The spectacular drive from Whitehorse to Kluane National Park & Reserve in Canada's Yukon.
On the southern edge of Kluane Lake, Discovery Icefield is the starting point for my journey into the ice fields of Kluane National Park & Reserve.
Icefield Discovery's history in the St. Elias Mountains of the Kluane ice fields is long and rich, having taken researchers and mountain climbers alike into this amazing landscape.
The skilful hands on Icefield Discovery's pilot Donjek flew us into the Kluane ice fields.
Glaciers of all kinds pass below as we flew into the mountains.
Digging the vestibule down a couple of feet makes for more comfortable snow camping.
A fine place to rest.
Discussing plans with Brian after being dropped off on the ice fields with all our gear for 9 days.
A most enjoyable place to enjoy dinner, with Logan in the background to the left.
Grabbing a hot tea and relaxing before turning in to bed at about 12:30am.
Camp looking at Logan.
Looking at Mount Logan catching alpenglow from out tent door.
Logan at sunrise.
The highest peak in Canada play peek-a-boo with the clouds.
Sunset over the ice fields.
Camp seems so small.
Looking forward to finishing this one back in the studio... hopefully on a much larger scale!
Adam having fun filming with the portable jib that we brought wiht us for those magical fluid shots.
Trying to capture the awesome light on Mount Logan while the temperature drops. Brian brought an extra "puffy" for me top layer on for just such an occasion.
Adam captured this subtle portrait on Brian, a man with great experinece in the mountains.
Brian pauses to pull out his camera... over and over again. I can't blame him, look at the place!
Days are long on the ice fields as the light lasts into the evening, and comes back very early in the morning.
Skiing back to camp about a daytrip across the ice and snow.
When not holding a paint brush, I am often reaching for the video camera to bring home the experience for my films.
Canada's highest mountain, catching the morning alpenglow.
To capture the stunning Kluane beauty, we filmed with a Sony PMW 200 and Manfrotto head and carbon fibre sticks. What an awesome combo!
HDSource, out of Mississauga Ontario, is complementing our TrueWild filming gear with numerous SxS cards, batteries, wide angle lens and more. Thanks guys!
Adam getting lost in a big land.
Setting up a timelapse shot on the distant mountains.
Adam in his element as the main videpographer on my Kluane painting expedition.
Adam and Brian pausing for a portrait, and having a great time in the wild.
Goal Zero solar panels hanging tough in whiteout conditions.
During the stormier weather there were many moments of of incredible light playing on the mountains, forming abstract plays of form and colour.
Videographer Adam Greenberg checking a couple of his still photos on a cloudy morning.
Full moon preparing to set as a cloud cast its shadow onto the mountains below.
Stunning light on Mount Logan and Augusta to the left while the moon begins to set.
Brian pokes his head out of his vestible, where he manned continual water making and cooking of our dehydrated meals.
Adam Greenberg (videographer) and mountain guide Brian Jones (owner of Canada West Mountain School) taking a moment to enjoy the sun.
Brian, owner of Canada West Mountain School allowed me to not only travel safely in the ice fields, a land filled with crevasses, bergschrunds, avalanches, cornices, seracs and whole bunch of new words that I learned on the trip. He also helped to paint views that I would never hace been able to access on my own. Thanks Brian!
Otherwordly morning light on our last morning at camp at the top end of Dusty Glacier.
Camp tucked deep into the snow for the bad weather.
A cosy place to be.
Before setting camp, we had to dig out a good section of the snow to create a shelter against the ongoing 30 km winds.
Trying to pull together a big scene on a small canvas.
Need I write anything...
When the wind picks up, and the moisture and temperature are just right, continously forming lenticules clouds form over some of the higher peaks in the mountains.
Evening light fills the Logan Glacier, highlighting the incredible number of distant peaks.
Moonrise over Mount Augusta.
Painting in a big land.
Can't always be working!
Catching our flight to new vistas, after 4 days of staying put due to bad weather. Any flight through the ice fields is an experience unto itself!
Carl heads over to help Dave Dickson re-pack a horse after dropping us off with all our gear for hiking.
Parting ways with Dave Dickson and his kids after an awesome 8 hours of riding from the Alaska Highway to near the boundary of Kluane National Park.
The Donjek Route hike begins.
Using my Steripen to ensure the already clear water doesn't have any unwanted little friends that may upset the trip.
Our first campsite along Burwash Creek about a kilometre shy of the Kluane Park Boundary.
Evening light catches a group of Dall Sheep hanging out in front of cool rock formations.
The hike had barely begun and we are already in an incredible landscape.
Looking back at the rock pinnacle that guided our way earlier in the hike. We're really starting to go uphill now.
Though hiking would get us a lot further, I had to stop and start this painting at the top of Burwash Creek.
In addition to a great background, it was actually the rock on the right that stopped me in my tracks, with little backlit purple flowers next to it.
Adam and my bother Carl take a break to set up lunch while I busily try to get a painting going during the hike. Carl has joined us for the Donjek Route portion of the journey, sharing the heavy load of carrying 90 lb packs.
These are the little flowers that caught my attention next to the big rock in the painting along the Burwash river bed.
After our big descent, we were treated to a hike through this lovely canyon.
A place to write.
Dall Sheep walking up a nearby ridge as I was hanging out at camp.
Writing journals in a spectacular place under the warm Yukon sun.
Using my SPOT Connnect with my iPad Mini to post short updates to my Facebook page. Being out here is such a rewarding experience that I need to share it in my own way with others.
One the last sections of scree slope we had to descend. Burned up the legs real good with our 90lb packs!
Carl looks tiny as he takes a few photos from an incredible vantage point at the top of Hoge Pass.
It's a long way down, a full kilometre, so we took a few breaks along the way.
At the top of a long and challenging hike, Carl, Adam and I arrived at the top of Hoge Pass to be greeted by spectacular evening light. A truly impressive and moving scene to walk into.
Down from the Hoge.
Dinner in the deep forest.
Fortunately, this guy kept his distance.
How do these things work?
The Donjek Glacier comes into view.
The Donjek Glacier: ice on top and below.
Adam at work.
Waiting to fall?
The rich blue colour shows where the big chunks of ice were hanging on just before they fell.
Down by the Donjek.
Any excuse to give my legs a rest.
Waiting for us to cross.
One step, then another...
Dust kicking up.
Legs pretty well shot, Carl, Adam and I pose for a group shot for our last evening on our Donjek Hike when we arrive at Big Horn Lake. Awesome to drop our packs.
Mush Lake beach.
The river flowing from Mush Lake into Bates Lake runs pretty and clear.
A perfect fishing hole after the portage trail into Bates Lake gave up a few nice grayling and this sweet little Lake Trout.
Calm waters on Mush Lake.
Late afternoon on Bates Lake.
Shore lunch on Mush Lake.
This little cloud caught the last light of the day and cast its own beam-like shadow.
When not painting, I'm never too far from the camera.
On a long trip like this one, it's really nice to connect back with my family when they are not able to join me. My SPOT satellite phone was a nice addition to my gear for such occasions.
The fine little gravel and sand point on Mush Lake that we camped on was very sweet. We just hoped the winds wouldn't blow too hard and swamp us!
The Dezadeash River.
Morning on the Dezadeash River.
When we pulled the raft ashore the night before to camp here, I notice our parking spot offered a great view. Morning light confirmed it.
Water lines indicate there was a big flood. It took place around 1850.
The high water lines along the shoreline tell the story of the 1850's flood that covered a vast part of the region. They were caused by the Lowell Glacier advancing across the lake and butting up against Goatherd Mountains, and then receding rapidly.
An amazing huge white granite boulder at rest in an odd place. It's cube-like shape really stands out!
Colour in the clouds.
Adam at work.
Having never done a rafting trip before, I was amazed at just how much stuff you can get in one of these things!
Swan flies by in the early morning light on the Dezadeash River.
Camping on the beautiful Alsek.
Looking down the Alsek.
Driftwood sits high up the bank of the Alsek River, deposited there in 1850 when a massive flood of the region quickly receded. The flood was caused by the Lowell Glacier, which had advanced across the lake to the face of Goatherd Mountain, causing the Alsek to flood the valley upstream for a vast region, past Haines Junction and part way to Whitehorse.
Up the Alsek.
A place for lunch.
Jill Pangman (Sila Sojourns) has been guiding river trips in the Yukon for 25 years. With a focus on creative journeys and a passion for wild places, she was the best person in the country to open the doors of these spectacular landscapes to me on my first ever river rafting trip.
Jill's son Caelan, at age 15, has already been on numerous river trips across the north and was a huge help on the trip, even carrying our tripod around on a few hiked to Adam could focus more on filming.
The Alsek River.
Jill and Caelan.
Caelan gets soaked as he fills up our water jug at a conveniently located waterfall along the river.
If you look closely at the bottom of the photo, you will see our tiny tents dwarfed by the mass of of Goatherd Mountain behind us.
Setting up a timelapse.
Surrounded by fluff.
Jill keeps surprising us with amazing treats from her giant cooler.
Rock watching from the raft.
At this point on the Alsek River we are getting real close Lowell Lake.
This iceberg caught my eye when we first arrived at Lowell Lake. I found it's size and shapes to be very alluring. When we left the water to hike up Goatherd Mountain, it's presence somehow seemed even greater as it rose above the moraines.
Lowell Glacier and Mount Kennedy.
Camp at Lowell Lake.
Mount Kennedy and his buddies bask in the last light of the day behind Lowell Glacier.
Getting pretty used to the ritual on tossing my painting gear on my back and heading out there.
Rain, snow or sun, our Goal Zero solar panels and chargers endured and kept our video cameras and other electronics running smoothly.
Jill taking a few photos of the gorgeous rock patterns that we hiked during our trek up Goatherd Mountain.
Getting up there.
Lowell lake layers.
Love the way the evening shade casts the icebergs into wonderful hues of blue.
Our first night on Lowell Lake, Jill Pangman (Sila Sojourns) prepared an outstanding salmon dinner over an open fire. Now that's camp food!
An amazing camp with a great view at Lowell Lake. It was also a great place to be lulled to sleep to the sounds of the ice falls as they calved from the glacier.
Aurora borealis and firelight... what a combination for an enchanting night.
After stunning evening light when we arrived on Lowell Lake, we were spoiled with a show of northern lights that lit up the sky and even cast a glow bright enough for us to the landscape below. Finally went to bed, reluctantly, at 3:30am.
Lowell Lake. A sweet place to sleep, especially on a night like this.