Monday, August 24, 2009

Mount McKinley or Denali


The native Athabascan's referred to Mount McKinley or Denali as "The Great One". Recently with good weather, I was very fortunate to fly the mountain as well view it from one of the park's shuttle buses. Above you can see the mountain from the Denali National Park road, at the Stony area. The sky was as clear as I have seen it since April, with not a cloud in the sky.

After arriving at the Eielson Visitor Center, this was my meager attempt to try to line the NPS US flag up with the ridge line of the lower mountain range. Waiting for the flag to be in the right position, with the wind, took 20 or so images to get the one pictured above.

Flying to Denali aboard a plane with K2 Aviation we were able to get quite close to the mountain. After rising above the clouds, Mt. McKinley was certainly visible and you knew it was the "great one". We were about 7 miles from the mountain when this image was captured.

As we got closer (5 miles away), you could plainly see the difference in elevation of the two peaks. The southern peak, the larger rounded one in the center, is 20,320 feet tall, the highest mountain in North America. The smaller peak to the right, which is the northern peak, is 19,470 feet tall. At this distance, the mountain did not seem to be as overwhelming as it does from the park road at 30 miles away.




Although the sun was adding allot of contrast with the snow covered mountains and shooting through a plane window was a challenge, the mountain range and glacier views were still amazing and fun to photograph. The steadfast curmudgeon "Critter Guy" has certainly broke down during this trip.

Blue Skies.

14 comments:

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

What stunning images Ken. I believe that there are many places you need to fly over before you see them in all their glory. The beauty of this place is overwhelming and I think I would have broken down and cried at the magnificence of it all as I did when I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time. Yeah, tough old Joan turned out to be a sissy after all. :)

Juan C. Aguero said...

Excellent photos, are historical documents!

Tim Rucci said...

Simply fantastic, Ken! And the 'critter guy' is starting to be a 'landscape guy' too. But up where you are, how or why would one ever want to resist it?

Love the birds eye views you got on this trip. I can only imagine how breathtaking it must have been in person, compared to viewing these downsized images on a computer screen. Photos never seem to do justice to such awesome sights as these.

Glad you were able to go, and thanks for sharing the view with us.

Elaine said...

Fantastic shots of the Great One. McKinley is definitely hard to get clear shots of, and this year there were so many forest fires around it was even harder. In the house we used to live at we could see McKinley on a clear day so I do have a few good distance shots.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Beautiful pictures of Mount McKinley, Ken.
I can only imagine how beautiful they are up close and personal.

gidje said...

Amazing!

Adrian_O said...

Truly Majestic. Love the winding road.

The Birdlady said...

Breath-taking!! I've never seen it.

Andor Marton said...

That must have been a clean plane window ;)
The scenery is fantastic and your flight shots are stunning.

Qiper said...

Like the first one best, with the road leading up Mount McKinley - Great Shots

Rocky Mountain Photography said...

Breath taking I would love to go there some day, So what are the dates for montana?

T and S said...

Truly breathtaking compositions Ken, I envy your job. WOW.

Philip said...

Great shots Ken absolute stunning scenery :)

jeannette stgermain said...

The light looks like it's late afternoon? The snow in combination with the olive green is beautiful! Glad I found you at Joan's blog:)