Category Archives: Adventure

Glenn Charles

Glenn Charles

Glenn is an adventure photographer who tells stories with pictures. He’s both an excellent photographer and a an excellent story teller, a great combination of skills to have along with curiosity to throw himself out into the world to experience it.

Check out Glenn’s three photo essays on his Exposure site: A Year in Monochrome, Winter Bikepacking, and The Lost Coast.

Here’s where Glenn talks about the gear he used on one of the trips: Camera Nerds – The Lost Coast.

More on the Exposure photography platform here: Exposure turns your photo sets into stunning graphic stories.

[via Gary Sharp]

Snowshoeing up Mt. Everett

Mt. Everett across Guilder Pond

Mt. Everett across Guilder Pond

Mt. Everett Reservation, Southwest Massachusetts. We had one good day of snow and snowshoeing before the current thaw hit and Dave and I snowshoed up Mt. Everett as our first snowshoe of the year. It was an incredible day: perfect snow, not too deep for unbroken snowshoeing (we broke the trail) and the light was amazing.

Mt. Everett used to have a fire tower on top and so, has an access road much of the way up which runs parallel to the Appalachian Trail. We snowshoed up the road as far as we could, then took the AT to the top.

This is a very nice hike to do any time of year (mountain laurel in July are killer good here), not very difficult but great landscape to photograph and enough of a hike to get one’s heart beating. The view on top is unremarkable and the last shot in this series is looking east through frozen trees to Twin Lakes near Salisbury, Connecticut.

As I post this it’s raining, warm, and almost all the snow is melted. While snow can be a pain at times (driving home from JFK the other day was a horror), a day of snowshoeing like this is one of the greatest forms of hiking there is.

My wish for the new year is many more days like this and wherever you are, I hope you have them too.

Guilder Pond

Guilder Pond

Guilder Pond

Guilder Pond

Frozen hemlock

Frozen hemlock

Going up Mt. Everett

Going up Mt. Everett

Frozen trees on Mt. Everett

Frozen trees on Mt. Everett

Frozen grass

Frozen grass

Frozen trees on Mt. Everett

Frozen trees on Mt. Everett

Dave breaking the path up Mt. Everett

Dave breaking the path up Mt. Everett

Dave near the top of Mt. Everett

Dave near the top of Mt. Everett

Frozen trees on Mt. Everett

Frozen trees on Mt. Everett

View from top of Mt. Everett

View from the top of Mt. Everett

Pine Swamp, early winter

Dave crossing an upstream beaver dam

Dave crossing an upstream beaver dam

West Cornwall, Connecticut. A hike up the Appalachian Trail to Pine Swamp is good any time of year but winter is the best. Yesterday was extremely cold but there wasn’t much wind so we were fine as long as we kept moving.

Another aspect of the Ricoh GR that I like is that its controls can be used with thin glover liners on. I suffer from Raynaud syndrome (cold hands) and so taking mittens or gloves off to use a camera in extreme cold can be a serious problem for me. Being able to use a camera’s controls with thin, neoprene glove liners keeps my hands covered all the time. I keep opened and hot chemical hand warmers in a pocket in case I need them but yesterday with the glove liners on I had no need and was able to pull my mittens off and take pictures at will.

I had a very tough time doing this with the Sony RX100 with its flush mounted controls and this is one of the reasons I don’t own that camera anymore.

It was a great day to be out hiking, the snow wasn’t so deep we needed snow shoes and there wasn’t enough ice to require micro-spikes. I only fell once on snow covered oak leaves. The ice on the pond wasn’t thick enough to walk on yet but if it was and we walked out to the beaver lodge my guess is we’d have heard the beaver family yacking it up inside.

Beaver dam downstream of main pond

Beaver dam downstream of main pond

Oak and clouds

Oak and clouds

Icicle and lichen (RAW)

Icicle and lichen (RAW)

Icicle and lichen (high contrast jpeg)

Icicle and lichen (high contrast jpeg)

Worn Wear

This is a very nice “advertorial” produced by Patagonia. A nice collection of stories and cinematography documenting old clothing and the stories each piece has to tell.

I must say, I have a number of very old Patagonia pieces and they’re still going strong.

[via Gary Sharp]

Fred Beckey in the Dolomites

A short piece on the climber Fred Beckey who, at 89, is the grand old man of North American mountaineering having made more first ascents than anyone living or dead.

And, the Dolomites (Italian Alps) offer spectacular scenery as a backdrop to this great little piece.

Here’s a nice little piece on Beckey in the Wall Street Journal: The Old Man, His Mountains

[via Gary Sharp]

Sage’s Ravine

HipstaPrint

My friend Gary Sharp took this picture of me on our epic hike from undermountain trail, over Bear Mountain, down into Sage’s Ravine, then up the Appalachian Trail to Mt. Race, over Race and down the Race Brook Falls trail. It was epic because it was long (12 miles) and we ran into a fierce storm cell just after going over Mt. Race. We got hailed on and completely soaked going down the Race Brook Falls trail. We still had a great time.

iPhone 5 and Hipstamatic.

Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. I’m a “maintainer” of this blue trail connecting Rt. 41 to the Appalachian Trail and I have to hike it regularly to make sure it’s clear. We had and are having some severe weather in New England at the moment and I needed to get up on this trail to see if trees had come down.

This day Race Brook was as high as I’ve ever seen it and the two crossings were very tough. The base of this waterfall is another crossing and I took this right in the middle of it. The spray wasn’t too bad and it was a beautiful, clear day so the Ricoh GR wasn’t in danger of getting wet.

I’m very pleased with what the bigger sensor on this camera delivers in terms of details. Also, the controls continue to amaze me as beautifully designed for qjick access. I had to change meters for this shot or else the waterfall would have been blown out, and that task was a snap.

I have yet to do a lot of shooting with the new camera but each time I use it I marvel at both its design and the quality of the images such a small, light camera can produce. I’m sure that as I shoot more I’m going to get some great images out of it.

Ice on Race Brook

Ice bubbles and metamorphic fragments

Ice bubbles and metamorphic fragments

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. Dave and I are the “maintainers” of this blue trail connecting Rt. 41 to the Appalachian Trail and we have to hike it regularly to make sure it’s clear. It’s about 2 miles of steep switchbacks from the parking lot to the AT intersection. This was our first hike this spring and I was surprised to find some decent ice to take pictures of on Race Brook and in puddles off to the side of the trail.

Metamorphic ice fragments

Metamorphic ice fragments

Metamorphic ice fragments

Metamorphic ice fragments

Frozen foam

Frozen foam

Frozen foam

Frozen foam

Frozen foam

Frozen foam

Ice layers and bubbles

Ice layers and bubbles

Ice bubbles and frozen beech leaf

Ice bubbles and frozen beech leaf

Ice on Bear Mountain

Mt. Everett and Mt. Race from Bear Mountain

Mt. Everett and Mt. Race from Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain, Salisbury, Connecticut. Dave and I hiked up Bear Mountain and this is the view north into Massachusetts to Mt. Race and Mt. Everett. The Appalachian Trail runs from the left edge of this image over the tops of those two mountains to the left side of this image (we’ve hiked that section dozens of times).

We could see the ice on the trees from the road on the drive up so we wanted to do this hike to get some shots of the ice which can be pretty fantastic.

Turned out it was a great day to be out, not too cold and while the snow was deep and drifted in places it wasn’t too tough to walk in without snowshoes.

Mt. Frissell and Round Top from Bear Mountain

Mt. Frissell and Round Top from Bear Mountain

This is on the south ridge of Bear Mountain looking west into New York state. The top of Mt. Frissell is actually in Massachusetts but the south shoulder of it is the highest “point” in Connecticut. Bear Mountain, which we’re on is the highest “peak” (so to speak).

Dave photographing ice on a pitch pine

Dave photographing ice on a pitch pine

We spent a lot of time attempting to photograph the ice on various trees. The pitch pines were the most interesting although there was ice everywhere.

Pitch pine ice

Pitch pine ice

You can see which way the wind was blowing by how the ice is deposited on the needles.

Pitch pine ice

Pitch pine ice

Ice on a leaf bud

Ice on a leaf bud

Here, again, you can see how the wind was blowing as the freezing rain/snow was coming down.

Ice on branches and buds

Another example showing the ice on the downwind side of branches.

Ice layers and bubbles

Ice layers

On the Appalachian Trail between Hubbard Brook and Rt. 7 near Sheffield, Massachusetts.

This was the finest collection of ice patterns I’d ever seen in my many years of looking for and shooting them. This was a shallow swamp right on the trail with a small crumbling bridge/boardwalk running through it.

On either side of the boardwalk was a different collection of ice patterns. I went nuts shooting, then Dave found the ice bubbles and yelled out.

We could have spent much of the day at this spot and if I’d had, say, a full frame camera like the Sony RX1 or any easy to use camera I’d have shot even more.

As it was, going from the 100 or so images I took down to the nine I’m posting here has taken me weeks of comparing.

I can’t wait to get home to print some of these.

Ice bubbles

Ice Bubbles

Ice bubbles

Ice Bubbles

Ice bubbles

Ice Bubbles

Ice bubbles

Ice Bubbles

Ice layers

Ice Layers

Ice forms

Ice Forms

Ice layers

Ice Layers

Ice fractals

Ice Fractals

Barred owl

Barred Owl

On the Appalachian Trail near Sheffield, Massachusetts. Dave, Loren and I went on one of our regular hikes from Jug End to Rt. 7 on the Appalachian Trail. As we walked through a small meadow with low pine trees Loren spotted what he thought was an old wasp’s nest. Dave took one look at it and said it was a barred owl. To my eyes it just looked like some junk hanging off a tree branch.

Both Dave and I got our cameras out and zoomed in as close as we could but I knew we didn’t have the reach needed to capture the owl. So, we hiked on knowing we’d be by this spot again on our way back (this hike is a “there and back” hike).

This image is heavily cropped to show the owl and I’m amazed that the RX100 captured so much detail.

On our return the owl was gone from this perch but Dave spotted him on the other side of the trail higher up in another tree. I pulled out my iPhone and brought up the Audubon bird app I have and found the barred owl. There were eight sounds for this owl and I tried the first one. This owl immediately called back with the same call. We stood there for a good five minutes calling out to him with him responding. It was thrilling although no doubt we upset him.

Finally he took off no doubt figuring that communicating with an iPhone just doesn’t cut it.