adventure, hiking, sierra nevada, travel

Garnett Lake and the JMT

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Banner Peak looms 12,942 feet over the beautiful island filled Garnet Lake, little brother to the more famous Thousand Island Lake. Numerous small glaciers decorate the sides of this beautiful mountain (which can apparently be climbed by a least one class 2 route…hmm next adventure?). Thousand Island Lake can be most easily reached by the 7.8 mile gently sloping River Trail from Agnew Meadows. However, I had the bright idea that we should return via the JMT to Shadow Lake route. While the maps indicated this was a bit longer they in no way prepared us for the innumerable painful switchbacks, ups and downs, and much rougher terrain of this particular detour. The trail tops out at 10k above sea level and with most of it is above 8k that altitude definitely gets to you! The return ended up being about 10.6 miles down the JMT to Shadow Lake and back to Agnew Meadows. However, we still managed the 18.4 mile loop in 7.5 hours (a record pace for us I think). A soak in a hot springs afterward and another one the next morning helped ease our sore muscles. Ediza and Iceberg Lakes are next on my list. Who has hiked this area?

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adventure, camera, sierra nevada, travel

First Snow of 2017

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Watching the storm role in. Snow transforms everything, turning dry dusty ground into a white winter wonderland. Snow allows the almost desert like conditions of the Eastern Sierras to thrive with life, Aspens and Evergreens, Wildflower and Wild Berries. While California certainly does have some beautiful mountains all year long, I think that snow really puts the finishing touches on them and brings them to the level of some of the more lush mountain ranges to the north. Can’t wait till more snow falls here…maybe be out in it, maybe get stuck on the wrong side of a closed pass again as I did last fall during the first snow (that I recall) when I took this photo of my friend shooting near June Lake. What’s your favorite thing about winter?

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adventure, camera, hiking, photography, sierra nevada, travel

Setting Sun from Bridgeport

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One thing I love about the Eastern Sierra mountains is how different they can look depending on the clouds, the weather, the time of the year. Fall colors change the landscape from yellow, to gold, to orange and brown. Add a few clouds and a sunset and you get even more spectacular tones. The windswept grassy fields around Bridgeport create a beautiful foreground to the stunning Sierra Crags that rise above the Twin Lakes Region off in the distance. A light dusting of snow has coated the peaks. I imagine now they are completely covered in snow. Can’t wait to get back up here and explore some more. What is your favorite spot to hike around Bridgeport, California?

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adventure, hiking, ice climbing, travel

Temple Crag in Winter

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Self portrait in Lake 2 of the Big Pine Lakes. Towering above is the 13k foot Temple Crag, one of my all time favorite mountains in the Sierras. Have you climbed it or at least seen it? I think its a class 4 scramble but might by a lot more technical than that. I’m not a true mountaineer, just an avid hiker. The lake (Lake 2 again) was beautifully frozen with most of the snow blown off. The trail itself was a bit icy but with crampons was no problem. Do you like to hike with crampons? They add so much security to climbing on ice that you feel like no climb is impossible. Almost 10 miles round trip to this spot but so worth it. This was shot with the Fujifilm X-T2 which I rented for a few weeks in December 2017. I loved it except that being a cropped sensor it didn’t perform quite so well in low light as my full frame Nikon D810.

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adventure, hiking, sierra nevada, travel

Ice skating on Big Pine Lakes

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Sometimes the best views on out on thin ice. Lake Two of the Big Pine Lakes (there are 7 total) reflects the majestic beauty of Temple Crag just after sunset. While I didn’t actually have ice skates on, the ice was smooth enough from the sun melting it over the daytime, that I could slide quite well in even my hiking boots. One of my favorite hikes in the Eastern Sierras. Where is yours?

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adventure, lodging, photography, travel, travel tips

What do you want to know about HAWAII?

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I just got back from an amazing nine nights in Hawaii (five on Oahu, and four on the Big Island). It was an epic adventure full of hiking, snorkeling, staying up too late and getting up too early, kayaking, and swimming. I think this trip taught me a lot about travel and was definitely an eye opener for what Hawaii is really like. Even though I prepared and researched significantly, there was much that the blogs, articles, and Instagram posts, I went through did not cover. This seems to be a common theme in my travels: you go somewhere very popular that you would expect to be well covered in the blog world, but you find that many of the things you wish you had known are no covered at all. So let me ask you: what would you like to know about Hawaii? How can I help you plan a trip there?

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adventure, hiking, ice climbing, travel

Caples Lake Anyone?

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This is a self portrait I took while traveling over the Carson Pass Highway that crosses California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. This lake is called Caples Lake and is near the Kirkwood Ski Resort. Just wait till you see the winter photos I got here once the lake froze! I want to try to post more photos from places that aren’t overly photographed in Instagram. There are certain places we all like to photograph because they are stunning and popular for a reason. However, I really enjoy seeing and hear about new places and want to contribute to that with my travels and creativity. Honestly this lake and it’s surroundings with some early fall snow are just as beautiful as many more popular destinations. And the best part is that I could explore and even take some self portraits without anyone else around. Do you have a favorite secret spot?

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adventure, hiking, photography, travel, travel tips

Watching Lake Sabrina Freeze

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The ice was blue. The umbrella red. My new favorite prop. I know it’s been done many times before but I haven’t seen a lot lately. Yellow raincoats can only be beat by red umbrellas. Self portrait at Lake Sabrina about a month ago. I’ve been here a couple times but my favorite was this visit with the lake starting to freeze and no people or boats around. This lake is located up past Aspendell outside of Bishop California. To get here you must walk up a 2 mile closed road (but its not a bad hike at all).

This is a self portrait by the way. Any tips on capturing awesome photos of yourself when it’s just you and the camera?

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adventure, camera, photography, travel

My new website is live!

I’ve been working on putting together a real portfolio, with prints available, showcasing my favorite shots from around the world. Its an on going work on progress, but I decided to go ahead and make it live so you guys can check it out. Let me know what you think and how I can improve. If you really love some of my photos, feel free to buy some prints. I’ve kept the prices super reasonable (small prints for just $1!). I’d rather more people be able to enjoy my work than to make a ton of profit right away.  Below are a sample of some of the photos I’ve put up on my page www.creatingezra.com

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www.creatingezra.com

www.instagram.com/creatingezra