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A few Great Mountains

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A few Great Mountains

Postby Kane » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:33 pm

Here's a few 14er shots of the great Maroon Bells and Crestone Peak. If Interested, the following is an recap of my notes claiming a first image perspective of Crestone Peak. Thanks for having a look and any comments or critique welcome.

Kane

http://www.kaephotography.com/gallery/crestone/

Attaining a birds-eye view of the west face of Crestone Peak isn't easy, especially at this straight-on perspective at 11,870-ft. I have spent almost 18 years researching and climbing mountains and never have viewed my chosen perspective from any mountaineering website, and I will say there is plenty of route beta on the internet for the Sangre De Cristo Mountains.

I shot the close-up images at 200mm. I don’t have a bigger zoom than that, but even a bigger zoom would not have the straight-on view as posted.

Crestone sees plenty of traffic in Spring/Summer, however the surrounding summits that encompass Crestone Peak invites much less. However I have climbed all of the thirteeners that encompass Crestone Peak and the Crestone Needle and never gained this perspective of the West Face. All known routes to the more obscure encompassing peaks do not include the route I used to shoot these images. Pertaining to my route to shoot these images; humans just don’t climb steep rocky, tree covered terrain to stay in the trees for 4,000-ft. People want views or an objective like a summit. Animals do however, so occasionally mountain masochists will look for game trails to help escort oneself to their remote/obscure objective.

In my case for last Sat, I began my hike in a place that has been regarded as Private Property, and has also been regarded as NOT Private property. Lot’s of public confusion; however I just parked my car and went. The rib of the main ridge I used to get to my spot is not the obvious starting point to any notable summits on the ridgeline heading east, more specifically the beautiful rarely climbed 13er “Pico Asilado.” My selected rib of ground tops out at about 11,900-ft, then makes a ridiculous, highly technical sudden jump to 12,500-ft. Anybody in their right mind would not use this rib of ridge to climb Pico Asilado, when a more gentle rib of ridge lies just south. BTW, that rib doesn’t see human feet either, the standard route of Pico starts way up the Cottonwood drainage. Plus I’ve been up that route too a few years ago to make the summit of some lonely 12,000-ft peaks.

I selected this ridge because of Google Earth and only Google Earth. It's impossible to locate this spot without satelitte technology. I found a 10-ft section of open view rock outcropping within a sea of trees. The ridge is entirely tree covered until you reach this rock outcropping about 2,000-ft of vertical gain from the parked car. I have to admit I was not entirely confident the route would even go, let alone not have any trees shooting up into my frame. I spent a lot of time just hoping and praying my beat-down of a hike would pan out.
Here’s the slam dunk kicker for me claiming this spot as a “First Ascent.” The ridge actually narrows up enough for the last half mile where you must make a choice, stay directly on the ridge crest to continue, or turn around and go home. And while on that ridge crest I endured quite the bushwhack for about a half mile; breaking dead tree branches over and over, just to stay on my route to my objective. Humans just could not have ever been on this route without ripping through so much deadfall. If so, then I wouldn’t have endured the frustrating tree limb breaking party for about an hour. I suppose I persevered.

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Re: A few Great Mountains

Postby geojed » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:40 pm

Sweet pics, thx for sharing. :D

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Re: A few Great Mountains

Postby rawah » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:30 am

Stunning photographs Kane. And the effort behind them is remarkable.
Jon

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Re: A few Great Mountains

Postby photog » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:20 am

Your images are incredible. Your brother Charles is one of my students at CMC and I first saw your work because of him. I appreciate the lengths you go to for your vantage points and find myself in a similar pursuit. I think that's why Charles showed me your work. Clearly the results are worth the effort! Check out http://14erphotography.com/# for some of my images.

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Re: A few Great Mountains

Postby mattpayne11 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:13 am

Nice man.

Is that the ridge we were talking about on the phone? Seen here:

http://www.kaephotography.com/photo/crestones-at-sunset/?gallery=crestone

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Re: A few Great Mountains

Postby Kane » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:43 pm

Hi Matt, you bet...that's the ridge!

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Re: A few Great Mountains

Postby mattpayne11 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:16 pm

Kane wrote:Hi Matt, you bet...that's the ridge!


Cool. That totally makes sense. =)

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Re: A few Great Mountains

Postby Wish I lived in CO » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:37 pm

Very nice :)
I look up to the mountains - does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! Psalm 121:1-2

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Re: A few Great Mountains

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:05 am

Kane, your phenomenal images just keep getting better and better. Very nice!

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Re: A few Great Mountains

Postby Brian C » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:19 am

Awesome!
Brian in the Wild
Lists of John
"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." - Wordsworth

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Re: A few Great Mountains

Postby vonmackle » Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:16 am

Beautiful shots (as usual).
"To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable." -Ludwig van Beethoven

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