My Christmas Gift

Merry Christmas everyone!   I hope you all had a great holiday, and enjoyed the long weekend.  I also hope everyone got what they were hoping for.  I know I did.  After a very dry early season, we got dumped on this weekend.  I think the total in the mountains was about 5 feet of new snow in the last 4 days or so.  And although we have a weak layer that still exists on some north facing slopes, in general the snow was safe enough to travel out on the lower angled slopes. 

Over the long weekend, I got out into the backcountry twice to take pictures.  Saturday morning Ericka Prechtel and I went up into Big Cottonwood Canyon to tour some of the lower angled meadows.  These are great for the higher danger days because very little is steeper than 35 degrees, so you don’t have to worry about traveling under any dangerous areas.  This tour was a great way to get our skinning legs under us, as both of us (okay, maybe just me) felt a bit out of shape. The snow was beautiful, and the sun was warm. 

Ericka Prechtel snowboarding in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

The only disappointment for the day was the area we went had a few tracks on it, which was fine for our own enjoyment, but made photos a bit difficult.  But considering it was the first day out getting winter sports photos, I was pretty happy with the opportunities I had.  We finished the morning tour with riding back down into the shade (cold).

Ericka Prechtel snowboarding in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

Christmas day was a whole different story…a much better story.   We received about a foot or so of new snow Christmas Eve, and the skies were perfectly blue Christmas morning.  I couldn’t think of a better gift for a backcountry photographer.  I called up my buddy Sully Heward, and we planned on an afternoon tour up Grizzly Gulch.  Now, for those of you who have read my adventures for a while, you’ll remember a posting involving a photographic robbery.  Well, I must have paid my dues to whomever, because today turned out much better.

Sully Heward snowboarding in Little Cottonwood Canyon.  Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

Although our drive up to the canyon was clear, the typical Alta Cloud was hanging out at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon.  We spent the first hour or two hanging out in the snow covered trees getting some close up powder shots.  Even though I was disappointed with the weather, we did end up getting some cool shots, and it’s always great practice for me with exposures, fast focusing and just handling all the gear when it’s that cold and snowy.   On our last shot in the trees, we noticed that a bit of blue sky was poking through the clouds, so we gambled and headed up to the ridge line above Grizzly Gulch.  The worst that could happen is we’d get one beautiful ride down to our car.  The snow was amazing. 

Little Cottonwood Canyon.  Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

About half way up, we broke through the clouds and into the blue sky.  Snow frosted trees popped in front of the perfect blue sky.  You could almost hear the angels singing.  And then we rode.  It was perfect snow, and I finally got that sunset snowboarding photo that I tried getting a year ago.  The best thing about it was I didn’t really get a chance to preview the images.  The sun was so bright that the only information I could get was from my histogram.  So when I got home, I finally got to see the beautiful images from the day.

Enjoy!

Sully Heward snowboarding in Little Cottonwood Canyon.  Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

Sully Heward snowboarding in Little Cottonwood Canyon.  Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

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~ by cruxphoto on December 26, 2007.

3 Responses to “My Christmas Gift”

  1. I know now your blog … but I add it at the moment in my RSS feed reader … very compliment … your photo are fantastic!

    I like too much this post because I love the mountain and the winter.

    Ops, Merry Christmas to you 🙂

    Bye bye 🙂

  2. Merry Christmas Nate. Just love your crazy sports action stuff! Have a great 2008!

  3. I love the last shot! Beautiful

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