Winter mountain photography is extremely challenging, it can also be incredibly rewarding. This is a shot I've been after for 7 years. Last week I saw a promising looking weather window, I packed up my winter gear and headed to Bend.
I left town at 2:30am and started snowshoeing at 3:30am on Friday. It was 5 degrees at snow park when I left and only got colder as I climbed. I received a couple minor frostbite burns when I took my gloves off and accidentally touched a metal piece of my tripod. It dumped snow on me the entire climb, and the wind was howling. The snow was so deep and cold, even with snowshoes I was sinking to my knee with each step. I had my doubts on climb up the mountain, it was snowing pretty hard, but I could see an opening above my head and stars shining through. I pressed on and hoped for the best.
I was rewarded for my effort. When I reached the top it was 40 minutes before sunrise. I looked back at Mt Bachelor and saw the clouds parting around the mountain in the predawn light. It's hard to describe the sense of awe and wonder I felt as I watched this incredible scene unfold before my eyes. Majestic, and awesome come to mind as applicable superlatives. In any case it was a moving experience.
The mountain was only clear of clouds for 5 or 10 minutes, by the time the sun came up the mountain was under the clouds once again. I was extremely grateful for those few minutes working in light my buddy Sean Bagshaw dubbed salmon light.
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