Mt Marathon Wilderness Race 2015

Alaska has a few Wilderness Races that rank among the hardest and most extreme. I find them all amazing in their own right, but the best thing about the Mt Marathon

The face of it...
The face of it…

Wilderness Race is that it is a photographer dream race…one that is fast, visible and accessible.






Posted at the base of the mountain

Of the wilderness races ~ McCarthy Pack Race, Fireweed 400 (a 4oo mile bike race), Alaskan Mountain Wilderness Classic (summer), Alaskan Mountain Wilderness Ski Classic (winter) just to name a few, Seward’s Mt Marathon Wilderness Race is one of the shorter ones, but not necessarily the easiest one ~ 5 kilometers and 3022 ft (921m). Racers scramble over cliffs, shale, rock-fields, brush, trees and mud, sometimes there are snowfields and waterfalls just to make the scramble more interesting, unpleasant and dangerous.

The race starts and finishes down town Seward, with the fastest racers (runners, climbers or hikers if you want to call them that) taking about 30-40min to get to half way, turn around and hoof it in about 10-15min to get to the finish line…the average speed up is about 2mph while it can increase to an incredible 12mph on the way down. The winner of men’s this years race hit the bottom of the chute at 38 minutes, record pace and set a new record of 41.48, the fastest women’s was 47.48 also a record, breaking a 25 yr old record set in 1990.

The way down can take it's toll...
The way down can take it’s toll…

The junior’s race is a mixed one with boys and girls under 17yrs, and is shorter than the adults with it’s turn around at the start of the mountain scree was won in 27.39 this year.

Why would anyone want to risk the bloody scrapes, cuts, broken bones, traumatic head injuries (yes all of that has happened in the history of this race) is anyones guess but it is a highly sought after any entry (due to the city of Seward limiting numbers to decrease environmental impact).

ThecCliffs chute
The Cliffs chute
The way to get up, and down is the racers choice...
The way to get up, and down is the racers choice…

Now I have hiked it, yes it was a hike for me, not being of the tenacious, mud slinging, injurious ilk, I slowly took over 2 hours to make it up to the top ridge taking photos along the way. The view is definitely breathtaking with Seward nestling at its foothills and the bay full of boats in the immediate distance but it is probably not one that these men and women glanced up and contemplated during the arduous route.

but when you see their faces a spark is driven into your mind, maybe I could do it…

The face of it...
The face of it…

maybe I could just hike and run when able, maybe I could train…maybe, if there is ever going to me a maybe, I had better contemplate a plan to apply for the lottery to be even allowed to enter first!

Please look at the gallery, there are many more amazing athletes, I continue to be in awe of them…esp the kids, although I have not posted any kids, please feel free to email me at and I am more than willing to see if I have your picture or your child’s one.

The face of..YES!
The face of..YES!


Flowers ~ Natures beautiful survivors

Flowers of any kind are pretty amazing…the closer you look, the more macro you look with the camera, shows you the most awesome piece of …engineering really, natural engineering…which is mind blowing. If you look at how nature provides what it needs to survive and thrive (without human annoying intervention or destruction) the awe is magnified, I feel pretty stoked to be able to see it through the lens… 

Fireweed and Lupines
 Look at the pond Lily and see the microcosm so full of life, look at the eye of a wild daisy, see the florets as miniature flowers themselves.  

Yellow Pond Lily

Wild Daisy
 See the colors used to attract and the insects that spreads them for the next years blooming.   

 Look at the delicate petals, colors, scents and imagine the world without them…a poorer place it would be indeed! 


Summer upon us…

Disc Bay, Prince William Sound
Disc Bay, Prince William Sound

Wow where does the time go, we are already half way into June and I have been slack on this blog…If only a way to get my act together to do this daily…Yeah that would be in between exercise, work, getting out into the sound and of course taking photographs… What is it about this – the computer and blogging that makes it so hard? Not sure… Maybe it’s the sunshine. maybe it’s a fresh air or lack of it if you sitting at the computer!

Bay on the other side of where we anchored.

One of my favorite things to do in summer is to be on the boat and in the sound, that’s Prince William sound in Alaska, it is some of the most exquisite and amazing country you can see…check out some of the photos of got here but just in general when you can see at least three or four different types of aquatic life, plenty of types of birds, and don’t forget the hundreds of species of mosquitoes… is such an amazing place

Had a fabulous trip down to a little place called Disc Island, out that was between the upper and lower passage between Ingot and Knight Islands. After dropping the hook and doing a spot of fishing… tis’ halibut season after all, we put the anchor down in Disc Bay.
A light hike onto the island proved to be spectacular for taking photos. No good camera with me, ran out of the house without it~ gotta get a better last minute plans for that!! So it was just the iPhone this time. The beauty of the water lilies…yellow pond lilies are perennial natives to Alaska and also that it was mating season for the blue damselfly …stunning!

Blue Damselfly.
Blue Damselfly.
Blue Damselfly
Yellow Pond Lily


Yellow Pond Lily, native perennial Alakasan
Native perennial Alaskan

Valdez Ice Climbing Festival

Spanning the frozen waterfallThe Valdez Ice Climbing Festival was an amazing thing to observe…fit, healthy men and women of all ages and experience, whom to me appeared to thrive on the adrenalin it takes to do this…climbed the many frozen waterfalls in the Keystone Canyon, the leads into the Alaskan town of Valdez. These waterfalls during summer are impressive in and of themselves, but when frozen they take on a totally new dimension that allows for photographers to train their skills in white balance, white/ gray sky, glaring white/blue ice Climber's at Bridal Veil Falls, Keystone Canyon, Valdez, AKand snow – not an easy task for this newer photographer.

Check to the gallery for more photos.

Snow…There is something about it.

2015__14_0003 copyThere is something about snow that is quiet, silent, peaceful and beautiful. It falls softly here where I live and and some years pretty constantly during winter. You could go on about the amazing nature of it and how it is condensation of water vapor into an ice nucleus…but nah…its just the beauty itself when its underfoot, tickling your face or just a quiet presence outside that inspires me.


Kennicott Mines ~ a ghost town with life

August 1900, a couple of prospectors, spotted a green patch of hillside that looked like it would be good feeding for their pack horses. Kennicott MinesThe green turned out to be part of a mountain of copper ore. Kennicott Glacier in the valley below the mine was named after Robert Kennicott, a naturalist who explored in Alaska in the mid-1800s is where the mines got their name from. A mistake was apparently made on some paperwork when the Kennecott Mining Company was formed, forever spelling it with an “e”.

5 mines made up The Kennicott Mines.
5 mines made up The Kennicott Mines.

Go figure, spelling had its issues way back then 🙂

Kennecott had five mines: Bonanza, Jumbo, Mother Lode, Erie and Glacier – open pit mining so it only happened in summer.  The mine and much of the surrounding area became a National Historic Landmark in 1986 and a part of the National Park Service in 1998.

Tulip Glory

I love flowersTulip glory, and the closer in the lens to see details – all the better. Nice to see whats right under our noses sometimes, and the beauty is in the details…forget the devil 🙂


Fireweed ~ Alaskan native

Fireweed is an Alaskan ‘regular’, also known as Rosebay willow herb, can be seen in fields Fireweed amongst left oversof color…It is an amazing plant with multiple uses ~ tea from the leaves, honey, candies and sFireweed shines even at night.yrups and jellies. It is so hardy that is is often used to recolonize after fire or other land devastation…Me, I think it is just simple and beautiful.