops of the mountain range began to peak through the clouds we kept asking each other, “is that Denali?  No that one is higher, that must be it.”  Then the clouds began to dissipate and the entire range was visible.  Only then did we see Denali, it must have been three or four times taller than the surrounding mountains of the Alaska range.  We both stood in awe of "The High One.”
   I have returned to Denali National Park many times since that first trip and have photographed Denali over and over.  Every time I see the mountain it is different and always exciting to photograph.  This image was taken from reflection pond just East of Wonder Lake.  Surprisingly, Reflection Pond is only thirty to forty feet across, but in the early morning calm it provides a mirrored image reflection of North America’s tallest mountain.

Nikon F-5, Lens Unknown, Fujichrome 100

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