Wednesday, October 01, 2008

K Is For Kluane

Hike, Eisenhower

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


It’s hard to pick a single outstanding feature of Kluane National Park in the Yukon. When we started off, skirting Lake Kathleen, the clouds glowered briefly over the water (as you can see in the first shot), giving my lens a study in varying shades of grey. They passed swiftly, leaving the water looking like mercury, as you can see in the post The Lake Was Placid.

So, what makes this place so special? Is it the changing light across Lake Kathleen?

Is it the clouds that cloak the snow-capped mountains and then move slowly aside to reveal their true majesty?

Is it the array of early fall colours splashed across the hillside? Well, I honestly don’t know the answer, but maybe if I give you all the pictorial evidence, you can tell me what the true answer is.

As we climbed, the delicate shades of the sky looked like someone had daubed a paintbrush across it. To emphasise the skyscape, there was no shortage of tall trees standing like sentinels along the ancient hillside. You just had to pick one tree (see above) and hit the trigger.

The snowline on the mountains to our right was clearly defined. When I took this shot I thought the dramatic white slashes across the dark grey shale looked like deep-powder versions of a lightning strike.

It can be very interesting when you’re climbing a narrow pathway and the soles of your sturdy hiking boots bring you great reassurance. You have to contend with tree roots, loose rocks, slippery tracks and trying to emulate Rudolf Nureyev as you leap gracefully (ahem) across gurgling rivulets.

You also have to decide where your priorities lie and whether to use both hands to steady the two cameras, both with long lenses, around your neck. Sooner or later, chances are you’re going to slip (I did) and either you use your hands to break your fall or you use them to protect your cameras and lenses (I chose the latter option, naturally).

And just when you think you cannot possibly take another shot of a mountain peak, the light changes to prove you wrong.

For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

45 comments:

Katney said...

Aren't mountains grand!

Though we spent Sunday at Mt. Rainier, we did not get as far on our hike as se had intended. As park volunteers, we have responsibility along the trail to answer visitor questions, give trail advise, caution folks about staying on the trail, and reminding them about the rule about not bringing their pets into the back country. On Sunday afternoon, we visited with 156 people--including the lady with the parrot.

We plan to return tomorrow while the weather still holds, leaving very early to allow us plenty of time, and going incognito. No volunteer patches on our clothing, not even a park T-shirt to indicate we are already connected as knowledgeable about the trails.

It will be our last chance this season, as the road to our favorite area closes in lest than two weeks, and the long range forecast for rain and snow starts day after tomorrow.

Happy spring to you, David.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Simply stunning. It reminds me a little of the Scottish Highlands.

CJ xx

CrazyCath said...

Awesome magical splendiferous shots.
Just fabulous.

I knew you would protect the camera lens. I would too and I am not even an official amateur photographer!

But what happened to leaping gracefully? I thought you were leaping gracefully like a gazelle...?
It's like the music coming to a sudden scratchy end as you tumble...

CrazyCath said...

That is, I don't even make amateur status against your pro status and I protect *my* cameras so goes without saying you would...
Oh never mind!

leslie said...

Jaw-dropping splendour! And I just love all your similes and metaphors. Great writing!

Sandi McBride said...

Put all that in a lace bag and it's everything...and poetry...such a lovely array of photo's it makes the heart sing!
Sandi

Aileni said...

Great stuff but it is the first shot that has my heart.

Ivar Ivrig said...

Wow. Stunning shots. Love it. Great ABC. Thank you for sharing :-)

TRICOTINE said...

WOW! Beautiful photos! I bet it was breathtaking to be there! :-)

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

OMG how fabulous are these!! My K wil NOT be so inspiring I can tell you that now..as I have a word but as yet cannot locate any pics..LOL

lynn said...

It's the Fire of the Forest...sigh...:)

Kathryn said...

Wow. Looking at these shots you just KNOW heaven exists.
I love the way you can't see the tops of the mountains.
Breathtaking. All of them.

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi David,
Wow these photos are absolutely beautiful! What a fantastic place!!
and I agree with Kathryn that it looks like heaven there... a real heaven on earth and I can almost smell the cool, fresh, clean mountain air!
All the best!

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Those are absolutley gorgeous photos!

AirmanMom said...

david...you certainly brightened the day of many by posting these incredible pictures!
Thank you!

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

holly said...

when *you* take picture of things, i want to go there!

RiverPoet said...

Well, with your talent, I'm sure you could make any place look great. But it certainly does look beautiful there. I think I speak for everyone here when I say - Thank you for taking us with you on this grand adventure!

Peace - D

Seamus said...

This is on our next big trip agenda! We missed doing on the last go-round! Now I'm inspired.

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

Simply breathtaking

Louise said...

My vote would be the light on the water, but I love water. The first shot is my favorite, but the fall colors and snowy mountains all speak of a marvelous place too beautiful for words!

Lori said...

Wow....absolutely beauitful!! Happy WW.

Kim from Hiraeth said...

Really? Were the last two taken on the same day with only a change in the light? That is AMAZING!

Every photo is beautiful--they make me want to go find a mountain to climb!

Hilary said...

What an absolutely gorgeous collection of images. Each one outdoes the previous. Just beautiful!

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Ooooohhhh ... the beauty leaves me speechless, though these pics speak thousands upon thousands of words. Delightful!

Suzanne said...

Thank you so, so much. This is such a beautiful place. I've never been to that part of the world so thank you for taking me there.

Merisi said...

Incredibly beautiful vistas, and so varied! Love the reds in the fall colours, something I miss here, being used to American East Coast autumns, with all that yellow gold and gorgeous reds.

Shrinky said...

It is magnificent isn't it? Yes, a little reminicent of the Scottish highlands. I once chartered a helicopter from Glasgow to Fort William in the depths of a very cold December (the railroad was too frozen to run). I didn't want to miss the birth of my neice. The views were spectacular. Brings me back.. smile.

spacedlaw said...

I really love that first shot.
Greetings from Italy (got here via Incurable Insomniac).

Old Wom Tigley said...

Oh! David these are all so good, I would love to be able to climb and walk those pathways... such beauty to be seen no matter which way you turn....
Tom

Greyscale Territory said...

These pics are simply glorious! One stunning panorama after another!

And loved your series of comments too!

'JoAnn's-D-Eyes'NL said...

wow David!!!
This is a very impressive post, the mountain-pics you made are a great K here!! I would like to visit this once... soon I hope?

watch my ABC's K for "Kinderdijk" 19 dutch mills/legend here: http://www.joannwalraven.blogspot.com/

Greetings JoAnn

fishing guy said...

David: What wonderful views of the Yukon. It is a beautiful country. I bet you were in awe of the countryside.

Bear Naked said...

Thank you so much for showing everyone, with your photographs, a part of my beautiful country, Canada.
When are you coming back to visit?

Bear((( )))

mrsnesbitt said...

Wow! What a fantastic journry David! Beautiful scenery!

The Holleys said...

Oh wow! Beautiful place. The mountain shots are so amazing! I wouldn't be able to imagine if I'm in a place like this.

Liz said...

WE've just come back from the Rockies and I agree about there being just another amazing mountain round each corner!

You're right about the lightning bolts too.

lela said...

Beautiful photos of beautiful subjects! Wonderful!

D Herrod said...

Very nice.

babooshka said...

Camera are simply allergic to moisture of any kind. Wonderful virtual tour but today I'm with Aileni, the first shot is the golden one.

dulce said...

They are all great! Thank you for sharing!

Luiz Santilli Jr said...

Olá David, great remember!
Marvelous landscapes!

Santilli

katherine. said...

I love the greys.

hmmm...there is a Lake katherine...SOMEwhere....smile.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Beautiful photos, how could one possibly choose a favorite? I really like the first photo, but for the bit of blue, it looks black and white.

quilly said...

Gee, David, these look a lot like travel photos!

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Vast. That is what I see. I also see, Wow! And God, too.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Wow. Just wow. What a gorgeous place.