Saturday, June 23, 2018

Mt. Timpanogos with #newlywedsnotnewlyweds!

I was fortunate enough 6 years ago to photograph Devon and Kaydee's wedding in Steamboat Springs Colorado, where we all met several years prior  serving in the youth ministry together. These two are my favorite couple ever!!!

At 11,752 feet Mt. Timpanogos is the icon of the Wasatch as far as I am concerned. So when Devon asked if I wanted to hang with them on their first summit as husband and wife, I jumped on it. Naturally I turned it into a photo shoot for their 6th anniversary and what a great day it was. To add to the challenge my friends are triathletes now, in full fledged training mode AND it was my first hike/run of the season! I am not a runner by definition, but if I was it would strictly be trail running. But, I am not a runner...... perhaps a fast hiker. Anyhow, they were a joy to follow up the 5,000 vertical foot, 15 mile roundtrip heart pumper that is Timp, with a photo backpack on.
 We chose the more scenic approach from the Aspen Grove site which gives you a few hundred more vertical and is loaded with waterfalls this time of year. I liken it to an escalator in the woods, with every switch back you make the valley just drops away and the scenery only improves the higher you go.
Never a shortage of "God showers" to cool off in either.
 A stunning landscape alone, but add 2 trail runners and their dog.....................WOW! The wildflowers are just starting their magical transition too.
Emerald Lake is a proglacial beauty and a nice place to refill your water before the final 2,000 feet up to the summit (top right). Also, the snow glaciers are what counts for the highest number of accidents, resues and death with hikers, due to the practice of "glissading" with less than ample skill.
 This was the only mandatory snow crossing, and will be gone in another month.
 Kaydee in her last few strides to the summit and almost 7,000 feet above the Provo valley floor.
 In case you didn't know, both male and female goats have horns. This little one is getting first hand experience on cliff management from Mom.
The observation hut at the summit was constructed around 1959 to help with infrastructure for hikers and rescue parties. It also helps block the summit winds during snack time.
 Perfect day for a summit with this crew! Yay human skittles.............
Happy 6th anniversary guys. #newlywedsNOTnewlyweds

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Rolls Family Liberty Park SLC

One of the greatest parts of photographing people and their life events is seeing their forward progression of life from the first time you met! I was fortunate enough to cover Eric and Jo Rolls' wedding several years back in Steamboat Springs Colorado where we all lived at the time. Jump ahead more then 5 years later in Salt Lake City (we live 2 miles apart now) and I got to meet their first edition to the family. At 12 months, Evelyn already has this beautiful adventurous spirit and seems to enjoy being in front of a strangers camera like a walk in the park.

Yes, Patagonia may be calling soon for a sponsorship.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Heather and Kevins Wedding

What a great venue and an amazing celebration on the perfect fall day in Park City Utah. Heather and Kevin recently shared the official joining of their two lives at the Utah Olympic Park with a fun mix of family and friends. It's not everyday you get to try an Olympic sport without any prior training! Here are some highlights of their day.
I encouraged them to have a first look so we could get some of the formals done before hand, which allows more time together with family and friends at the reception. These guys ride bikes, so I asked a nearby bike shop if we could borrow their tandem for 10 minutes.
 Wouldn't be complete without a test ride.
On a day where so many things happen and nervousness abounds, it's all about the happy moments.
Fun, happy group-filled moments.
Peaceful, personal Olympic sized moments.
 Did someone say Bobsled!
Who gets to travel down a mountain at 80 mph legally on their wedding night? Yes, the bride and groom (orange helmets) and anyone else who wanted.
Cheers to a great new life together Heather and Kevin Van Loon! "Eric Rolls".

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Heather and Kevin's engagement hike on Mt. Olympus

It has been a while since my last engagement session but I really like when we get to use a location that doesn't see a lot of action. If you know Utah then you know that Alta's Albion basin, Memory Grove park, Big and Little Cottonwoods can get really congested with family photo shoots in the height of wild flower and Fall foliage seasons. My friends Heather and Kevin also have two dogs, which makes shooting outdoors even trickier in the Wasatch. Today's session was more PJ (photo journalistic) then "stage and rage" which fit them just perfectly. I wanted to shoot light and fast so I kept it real simple, Sony A 6000, 16-70 F4, 10-18 F4 and 70-200 F4 all in my favorite action shooting back pack the Mindshiftgear 34L Panorama.
The trail to the summit of Mt. Olympus starts right at the edge of the valley and is an amazing place to enjoy sunset and watch the whole valley come alive.
There are several rock outcroppings that make for some great viewing spots in just the first 5 minutes of hiking.
That is Thunder mountain in the back drop, some 5000+ feet above the valley floor.
A little privacy for the happy couple.
Their two dogs were real troopers and would have kept going if it weren't for the dang photo shoot.
Not a bad spot for a break.
Happy happy.

Looking forward to a real cool Wedding in September at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City with a finale down the bob sled course!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

They call it "Timp".

Mt. Timpanogos is the iconic peak range most notable just east of the Provo section of I-15. It is part of "the Wasatch" range that lines the interstate from Ogden down to Spanish Fork and beyond. I recently decided to summit Timp after oogling it for over 3 years now. I have viewed and photographed it from all aspects imaginable including a couple of fly overs with the help of Delta airlines. Here is what I saw on my 15 mile loop 4800+ ft ascent to the summit (11,749 ft) of Mt. Timpanogos.
I chose the Aspen Grove trailhead instead of the Timpanooke trailhead as I hiked the latter last summer to Emerald Lake. You start out with a few of these cascades heading up Primrose Cirque.
Mid-way up the Cirque you start to see the Cascade Cirque nose which is where Emerald Lake sits at the base of.
You can't miss the "Jangus" shack as you pass Emerald lake, this is also the preferred lunch spot for most. The wild flowers really turn on just before reaching this area and hold on pretty steady until you head west to the saddle.
The summit shack is now only 1300+-ft higher then Emerald Lake, which means your over 70% of the way there! I am jumping ahead here just to give you the other perspective looking down 1300+- ft to emerald Lake.

Now you know I summit-ed, but it's just getting good.
As you make your way up to the saddle at an even 11,000 ft you'll notice that the flowers are saying good bye.
This is another point at which some hikers decide to have lunch, turn around or just rest for a while but it is the first time you see the Provo valley below.
I would bet millions have seen Timp from the valley floor below as they drive I-15 north and south, but this is the tipping point if you want to Summit.
 Less then a mile from the summit this is where the trail gets real technical. This 78 year old gentleman (white hat) just made the summit, so it's time to put your big pants on and get up there!
Not quite there but another great perspective of the trail, saddle and valley floor now thousands of feet below you.
I gave up on heavy leather hiking boots years ago and would not do another 14er, 13er or big summit without my These are the ultimate in traction, weight, performance and stability. Try running a 100 miler in your old leather hiking boots!
The last schlog is less then a mile from the saddle but it tends to get pretty breezy at times, so be prepared and have a wind/rain shell.
I guess some "artists" just have to let others know they made it too. I believe that is what the register is for?
The clouds were moving in at a rapid pace but I had to show the view looking east towards Deer Creek reservoir and the snow field that I decided to ascend through on my return trip. 
Deciding at the last moment, I chose to take the south route along this ridge line down through the snow field and back to Emerald Lake. That is Spanish Fork  on the upper right side.
Just past Emerald lake you get back into the "flowers for ever" zone and into your final descent to where this all started. This is pretty much a whole day off excursion and shouldn't be missed if you love long, scenic, strenuous hikes! Bring plenty of water, photograph along the way and don't miss the gym one second.