Alaska Range book update and Denali National Park Photo Workshop.

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First, I must apologize for the lack of activity. Its been a busy winter, but not a lot of action outside in the mountains. Still trying to recover from my hip injury that occurred over a year ago. Fortunately, being injured has allowed me to focus on getting the book details complete.

We are in the final stages of the process. All the essays are complete and edited. layout is complete and I just sent off my high resolution copies of the final photographs. We will have one more thorough review, looking for any missed issues before it is sent off to get printed!

The Mountaineers Books feels confident the book will be in stores and into YOUR hands in October.

Mark your calendars for the big book launch party November 28th at the Bear Tooth Theater, it is going to be a ton of fun!

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Unnamed mountains reflected in Lima Bean Lake (local name), Denali National Park and Preserve

Want to join me in the Alaska Range? We still have spaces left during  our July 30th-August  2nd, Denali National Park, wilderness photography workshop. Fly with me into a remote location, in the heart of the big mountains, where we will explore glaciers, rivers and epic mountain scenery! More info at: http://www.alaskaalpineadventures.com/alaska-adventure-tours/hiking/hiking-trips-denali-national-park/denali-unexplored-photo-safari/trip/43

Thanks for all your patience and support!

Carl

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The Revelation Mountains

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The mighty Mount Hesperus, taken from the East. Revelation Mountains, Alaska

There isn’t a cluster of mountains in the Alaska Range that holds as much mystery and intrigue as the Revelation Mountains. When I look up the statistics for this site, the most popular search term is”Revelation Mountains”. And yet with so much interest, there is very little information about this mighty anchor of granite spires at the far western corner of the Alaska Range.

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Unnamed rock glacier, Revelation Mountains

My first visit to the Revelation Mountains was in June of 2006. Six of us did a long backpack along the western edge, over rolling tundra and below towering monoliths. It was one of the best backpacking trips I have done in Alaska, rivaling the mighty Arrigetch Peaks in the Brooks Range.

In 2006, beta about the range was completely vacant. The only written information I could find was in old American Alpine Journals. The most prominent entry was the legendary 1967 Harvard Mountaineering Club expedition. The six members, which included David Roberts and Alaskan Art Davidson, spent 52 days struggling up peaks and enduring mind boggling bad weather. Many of the named peaks like: The Angel, South Buttress and Golgotha, that appear on USGS maps, can be attributed to that expedition.

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Looking west towards the Lime Hills, Revelation Mountains

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West side of Babel Tower (unclimbed) and The South Buttress (one ascent, west side unclimbed). Revelation Mountains

I learned early on that the Babel Tower, which is south of, the South Buttress, had obviously used its power of “confusion of tongues” and totally scrambled the mind’s of the map designers. The names on the maps are all mixed up. The 1:63 maps are correct but the 1:250 maps are completely off.

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The unclimbed west face of the Angel. Yes that perfect coulior has not been climbed or skied. It was, however, descended in the dark by Clint and partner after the peak’s second ascent.

In 2008, the young Alaskan alpinist, Clint Helander, made his first expedition into the Revelations, making a bold first ascent. He has climbed in the range every year since. Clint has become the guru of Revelations climbing and the Revelation Mountains recent surged in popularity can be directly linked to his many, wild exploits. If you have questions about climbing in the Revelations, he is the man.

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The beginning of the Swift River, Revelation Mountains

The area’s remoteness has contributed to its mystery. Access to the range is difficult and expensive. The range is also unfriendly to visitors. The terrain in very rough, glaciers are broken and littered with debris, rivers are milky, swift and cold, the alders are relentless and plentiful. For non-climbers, the only pleasurable terrain, is along the perimeter of the range, especially the west side. The backpacking there is superb, on easy tundra, with lots of wild critters. We enjoyed sharing the landscapes with bears, caribou and countless ground squirrels.

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Lichen and Ground Squirrel skull, Revelation Mountains

The Sled Pass area has some limited options, it is a beautiful spot, but you quickly get “cliffed” out or must endure endless, character building bush-whacks. Pack-rafts have been used to escape the endless bushes. The far north side looks promising, but access is unknown, and so are the mountains there. If you are looking to truly disappear in Alaska’s mountains, the north end of the Revelations is the place, you just have to get there. The heart of the Revelation Mountains is a place for experienced mountaineers, many of which, have been completely crushed by the mountains there.

 

Summer access is either by float-plane (if your going to backpack along the west side), Super Cub on tundra tires or the almighty helicopter (TAT has one now!). If your climbing, you want to go in winter or early spring, when there is plenty of ice plastered to the crappy rock. Ski landings are possible on the majority of the glaciers, until mid-May or so.

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Nameless river that feeds into the Post River, Revelation Mountains

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The Amazing Mount Hesperus being engulfed by clouds, Revelation Mountains.

If the thought of travelling in one of Alaska’s most remote and pristine mountain regions intrigues and terrifies you, you could consider going on a guided trip with Alaska Alpine Adventures, the only backpacking guide service with real experience in the Revelations Mountains.

 

 

 

Join Me In The Alaska Range

I will be leading one workshop and giving multiple lectures this year in Denali National Park.

I will be leading one workshop and giving multiple lectures this year in Denali National Park.

This is a busy year for Alaska Range expeditions, four fly-in trips and one hike in scheduled already. But I have managed to schedule one workshop in the Alaska Range. I also have two speaking engagements in Denali National Park and Preserve.

Wilderness Photography in Denali, July 26th-29th, 2015
This will be my third trip into this area and I hope you will join me. This four day, intensive workshop will focus on being creative while working in remote wilderness. We will fly into  Backside Lake on the south side of Denali National Park and Preserve. Our goal is to learn to create expressive and powerful images under any conditions. We will explore aerial photography, landscapes, macro and even some wildlife concepts. Will have a chance to explore glaciers, beautiful alpine lakes and if we are lucky, unique views of Denali, North America’s highest mountain! We will camp in style while eating some of the best back-country meals ever!

The cost is $2,395 and includes everything!

This once in a lifetime adventure is offered by Alaska Range Project supporter and Alaska’s leading wilderness adventure company, Alaska Alpine Adventure. To get a full itinerary and to register visit them at Alaska Alpine Adventures- Denali Photo Safari!

Guest Lecturer, Camp Denali and the North Face Lodge, August 10-16th 2015
I am honored to be a guest lecturer for the renowned Special Emphasis Series at the North Face Lodge and Camp Denali. I will be spending a week in Kantishna, speaking to guest on glaciers and exploring the Alaska Range. I will be giving a presentation each night.
August 10th-13th at Camp Denali
August 14th-16th  at North Face Lodge
For more info visit:http://campdenali.com/live/page/special-emphasis-series

Guest Speaker, Murie Science and Learning Center, Denali National Park and Preserve, August 9th, 7pm 2015
I have been invited to give a presentation on “Exploring Alaska’s Vanishing Glaciers” at the Murie Science and Learning Center in Denali National Park and Preserve. This is a free presentation and is sponsored by Alaska Geographic. So if your in Denali on August 9th, come by!

Other News!

Super stoked that Alpinist, the single greatest magazine of mountaineering literature and photography, will be featuring some of the Alaska Range Project images on their website and social media sites. The Website feature is here: http://alpinist.com/doc/web15w/wfeature-photographer-carl-battreall-alaska Make sure you follow them on Facebook and Instagram and support their awesome work.

Planet Mountain, Europe’s largest website dedicated to all things mountain, has featured some images from the Alaska Range Project on their site. Check it out here: http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=42538

I am running off the the Yucatan for a few weeks to thaw out and get rested before my epic season of expeditions and the final season of photography for the project!!!!

See you in a few weeks,

Carl

Alaska Range Project: 2014 Review

2014 was a wild year, full of drama and spectacular wilderness. It started off strong, with two amazing trips and then slowly deteriorated, with family emergencies, wicked weather and cancelled trips. However, I made some strong images for the book and feel confident that this will be an exciting publication and a real tribute to the mighty Alaska Range.

I want to give a big thanks to everyone who helped spread the word in 2014. Images from the project were printed in United States, Japan, Germany, France and Italy.

The biggest exposure came from online venues including: The Adventure Journal, Mother Nature Network, Project Pressure, Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, National Geographic Adventure Blog and Nature Photographers Network.

Photographs from the project were used by numerous climbers from all over the world. With the help from my images, some of them made hard, first ascents. I hope to add a climber support section to the blog this year.

My expedition partners are key to the project’s success, so a big thanks to: Sy, Opie, Phil, Brian, Julie, my Dad and my wife Pam and son Walker. A special thanks to all the pilots who flew me into the wilderness this year including: Jim Cummings, Jim Green and OE.

Thanks to all the 2014 project sponsors and supporters including: The American Alpine Club, The Mountaineering Club of Alaska, Patagonia, Black Diamond, Naneu, Alaska Alpine Adventures and The Alaska Center for the Environment.

And final shout to Kate and the crew at The Mountaineers Books for all their support and for making this project a reality.

Okay, now some photographs!

 

Join me in the Alaska Range!

Join me in the heart of the central Alaska Range. We will spend four days, three nights surrounded by massive peaks and slithering glaciers. We will fly from Talkeetna with K2 Aviation and land on a remote glacier lake, under the shadow of Denali. This is one of the few places on the south side of Denali National Park and the central Alaska Range where you don’t need mountaineering skills to explore.

The confirmed dates are: are July 10-13th, 2014.

Alaska Alpine Adventures will supply all the comforts: tents, sleeping bags while Alpine Appetites will supply gourmet back-country food.

This will be an intensive photographic journey. We will be in remote wilderness far away from any roads or people. We will stay up late and get up early, chasing the light as it illuminates the surrounding peaks, including a unique view of Denali.

Because of my Alaska Range project, This will be my only tour or workshop this year, so if you want to join me on an adventure, this is it.

Feel free to contact me with any questions carl@photographalaska.com

Register directly with Alaska Alpine Adventures

Below are some images from the area we will be exploring:

The shadow of Mount Church is projected into the clouds by the rising sun, central Alaska Range

The shadow of Mount Church is projected into the clouds by the rising sun, central Alaska Range

Unnamed mountains reflected in Lima Bean Lake (local name), central Alaska Range

Unnamed mountains reflected in Lima Bean Lake (local name), central Alaska Range

Backside Glacier and Mount Huntington

Backside Glacier and Mount Huntington

Mother coming in to rescue her eggs.

Mother coming in to rescue her eggs.

The impressive gorge that prevents access onto the Ruth Glacier, central Alaska Range

The impressive gorge that prevents access onto the Ruth Glacier, central Alaska Range

 

 

End of the year Thanks!

Unloading the plane below Mount Hunter.

Unloading a K2 Aviation Otter,  below Mount Hunter.

The Alaska Range project is a major undertaking. Projects of this size can’t be done alone, it takes support of many people and organizations.

The people who endure the most are not myself or my expedition partners but the family that is left behind. The hardest part about spending weeks and months in remote wilderness is being away from my family. They must make do without me, make special arrangements, call upon friends for favors, it’s not easy.

So my first thanks must go to my wife Pam and son Walker and to all of our friends and family that have supported my wandering lifestyle.

As I enter the last two years of my project I will rely more and more on planes and the pilots that fly them. last year I flew in numerous small planes piloted by some amazing pilots.

I flew into the central Alaska Range twice with K2 Aviation out of Talkeetna, Alaska. I have been flying with K2 for years, they flew us into the Ruth Glacier for my wedding and winter attempt of Mount Dickey, ten years ago. I flew into the eastern Alaska Range with Golden Eagle Outfitters. No one knows the Hayes Range and the Delta Mountains better. The legendary Alsworths of Lake Clark Air delivered and picked us up safely from Neacola Mountains. For aerial photography I relied on my friend and photographer Dan Bailey. We did two aerial photography flights, one to the Neacolas and one to the Kichatnas. Looking forward to more.

Lots of great organizations have helped out, donating resources and sharing the love. The Northern Environmental Center, Alaska Center for the Environment and the Mountaineering Club of Alaska have been great supporters of the project. A special thanks to Doug Tosa at ACE and to Steve Gruhn, whose knowledge of Alaska peaks is unrivaled. Alaska Alpine Adventures have made huge contributions to the project and have greatly increased its chances of success. Working with the Adventurers and Scientist for Conservation has added even more value to the project and has connected me with many great scientists and adventurers.

The majority of outdoor equipment isn’t made for extensive, wilderness use. I have been using Patagonia clothing exclusively for this project and so far, its been bomber. The majority of my technical gear comes from Black Diamond, though I will also be using their tents and other equipment for the next two years. I have been working with Naneu Bags for over seven years and they continue to keep my cameras safe.

A final thanks to all the print and online publications that have helped spread the word about the project along with the individuals connected with myself and the project through social media.

The next two years are going to be big years with twelve expeditions planned. I am always looking for more sponsors to help share the burden of this massive project. I am in special need of private pilots interested in helping me with aerial photography!

Thanks again to everyone and looking forward to many more trips into the Alaska Range!

Packing for my next trip: Neacola Traverse

In 2007, my friend Dan Oberlatz and his longtime client Mark Stevens made a 55 mile traverse of the Neacola Mountains in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Since that trip he has told me its one of the best trips in the Neacolas. So next week I will be tagging along on that same traverse with a Alaska Alpine Adventures guide and his two clients. I won’t be guiding the trip, just tagging along, but will help out if need be.

The Neacola Mountains are the southern anchor of the Alaska Range, jumbled together with the northern end of the volcanic Aleutian Range. My first Alaska fly-in backpacking trip was to the Neacolas in 2002, Turquoise and Twin Lakes area. I also did a trip in the northern end of the Neacolas in 2007, Shamrock Glacier area.

Shamrock Lake, from my 2007 trip to the Northern Neacola Mountains

Shamrock Lake, from my 2007 trip to the northern Neacola Mountains

This trip is consider one of the hardest trips that Alaska Alpine Adventures offers. It’s all off trail with 30+ miles of glacier travel, 4 high passes, lots of scree and moraine, deep river crossings and even some good old fashion bush-whacking, sounds awesome! This trip will take us across the longest glacier in the range along with the highest peak, Mount Neacola.

Because I am a guest and not a paid guide or paying client, I need to be able to handle anything and be self-sufficient. When it’s not your trip, you need to be conscious of the other members, their desires and skills. The last thing you want to be is a burden, you want to contribute to the team. Weight is a major concern on this trip. Food for 11 days will be heavy, and the rugged terrain will be awkward with a heavy pack, so my camera gear needs to be minimal.

I have really enjoyed using the 70-200 f4 with my D800e but I just can’t justify the extra weight of a second lens. Everything needs to fit in my Naneu C7 bag. So I will bring the following:

D800e with L-plate, Nikon 24-70mm lens, 10-stop B+W ND filter, B+W polarizer, 2- 32gb media cards, remote release, 4 batteries and my trusty old Gitzo Mountaineer tripod with its Linhoff head.

Like my other trips, I have partnered with Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation and will be looking for ice worms along with collecting water samples from various sources.

This should be a great, tough trip and I am looking forward to the challenge. See you in a few weeks.