Sky Pond

Ron Niebrugge Colorado, Photos, Rocky Mountain N. P., Travel 6 Comments

Sky Pond, with Lake of Glass in the distance, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Sky Pond, with Lake of Glass in the distance, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Our original plan was to spend the night in this beautiful setting, but Park rules don’t allow back-country camping in this area.  There is a single back-country campsite about two miles from here, but it had been booked long ago.  So, we hiked up, waited for a sunset that never developed, and then hiked out with the last three miles by headlamp in the dark.  Although we couldn’t spend the night, it was still a great trip!

By the way, the waterfall in yesterday’s post, Timberline Falls, is just below the distant lake, Lake of Glass.

I have come the conclusion that hiking in the dark is not that much fun – you miss out on the scenery as you stare at the dirt and rocks in your light-beam five feet in front of you for boring mile after mile – I begin to feel like I’m driving.  And, even through it seems like you are going fast, we have found we are a bit slower in the dark.  But, had there been a great sunset, it would have been so worth it.  Actually, it was worth it anyways.

Sharktooths rising above Sky Pond, RMNP, Colorado.

Sharktooths rising above Sky Pond, RMNP, Colorado.

To this far side of the lake was about a five mile steady climbing hike to almost 11,000 feet.  Just as I was feeling pretty good about how quickly we made it to this high country destination, I noticed 4 people repelling off one of the Sharthtooths!  Geeze, our hike was probably barely a warm up for them.

The top photo was .8 of a second at f/14 and ISO 100 and a polarizer and two stop graduated neutral density filter.  The bottom image was a blend of two photos, one for the sky, one for the rest.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado photos.

Bull Elk

Ron Niebrugge Colorado, Photos, Rocky Mountain N. P., Travel 10 Comments

Bull Elk, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Bull Elk, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

The are lots of elk here!   In my opinion, this a a better place for photographing elk then even Yellowstone or Jasper.  And the rutting behavior is sure fascinating to watch.  Large bulls round up a groups of cows, only to be repeatedly challenged by other bulls, sometimes losing their cows, other times not.  The process is repeated all day long, played to the amazing bugle sounds ringing out from each of these magnificent animals.

This guy almost crossed right here where he is looking – it would have been an amazing setting with the stream and mountains in the background!  Instead, he walked right towards me and crossed so close I couldn’t include him in the frame with my 100-400 at 100!  Who would have thought I would have needed my wide-angle lens for these guys.

See more of my Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado photos.

Dream Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Ron Niebrugge Colorado, Photos, Rocky Mountain N. P., Travel 13 Comments

Dream Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Dream Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

This was the result of a early morning hike in the dark -I think it was definitely worth it!

Janine was given a bit of a bad time for not being up for our first morning here in Colorado at Mount Evans – all in fun of course.  To be fair, my super model has been there every morning and evening since, I thought I should add some photo proof!

Janine at Dream Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Janine at Dream Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

I used a two stop hard edge graduated neutral density filter for both images.  The top image was captured at ISO 100 and f/11 for .5 second.  The bottom one was ISO 100, f/16 for .8 second.  I stopped down a bit more for the lower image since my subject was much closer – I needed more depth of field.

Take a look at more  Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado photos.

Rocky Mountain Elk

Ron Niebrugge Colorado, Photos, Rocky Mountain N. P., Travel 15 Comments

Bull Elk at sunset, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Bull Elk at sunset, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

We finally made it into Rocky Mountain National Park last night – this place is great!  We arrived just in time to enjoy this wonderful sunset.  I had no idea there is so much elk activity here – this is as good as Jasper/Banff or Yellowstone, two areas I love.  My time spent with elk in those National Parks really helped me anticipate this guys movement so that I could be in the right spot in case there was a sunset – it sure all came together!  I also have some sunset photos with the whole harem of elk.

It is going to be nice to be in one place for a week or so.  We have only driven the first few miles of the Park road – I’m really looking forward to driving and hiking more of the park.

This was captured with my 24-105 at 58mm along with a 3 stop hard edged graduated neutral density filter.

Here are more Colorado photos.

Summit Lake, Mount Evans, Colorado

Ron Niebrugge Ask Ron, Colorado, Photos, Travel 14 Comments

Summit Lake, Mount Evans, Colorado.

Summit Lake, Mount Evans, Colorado.

This lake sits at 12,830 feet – and there is a road to it!  In fact, the road continues to the top of Mount Evans in the distance at 14,264 making it the highest paved road in North America.  Unfortunately it is closed beyond Summit Lake after the Labor Day weekend.
When I was hiking around, the elevation really wasn’t noticeable – but at one point I realized my battery was going to die, so I ran back to the truck for another one, and wow – that air is thin!
My super model slept in this morning, so you get stuck with a rare photo of me today!