Where I'm Shooting & an Ethic of Environmental Creation

January 21, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, overcrowding and environmental degradation have become growing concerns across Colorado and the greater Western US. While the turn towards outdoor recreation is welcome for those of us who work in the industry and hold a quasi-religious belief in the power of nature and time spent outside, it has also created a need to be conscious about how creators in the outdoors are broadcasting their work to their audiences. With that in mind, I wanted to offer this page as my own solution to protecting the places that I shoot while not gatekeeping them. You can find a running list of off-the-beaten path locations I've recently shared images from along with some commentary on accessing them (and my opinion on whether you should). I would also like to share some helpful links on this issue and how you can help preserve our beautiful landscapes long into the future. 

Telluride WildflowersTelluride WildflowersWildflowers in San Miguel Canyon near Telluride

Leave No Trace Principles

https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/

  1. Plan Ahead & Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waster Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts*
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

*I'd like to add an extra plea to follow all local fire regulations and think critically about whether or not one is needed. I enjoy campfires as much as anybody else, but have grown extra cautious about the subject in light of Colorado's recent destructive fires. 

 

Helpful Links

An introduction to responsible geotagging: https://aspenchamber.org/blog/tag-responsibly-take-aspen-pledge

A definition of gatekeeping: https://www.backpacker.com/stories/essays/the-internet-age-struggle-how-can-we-protect-the-outdoors-without-gatekeeping/

 

Where I'm Shooting

Uncompahgre Wilderness, Lake City, CO

Taken during an ascent of Wetterhorn Peak in Southwest Colorado. This is a difficult hike which I did over multiple nights. The trailhead requires 4WD to access. Wetterhorn Peak is a Class III ascent, with exposure at the top. I completed this in a group with trained professionals and safety equipment (ropes, helmets). Do not attempt unless familiar with mountaineering safety.

Bear Lake, Mt. Harvard, Buena Vista, CO

Taken during an ascent of Mt. Harvard, near Buena Vista, CO, last summer. After a difficult six mile hike, we camped at Bear Lake and enjoyed the sunset. This is a difficult hike and extra care should be taken if staying overnight, as temperatures dropped into the low 30s. The summit is a Class II, with moderate exposure at the top. The road to the trailhead is difficult in low-clearance vehicles.

Maroon Bells, Aspen, CO

The Maroon Bells and this iconic view from Maroon Lake are easily accessible during summer months. In the winter however, access is limited to human-powered methods and private snowmobile tours. The road is 13 miles roundtrip and is difficult if hiking, snowshoeing, or XC skiing, because of the length. 

Mt. Rainier, WA

Mt. Rainier National Park is easily accessible with an entry fee. This photo was taken on an easy/moderate showshoe journey from Paradise Inn.

Norwood, CO

This sunset photo was taken roadside on San Miguel CR-44Z S. 

Lizard Head Range, Ophir, CO

This photo was taken roadside on CO-145 south of Telluride, near the top of Lizard Head Pass.

San Juan Mountains, Ophir, CO

This photo was taken roadside on CO-145 south of Telluride, near the top of Lizard Head Pass.

Mt. Harvard, Buena Vista, CO

This photo was taken from the summit of Mt. Harvard. This is a difficult hike and extra care should be taken if staying overnight, as temperatures dropped into the low 30s. The summit is a Class II, with moderate exposure at the top. The road to the trailhead is difficult in low-clearance vehicles.

Norwood Canyon, Norwood, CO

This photo was taken roadside on CO-145 east of Norwood, CO. Although this is a paved highway, the drop off is extreme and tight turns are necessary. It is not recommended to drive this road in winter conditions.

Snake River, Keystone, CO

This sunrise photo was taken roadside on Montezuma Rd. east of Keystone. 


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