Tag: Take a Hike Photography

Ala-Kol Trek, Day 1: Up the Karakol River

We wake up this morning in the Ala-Kol Guesthouse in Karakol to the sound of rain. When we look outside the window, we see a blanket of gray clouds has descended on this tiny town veiling the mountains beyond. Good thing we had planned to spend the morning on our “nero” day, part 2 relaxing and taking care of various details before heading out on a short 3-day trek to nearby Ala-Kol Lake and Pass. Luckily, we took our laundry off the line last night. Other guests left theirs out overnight, and now it’s soaked. (more…)

Jyrgalan-Jergez Traverse, Day 5: A Long Way Down

During last night’s sunset, I told Matt that we should try to wake up early enough in the morning to catch Blue Hour, the short period just before the sun rises when the sky is a deep blue and all the colors are very vivid. He is a little hesitant at first, but I remind him that all we would need to do to take a photo of the incredible scenery around us is literally to unzip the fly and stick the camera out of the tent. With almost zero effort required, it’s hard to say no, and we set the alarm for 4:30, hoping for good light in the morning. (more…)

Jyrgalan-Jergez Traverse, Day 4: Still Smiling!

After all the rain yesterday the stars came out last night and treated us to another show, Milky Way included. We awake at 6 am with the intention of having breakfast at 7 and hitting the trail earlier. Today is a big day with lots of elevation gain and loss en route to a few key destinations—the Boz-Uchuk Lakes, an unnamed 3516 meter pass, and hopefully views of the snowy Tashtambek-Tor-Bashi Peak. (more…)

Jyrgalan-Jergez Traverse, Day 3

It rains throughout the night, and, when I wake up at 6 am, I am desperate to get out of the tent and use the bathroom. But, with the rain still coming down, I play possum for a bit, and, when it’s apparent that sleep is no longer an option, I read to distract my attention from my full bladder. (more…)

Jyrgalan-Jergez Traverse, Day 1: James and the Germans

After a full rest day at the guesthouse yesterday, we are both eager to hit the trail again today. Urmat and Adis, our guide and horseporter/cook from the Keskenkiya Loop, are accompanying us for another five-day trek exploring the mountains and valleys to the southwest of Jyrgalan. They arrive at the guesthouse around 8:30 and begin the process of sorting and packing the gear. By 10, we are saying our goodbyes to the kind family that runs the guesthouse and walking out of the village for the final time. (more…)

Keskenkyia Loop, Day 4: Got Mare’s Milk?

We set the alarm for midnight and reluctantly climb out of our sleeping bags in hopes of photographing the stars. It’s definitely hard to get up, but we intentionally didn’t go to the bathroom just before bed, so that we would have the extra motivation of relieving our bladders as insurance. It’s cold, so we layer up as best we can: pants over long johns, rain coat over down jacket, hats, gloves, the works… (more…)

Colorado Trail, Day 33: A Beast of a Day

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On paper, today is the shortest mileage day of this leg between Creede and Silverton. We only have to hike 14.5 miles, and, after the 15.8 and 18.8 mile-days that we have put in already, we wake up figuring that today’s hike should feel pretty easy. Funny how that’s not the way it works. (more…)

Colorado Trail, Day 31: Storming Snow Mesa

Today we begin the 5th leg of our Colorado Trail adventure, hiking from San Luis Pass near Creede down to Molas Pass near Silverton. The next 68.1 miles will largely be above treeline, so we are crossing our fingers that we will get a good weather window that will allow us to finish this stage in only 4.5 days. It’s a little ambitious for us, but we are feeling strong and hope we can do it. It all starts today with Day 31, so here goes. (more…)