2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Glacier presents some great photographic opportunities, talk about it here.

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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by calicotraveler »

You are taking some really nice pictures with that camera of yours. Thanks for keeping us updated on what's going on in Glacier so far this year! We are missing our trip so enjoy hearing about your Ventures into the park.
The mountains are calling and I must go.

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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by JayAndersen »

Great pics as of late Pete! We require more, of course.
I was in the park from 6/14 through 6/18 but sadly didn't run into you...had some ice colds brews waiting if I did. Had some good hiking and biking weather but bailed early on 6/18 due to the rain. Made it out to Bowman on 6/17 after I heard they opened up the North Fork to day use...so gorgeous up there. Mobs of visitors around Apgar so I avoided the area unless it was for sunrise photos. Biked up to the loop on 6/14 and 6/16...didn't go early enough on 6/16 to beat the work crew so they closed it there until 3pm. I decided to hike up to Granite Park, in biking shoes and I forgot my bear spray in my car cupholder...dumb choice, I should know better by now. Ran into a big grizzly a mile in and was way to close for comfort (maybe 50 feet), luckily he didn't follow me back. Came up over a rise after getting my feet wet in a stream and there he was...didn't see or hear me until I shouted at him.

Met a big black bear just outside Bowman Lake campground...he didn't want me driving on his road:
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The resident deer hanging around Bowman were roaming around being photogenic in the rain:
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Had one ridiculously colorful sunrise at Lake McDonald on 6/16 that I actually toned down, it just didn't look real...not sure I like my edit but it'll do for now:
Image

Had a more subdued sunrise on 6/17 with some nice reflections at blue hour:
Image

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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by Jay w »

Nice shots, Jay

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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by PeteE »

Jay Andersen!
Ditto Jay W 8)

That appears to be a really decent size black bear for this early in the year.
Great pics as always and sorry we couldn't get together.

The park has been a pain in the ass for access lately.
One has to go very early or after about 3:00PM.
I sure hope they begin opening the gates earlier than 7:30AM SOON.
Half the day is wasted by 7:30AM :evil:

I went out yesterday late. Got to Apgar about 7:00PM.
Wasn't sure I'd make it since I had a long awaited colonoscopy yesterday AM.
I say long awaited because I had some bad blood work back in February.
Waiting till now has been stressful because this STUPID covid-19 crap fouled up everyone's appointments for everything but covid-19. :evil:
All is good though and I'm much relieved. :)

I was hoping for a nice sunset since there were good clouds, but didn't happen.
This is just a "snapshot" taken at the boat ramp when I first arrived around 7PM.
Still lots of people everywhere.
Image

Nothing much to look at out at Lake McDonald Lodge except more people. Didn't see B&C.
Lots of Cottonwood "dust everywhere. So I went back to Apgar to wait for sunset.
Stopped at the creek(Jackson Creek??) just west of the lodge for this image which turned out nicely.
Taken with my new Sony 16-50mm f2.8 lens @16mm ISO 100, f6.7, 1/8 second.
I got my new ND filter set Monday but didn't need it for this shot. Time was 8:30PM.
How much texture one likes in moving water is always subjective but this was my favorite of the shots I took.
Tripod was half in the creek and footing was a bit sketchy on wet rocks, but I liked the composition. :D
Image

I hung around the boat ramp until almost 10PM. I took a number of shots but liked this one taken at 9:28PM the best.
I had to wait till a bunch of kids quit swimming around the dock. They had kept making waves. 8)
It's a 2 frame panographic(cropped) taken with my other zoom lens. Clouds were nice.
Lens DT 16-105mm F3.5-5.6 Focal Length 16.0 mm (24.0 mm in 35mm)
ISO 400 f5.6, 1/350second
Image


Gonna try to get out this weekend early somewhere.
Later
pete :wink:
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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by Jay w »

Nice shots Pete.

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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by tibber »

yep, like the creek shot.

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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by PeteE »

These two pics got zapped in the web site transition.

This is the employee cabin next to the Lake McDonald Lodge.
The hummingbird wouldn't stay still long enough to appear in the picture :)


Image

I took several two frame panographics but none worked.
Maybe the big rock in the foreground lack enough discernible overlapping points for the software to stitch the image?
Climbing down to where this was taken was a bit sketchy, but I liked the view/composition from down there.
Worth the effort since the single frame image worked out pretty good imo.

ISO400, f6.7 @1/10 sec 16-105 lens at 16mm(24mm)
Image

The next three days look like rain. Flood Watch in effect for some areas.
Time for domestic chores. 8)

later
pete :wink: :wink:
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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by Jay w »

Not sure I commented that the creek shot (from the previous group) was also the one I liked. I haven’t seen that creek.

When I was playing with panoramas, I learned that shooting an extra shot to get more overlap is worth it. So.....maybe 35-40% overlap. And then for some reason, if I shoot with a wide angle, the software doesn’t like to stitch. My guess it’s easy to overlap enough on “regular” panoramas, but problems occur with the wide angle ones. I think the wides have enough “distortion” that it’s hard to stitch and having something close to the camera adds to the distortion. I’m guessing more (lots of) overlap would fix the problem, but I gave up on wides (for panos). Let me know if you figure out a fix.

When we were in western Colorado maybe 15 years ago, the camp host had probably 6 hummingbirds hanging out. Fascinating to watch. It got me to buy a feeder and of course I never put it up. I think timing is also a factor in that you need to have it up early when they’re migrating. Heard that somewhere. If it’s not right it sounds right. :D

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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by PeteE »

Jay w wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:19 am
Not sure I commented that the creek shot (from the previous group) was also the one I liked. I haven’t seen that creek.

That creek is about 1/4 mile before you turn into the Lake McDonald Lodge parking lot. There's a dirt parking spot just feet from where that image and the one below that I took today. 1/4 mile west of Lake McDonald Lodge

When I was playing with panoramas, I learned that shooting an extra shot to get more overlap is worth it. So.....maybe 35-40% overlap. And then for some reason, if I shoot with a wide angle, the software doesn’t like to stitch. My guess it’s easy to overlap enough on “regular” panoramas, but problems occur with the wide angle ones. I think the wides have enough “distortion” that it’s hard to stitch and having something close to the camera adds to the distortion. I’m guessing more (lots of) overlap would fix the problem, but I gave up on wides (for panos). Let me know if you figure out a fix.

I use my grid lines to gauge overlap roughly 1/3. Make it easy.
Part of the issue with the very near foreground in addition to wide angle lens distortion may be parallax and/or which method used, e.g cylindrical, perspective, spherical, etc.
And sometimes nothing seems to work.
Some of the "experts" I subscribe to have problems like I've had as well. So I don't worry too much. 8)
I don't seem to have much trouble with multi-frame panos of more distant compositions with nothing close in the foreground.



When we were in western Colorado maybe 15 years ago, the camp host had probably 6 hummingbirds hanging out. Fascinating to watch. It got me to buy a feeder and of course I never put it up. I think timing is also a factor in that you need to have it up early when they’re migrating. Heard that somewhere. If it’s not right it sounds right. :D

I love hummingbirds but they are a BUGGER to photograph! They don't listen at all when told to hover and hold still. 8)
When I was in a school for neonatal ventilators in Orange County CA, I played golf on the weekend. The snack bar out on the course had about 10 feeders hanging on the edge of the roof on all four sides--right above your head when ordering. It seemed like there were hundreds of hummers as every feeder had some around it. Hummers are pretty aggressive and it's fun to watch them fight over spots at the feeders.
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!


Jay
The weather sucked today but I thought it might break, but it was not to be.
I did get this one image before the rain started dumping.
I took it from 3-4 feet to the right from the one a few days ago.


4PM 16mm(24mm) ISO100, f5.6, 1/15sec. Histogram was really good.
Image
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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by llholmes1948 »

Pete,

I think those creek shots are great. Is that Sprague Creek or some unnamed or unknown creek?

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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by PeteE »

llholmes1948 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:58 am
Pete,

I think those creek shots are great. Is that Sprague Creek or some unnamed or unknown creek?

Lyman
Thank you Lyman :)
That is Jackson Creek. It crosses under the GTTS road at the bottom of the hill, just before the road turns left at the lake--about a 1/4 mile west of the parking exit at the lodge. It goes under the road in a culvert so it's not very noticeable if you're in a car passing by.
If it hadn't starting raining so hard, I was going to bushwhack up creek to see if they wasn't another location or two to get a few more pictures.
Always a next time :)

pete :wink:
"When you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show.
And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat."

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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by PeteE »

Gavin Hardcastle--"fototripper" on YouTube
This guy is a hoot. He's a good photographer.
His style on YouTube where he has video embedded in the composition explaining how he makes the shot.
I like his "professional" advice and his videos are really funny.
"Amanda" is a regular "client" on his videos. 8)
"How To" videos can be dry and boring, but Gavin's aren't boring at all imo . :)
Watch this one first
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzFSeOAIZx8
Watch this one next as it's a sequal of sorts to the 5040 Mountain video above.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E07SvLrNWfA

pete :wink:
"When you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show.
And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat."

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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by PeteE »

Elk Mountain July4th 2020

First, don't let my whining about how difficult this trail is stop you from doing it. 8)
While it is quite a slog up that last 3000ft over 2.5 miles, anyone in decent condition can do it.
The views from the top are quite good around the southern end of GNP where few people ever go.

I had a hard time because I've do literally nothing in the way of hiking this year. I was out of shape. :(
That and the day began at 0300. I wanted to try for a sunrise picture at Lake McDonald before the hike.
That ultimately made for a very long day--18hours including an 11 hour hike and 150 miles of driving.

I got a lot of "snaphots" but only a couple that might qualify as half decent "images".
Partly because very soon after I reached the summit, the wind started blowing much harder and the nice clouds rapidly turned crappy for pictures.
As advertised in the literature on Elk Mt. it's a WINDY place! :)

The pics below are pretty much in order of the hike so that those who might want to do it will see what it's like.
The humidity was pretty high from recent rains, plus I was sprinkled on several times early on.
lots of mosquitoes for the first 1/2 mile until I got out of the "jungle" on the lower elevations.
I use "Picaridin" lotion made by Sawyers for bugs now days. Good stuff. Available on Amazon at a very reasonable price.
It's NON DEET and is not smelly or greasy. One application usually lasts all day. Not a single bite and they were flying all around me.

Sooooo....


I arrived at the Apgar boat ramp at about 0445. The parking area at the ramp was full already!
It was pretty obvious that the sunrise would not be very good.
The July 3rd sunrise was spectacular looking out my bedroom window which is why I hoped for the same on the 4th.
This shot was the best I could do. It's kind of cool because of the clouds and how they were reflected.

Image


According to the literature, people hiking Elk Mt or Ole Creek are supposed to park in this old gravel pit. As it happened I was the ONLY one who parked here. Everyone else parked at the trailhead. So I tacked on an extra 1/2 mile and 100ft of elevation change :(
Elk mountain is in the background.

Image

Everyone else parked along side this dirt road which is "private property". The re are no signs, but don't park here.
The trail across the private land begins here where I'm pointing. The road to the left with a cable across it is clearly marked
for NO TRESPASSING. Walk down the old two track road, just out of view, until the RR tracks.

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Cross the tracks and look to your left. You'll see where the trail picks up again now on GNP property. The sign is just inside the trees.
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Approaching the ranger Cabin
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Walk past the cabin just a short ways for the Elk Mt. trail junction where the real fun begins 8)
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The lower part of the trail, aside from being quite steep, has pretty dense foliage.
In 1987 a photographer was killed by a grizzly bear somewhere on this trail.

Image

The brush was wet and shoulder high in places. My pants were soaked from the waist down.
Image
"When you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show.
And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat."

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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by PeteE »

Elk Mountain July 4th 2020 continued

Eventually you break out of the "jungle" and begin to have some nice views.
This shot looks back towards "Snowslip", the little community on US2 near the trailhead--roughly 5 miles west of Marias pass.
The Empire Builder passed by going East just a few minutes later on the RR tracks you can see center frame.

Image

Out of the trees and bush, the view looking sorta NW. This trail is relentless as goes up at a steep pitch without a break
Image
Image
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I wasn't sure what that peak in the background was until it dawned on me that it had to be Mt Saint Nicolas
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After gaining more elevation the Ole Creek drainage and mountains beyond become visible.
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Slogging along at a snails pace the upper reaches of Elk Mt become visible.
Image
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A young couple from Seattle passed me just below this point.
They had done Numa Lookout the day before but said this was much harder.
There were only six of us that made the summit. Another couple who began late, stopped on the long ridge in the next pic.
They later said the wind was just too much and it had began to chill off considerably.
Looking back to the west. Ole Creek drainage on the right. Snowslip would be just out of frame on left.

Image

I was soooooooooo happy to see(on the right) what looked like a decent stretch of relatively "flat" trail before
the obvious trek up the final summit ridge. You can see a bit of the trail on the center right of the picture.
Looks are deceiving. This ridge wasn't as level as it looked :( Of course it wasn't LOL!
I was dying and still had about a 1/2 mile and 600ft of elevation gain from this point.

Image

After getting on the "flattish" ridge, the view towards the east becomes visible. Summit Mt on the left is the one you look at across the highway when parked at Marias Pass on US2. The parking area at Marias Pass is barely visible center right as a tiny horizontal light streak just above the low hills. The Autumn Creek trail is at the foot of Summit and Elk Mt. Go here for good look. I snowshoed the Autumn creek trail a few years ago.
http://enjoyyourparks.com/glacier-park- ... creek.html

Image


I was huffing and puffing and didn't stop to take many pics on the grind up the summit ridge.
I did see a couple Big Horn Sheep in this area, one of which was a really nice big "full curl" ram. The other was a "junior ram" as I call them 8)
This was a frame and a half panorama that turned out nicely because of the good clouds.

Image

This is a good indication of the WIND that seems to blow all the time up here on the summit ridge
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On the summit at last!
The wind picked up considerably and the good clouds in the background went bad in a hurry just as I arrived :evil:
The wind made my eyes water. I had a heck of a time getting my little tripod set up for the couple panos I made.
Hard to level it on all the loose rock and view finder screen difficult to see because of the glare and watering eyes.
Sorry I didn't do better :(

Image

4 image pano. Ole Creek drainage. Great Northern Mt. in the distant center. Mt St. Nicholas on extreme right
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My pack and new tripod. Go here for identification of the peaks. http://enjoyyourparks.com/glacier-park- ... ntain.html
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Watch your stuff because the golden mantle squirrels are quite fearless. 8)
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I may be able to find a couple more pics. I made some video but most of it wasn't very good. The lens I was using Sony f2.8 16-50mm zoom isn't the best for video. That and the WIND makes narration difficult to impossible to hear. :(

Those of you coming out this year really should do this hike if you are able. Very few people visit this part of the park.
You'll avoid the craziness and crowds of West Glacier. Everyone I've talked to is really disappointed about all the restrictions
of the park this year.
Scalplock lookout is just down the road, the trailhead in the Essex park entrance> It has similar views and is an easier hike.
I did Scalplock in 2003.

later

pete :wink:
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And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat."

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Re: 2020 "Snaps" Around Glacier National Park

Post by llholmes1948 »

Pete,

Great photos and thanks for posting them. We do not see many photos of this trail. From everything I have heard this is one tough hike and congratulations for completing it.

My daughter and I considered doing Elk Mountain back in early June 2007 when we were at Glacier but we decided not to. She probably could have done it but I am not sure if I would have survived.

I have been under the impression that the trail to Elk Mountain becomes passable reasonably early in the season and that it might be one of the earliest high elevation trails that is doable. I might be wrong about that so corrections would be welcome.

The fatal bear attack on the Elk Mountain trail took place on April 25, 1987 which resulted in the death of Charles Gibbs. I believe it was the earliest in the season fatal bear attack in the Park.

Lyman

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