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Gregg B.
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Long Hike Up


Congratulations to Gregg B. for winning Feature Thread of the Week with 18 votes - View Previous Winners


Today I'd like to share with y'all some of my recent shots taken in high Sierra Nevada mountain range.
The two places required either 14 or 22 miles hiking (round trip) to get to. I'm not a professional hiker (if such thing exists), so I struggled a bit getting up there; to 11K feet elevation carrying over 40 pounds of camping and photography gear. But once there, the reward was tremendous (except those blood hungry mosquitos biting even with the repellent on)...
One thing I've learned is that I need to get a much better hiking gear. My backpack alone is almost 7 pounds (my friend's backpack was only 1.5 pound. Yeah, it costs a lot more but it's incredibly lighter and yet has the same capacity). The same applied to my sleeping bag and other things. I also didn't have time to adapt to this high elevation. This was my first hike to little above 11K feet...























Edited on Jun 15, 2021 at 12:56 PM · View previous versions



Jun 14, 2021 at 03:43 PM
junglialoh
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Long Hike Up


Very professional artistic work - impressively gorgeous


Jun 14, 2021 at 03:45 PM
The Rat
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Long Hike Up


Gorgeous shots. The first and last are my favorites of the bunch.


Jun 14, 2021 at 03:49 PM
say_doyster
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Long Hike Up


Beautifully crafted photographs. Inspiring and satisfying. Thanks for posting them.

B



Jun 14, 2021 at 04:31 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Long Hike Up


Gregg B. wrote:
The two places required either 14 or 22 miles hiking (round trip) to get to. I'm not a professional hiker (if such thing exists), so I struggled a bit getting up there; to 11K feet elevation carrying over 40 pounds of camping and photography gear. But once there, the reward was tremendous (except those blood hungry mosquitos biting even with the repellent on)...
One thing I've learned is that I need to get a much better hiking gear. My backpack along is almost 7 pounds (my friend's backpack was only 1.5 pound. Yeah, it costs a lot more but it's
...Show more

Schlepping the gear — assuming multiple lenses, a relatively large-is camera body, and a solid tripod — is going to slow you down no matter how you slice it, I'm afraid.

It is definitely possible to lighten your gear weight though. I have an old (and very sturdy) 7 pound internal frame pack that I carried over some pretty high passes (such as Whitney Trail Crest, Forester, Muir, Pinchot, Glen, Baxter...) back in the day. But I lightened up considerably over time, and the heaviest pack I'll carry these days is about four pounds... and I'll use lighter packs for some shorter trips.

One challenge though, is managing a lot of heavy and potentially bulky photo gear with the lighter packs. They tend to be a bit smaller/tighter, and the materials are often lighter and a bit less able to stand up to things like lashing tripods on the outside.

And the darned camera gear is just plain (by backpacking standards) large and heavy. I think really carefully about what lenses I'll carry, sometimes getting it down to two or even one zoom. I use a lighter tripod than what I use in the front country, and it is fitted with a lighter ball head, too.

The trick for many people is finding an accommodation between the desire to cover ground and travel though and over very difficult places versus being fully prepared for serious photography. For many years I had gradually decreased the amount of photography gear I was carrying because it was interfering with my ability to go to the places I wanted to go to and to cover mileage every day. Eventually, by the mid-1990s, I was down to one small handheld camera and I may have even taken a camera-less trip or two.

But I soon resumed the focus on backcountry photography and came to an accommodation wherein I no longer expected to cover a ton of distance or climbing in a day. I'm more likely to go to a place and base camp there for a while. This means that I'll have a day or two of pain getting there, then some period of relatively unencumbered photography, and a slow walk back out. The basecamp idea also means I don't have to deal with camp business during the good light times of the day.

Don't necessarily rule out pack animal support either. For years I never indulged, but over the past decade+ I've done one trip most years on which we were supported by packers who brought in the heaviest of the gear and dropped it off. Unless you are 20 years old, super fit*, and super dedicated... this can be quite useful.

EDIT: I earlier wrote that I didn't know the location. Actually, I know the _exact_ location and more or less your precise camera position. ;-) That hike has a few challenges including the fact that after the first mile or two there is a pretty stiff climb. And once you reach the lake at what seems like the halfway point (and cross its outlet stream) the remaining hike always seems longer and to involve more climbing than I expect. I have a few stories about this place... My last visit was in 2019, when the group of photographers I work with most summers got packed in and spent a week photographing there. This group has been photographing the backcountry for 20 years almost every summer, and I've been part of it since 2008.

(I'm still coming up short on the peak in the last photograph. It has the general contour of one that I know, but it is in a different place and isn't quite that vertical. Hmmm...)

Dan

* When I was in that young and fit stage of life I was known for heading out on two week backcountry trips with 75 pounds on my back, including camera gear and many (!) rolls of film. No more.



Jun 14, 2021 at 04:45 PM
Zayne12
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Long Hike Up


Those shots are exceptional! Very nice!


Jun 14, 2021 at 08:42 PM
wswartzwel
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Long Hike Up


Wow. These are exceptional. Voted


Jun 14, 2021 at 09:42 PM
ThomasAdams
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Long Hike Up


Gregg,

Beautiful photographs! I have added this area to my bucket list. Very nice work and thank you, I appreciate you sharing them.


Dan,

Thank you for your post regarding thinning of the gear and the pros/cons & compromises that are made. I dislike being loaded down, I used to do the "bring it all" when I was younger so I wouldn't kick myself for leaving something behind. Now, I find myself leaning more towards the, I made it on time or early and I won't be asking for a medic.

Regards,
Tom

Edited on Jun 14, 2021 at 10:32 PM · View previous versions



Jun 14, 2021 at 10:06 PM
dbehrens
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Long Hike Up


Killer shots Greg! With number 2 being my fav.


Jun 14, 2021 at 10:21 PM
roadapple
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Long Hike Up


Stunning Images !!!


Jun 15, 2021 at 12:49 AM
 


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keepclicking
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Long Hike Up


Gregg, you have once again presented a spectacular set of images 👍🏻 Love your work and passion of landscape photography. Thanks for sharing these images.


Jun 15, 2021 at 09:33 AM
kwilliam8
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Long Hike Up


Gregg, beautiful images, as always! Number 2 is my favorite here (what a truly outstanding image), but these are all very nice. Thanks for sharing and inspiring!
Keith W.



Jun 15, 2021 at 10:06 AM
roythegreat
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Long Hike Up


These are killer shots, number 4 being my favorite. Cant even thinking hiking 22 miles, let alone carrying photography gears and a tripod. How much time did you take to hike each of the leg?


Jun 15, 2021 at 11:19 AM
Gregg B.
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Long Hike Up




roythegreat wrote:
These are killer shots, number 4 being my favorite. Cant even thinking hiking 22 miles, let alone carrying photography gears and a tripod. How much time did you take to hike each of the leg?


Don’t remember exactly but around 6 hours up, 3 hours down.



Jun 15, 2021 at 11:41 AM
Jim Dockery
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Long Hike Up


I love getting out in the mountains too, but have not found a perfect backpack yet. I think hiring fit young people to porter for you is the real answer! My experience is very similar to gdanmitchell.

Gorgeous shots - love em all, but #2 is over the top.



Jun 15, 2021 at 02:42 PM
JohanEickmeyer
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Long Hike Up


Holy smokes, man! That's some killer work there. Perfect location. Some of the best work I've seen here in a long time.

I've recently been doing an extreme weight reduction to my backpacking kit, so maybe some of my findings will help. First, smaller cameras have become as good or better as older full frame gear, and weigh much less. Also, you can save quite a few pounds in weight by going to a lighter pack and a Dyneema tent that uses trekking poles instead of tent poles. You don't need any cooking gear at all if there is no need to melt snow for water. A water filter can go as low as 2 ounces for a really good one. Lightweight backpacks that can comfortably carry up to 40 lbs can weigh as little as 2.25 lbs.

I can build out a kit with a Sony a6500 and a prime lens or two, with ultralight tripod, all camping gear together making about 22 lbs (or less) with 3 days of food, minus water. The difference of 10-15+ pounds in backpack weight makes an order of magnitude difference in reduced fatigue.

As someone who lives at sea-level, and sometimes literally below sea level during very high tides, I think I would die trying to backpack at 11,000 feet+.



Jun 15, 2021 at 02:43 PM
SierraLover
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Long Hike Up


(I'm still coming up short on the peak in the last photograph. It has the general contour of one that I know, but it is in a different place and isn't quite that vertical. Hmmm...)

It's Banner Peak Dan.



Jun 15, 2021 at 03:21 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Long Hike Up


SierraLover wrote:
(I'm still coming up short on the peak in the last photograph. It has the general contour of one that I know, but it is in a different place and isn't quite that vertical. Hmmm...)

It's Banner Peak Dan.


That's what I thought, but a) it isn't near the peaks shown in the first three images and b) the vertical relief seems greater than I recall. Perhaps the camera positon was a bit further north than the "usual spot?"

I'm assuming (hoping) that the peak wasn't stretched vertically in post...

Same with the moon. I'm trying to square the actual direction of the peak from the lake that most likely appears in the foreground with the position/phase of the setting moon. I'll have to look at the map again... and perhaps learn something new.

Dan



Jun 15, 2021 at 03:53 PM
chez
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Long Hike Up


Amazingly beautiful photos. Number 4 is simply outstanding. Your efforts have totally paid off.


Jun 15, 2021 at 05:58 PM
Gregg B.
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Long Hike Up


gdanmitchell wrote:
That's what I thought, but a) it isn't near the peaks shown in the first three images and b) the vertical relief seems greater than I recall. Perhaps the camera positon was a bit further north than the "usual spot?"

I'm assuming (hoping) that the peak wasn't stretched vertically in post...

Same with the moon. I'm trying to square the actual direction of the peak from the lake that most likely appears in the foreground with the position/phase of the setting moon. I'll have to look at the map again... and perhaps learn something new.

Dan



These are two different locations, so the last image has nothing to do (location wise) with the first three. I put that in the description, two locations 14 and 22 miles hikes. The last one is 22 round trip (with the gate closed to the meadows/trail heads and that's what I did. I hiked down from the parking lot at the top, next to the guard's booth). And the second is around 14 miles hike round trip with elevation gain of around 2000 feet, ending at 11K feet (so difficult to breath already, and exhausting without adapting to the altitude).
Hope this clarifies a bit. If you want to know more PM me.



Jun 15, 2021 at 07:34 PM
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