Alpine Angles Photography: Blog en-us (C) Alpine Angles Photography [email protected] (Alpine Angles Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:37:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:37:00 GMT Alpine Angles Photography: Blog 120 120 Wright and Algonquin Early Spring Decided to take a quick trip up Wight and Algonquin before the snowstorm that was due for Friday night.  When I left the LOJ it was warm and cloudy.  I made good time and reached the turnoff for the campsite in the first hour.  The trail was in decent shape although there were from what I could tell a few bare booters ahead of me that were starting to trash things a bit.  Around the intersection to Wright the sun started to make a few attempts to peak though the clouds and I started to think of the possibility of actually getting above the clouds on the summit.  I started off up Wright and caught up to a couple after a few minutes.  From there it was fresh tracks to the summit.  I was in the clouds until just before the summit when a gust of wind came in and when I looked off to my right there was Algonquin rising above the clouds.
Algonquin rising from the clouds
I spent about a half an hour on the summit in and out of the clouds taking pictures.  I could see some of the higher summits sticking up though the clouds and it was an amazing view. 
After getting my fill of pictures on Wright I ventured up Algonquin.  Once I made it to the tree line I came out of the clouds into a warm spring day.  There was a bit of a breeze but the sun was so strong it was quite warm.   
The top of Marcy though the clouds
Whiteface off in the distance
I spent another half an hour on the summit taking pictures in all directions.  The sun was so strong I actually got a light sunburn on my exposed skin, not something I'm used to with my complexion.   
Shot of me on the summit
As soon as I made it down from the exposed summit to the tree line I was back in the clouds for the rest of the trip out.  The trail held up well and I was able to make good time back to the LOJ.  
GPS track and stats: [url][/url]
Full Photo Album: [url][/url]
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[email protected] (Alpine Angles Photography) Mon, 31 Mar 2014 23:52:48 GMT
Alpine Angles in the Adirondacks  
Posting first appeared on
Carin on Giant Mountain with the High Peaks in the background
New York State’s Adirondack Mountains are home to 46 mountains that are over 4000 feet in elevation. People who frequent the area know these mountains as the 46 or the High Peaks and a person who has climbed all of them and registered with the ADK 46er organization is known as a 46er. I grew up just outside of Albany, NY and spent my summers in Schroon Lake inside the Adirondack Park.
Early morning sun on Mt. Colden as seen from Marcy Dam
My hiking career started when I was about 10 years old, I hiked and backpacked with my parents in the Adirondacks. I have a few fond memories of the High Peaks from climbing Algonquin while being eaten alive by blackflies, seeing a black bear and climbing Mt. Marcy on “spring break” in several feet of snow without snowshoes and grossly unprepared for the cold weather. For one reason or another I took a 15-year hiatus from hiking. About 3 1/2 years ago I rediscovered the beauty of the area while on a backpacking trip at my younger brother’s suggestion. We didn’t climb any mountains on that trip the day after Thanksgiving but I did relearn just how beautiful it is being in the mountains and I was hooked from there.
Avalanche LakeAvalanche LakeWinter School 4 day backpacking group crossing Avalanche Lake in front of the iconic Trap Dyke
Winter school 4-day backpack group crossing Avalanche Lake in front of the iconic Trap Dyke
After that trip I decided I wanted to be a 46er and dove in headfirst. I needed to get educated on how to be prepared in the backcountry since most of my knowledge was fuzzy and incomplete from my childhood experiences. I searched the Internet for gear recommendations and general backcountry knowledge. I came across two great resources, the blog and the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Winter Mountaineering School (WMS). I read just about every posting on Section Hiker as well as all of the information in the WMS handbook. I signed up for WMS and attended the weekend backpacking section. I’m now a WMS instructor and highly recommend anyone looking to get into winter hiking or backpacking attend the school.
WMS was a great experience. In late January 2011 our group climbed Wright and Algonquin. Once we broke out above the tree line on Wright peak, my first winter exposure in 20 years, I was 100% hooked on mountaineering and haven’t turned back since. The views were amazing and I was in awe. I snapped a few quick photos with my small point and shoot camera that I’d never really used much before this trip. The photos from Wright’s summit didn’t turn out very well but they still make me smile remembering the experience.
Marcy SummitMarcy SummitHiker on the windy summit of Mt. Marcy
Hiker on the windy summit of Mt. Marcy
That night while setting up our campsite my brother and I decided we were going to climb Mt. Washington the next weekend (which we did successfully) and then after that my next goal was to climb Denali (Mt. McKinley) the tallest mountain in North America.
In order to climb Denali I needed to be in great shape and what better way to do that than climbing mountains. So began my real obsession. I started training on weekdays for climbing and spent every single weekend in the mountains from there on out. I became a stronger and more efficient hiker and was able to do increasingly difficult hikes and climbs. I successfully summited Denali in 2012 and from there I began to plan hikes to keep me challenged, entertained and to get a few good pictures at the same time.
Sunrays bursting though the clouds in the valley as seen from the Brothers on Big Slide Mountain
Along the way I realized I was pretty good at capturing images of the beauty of the Adirondacks. I took hundreds of photos each week and posted them on Facebook for my friends to see and there were always a few good shots sprinkled in there that people seemed to really enjoy. As I continued to climb and snap pictures I decided that I should see where my ability could take me and began to learn about photography to see if I could improve.
Misty MorningMisty MorningMist rising from Lake Jimmy on a late summer morning
Misty morning on the foot bride crossing Lake Jimmy on the way to Allen Mountain
Just like when I started my obsession with mountain climbing I dove in headfirst. I did research on cameras and software and determined what would work best for me. I have a technical background in my day job as an IT consultant so I was able to pick up the technical nature of photography quickly without any formal education. As I progressed, I bought bigger and better cameras, learned the ins and outs of Adobe Lightroom, and started to only post what I considered my best work for others to enjoy. The response from my friends was exceedingly positive. Each week, I posted new pictures and people continue to enjoy them, share them with their friends and ask me all sorts of questions about how I was able to get such great photos. My answer is usually to be in the right place at the right time.
Summit ShotSummit ShotSummit view on Giant Mountain
Summit of Giant Mountain on a windy fall day
There are many amazing photographers that take pictures in the Adirondacks and I enjoy their work immensely. As I looked at some of the amazing pictures of the Adirondacks out there, I found I was one of the few Adirondack photographers that combined photography with the more remote hiking and climbing. Because of all of the training I have done and continue to do, I can get to very remote locations in difficult conditions, and capture some great images at the same time.
Near whiteout conditions on Whiteface Mountain, the wind was so strong we could barely stand.
I steer the goal of many of my hikes towards getting better pictures. Over the summer, I decided to do a solo Great Range Traverse as a training hike. A Great Range Traverse is an undertaking in itself, crossing 8 mountains and close to 10,000 feet in elevation gain. In order to get some good pictures, I started from the trailhead at 2AM to get to the summit of Mt. Marcy at sunrise. The hike to Mt. Marcy was close to 10 miles on the route I took and I had to run the last bit to get to the tree line before sunrise.
Sunrise on MarcySunrise on MarcySunrise on Mt. Marcy
Sunrise on Mt. Marcy
The results were worth it and I ended up getting so many good pictures it was difficult to choose my favorites.
Golden hour sunlight from Mt. Marcy
Slide climbing has given me many additional opportunities to capture some great photographs. It is a much more dangerous and difficult activity than hiking. A slide is a term used to describe an area where a landslide occurred and stripped the mountain clear of vegetation. Slides usually occur during periods of intense rain.
For example, the slide on Cascade Mountain was recently cleaned out of debris and vegetation during Hurricane Irene. What is there now, is a technical roped climb up the mountain with a bushwhack at the end to the summit. On a recent trip, a group of friends and I climbed that slide.
Roped up climbers on the first pitch of the Cascade slide waterfall
Once to the upper portion of the slide, we were able to see an amazing sunset on our way to the summit.
Sunset from the Cascade Mountain slide
In order to prepare people for slide climbing, a friend of mine who runs the New York Mountaineering Meetup group ran a slide-climbing workshop this winter. We taught and practiced some experienced hikers the skills necessary to ascend a slide safely on the low angle slide on Macomb Mountain in the Dix Range of the Adirondacks.
Slide ClimbingSlide ClimbingClimbers ascend the slide on Macomb Mountain
Climbers ascend the slide on Macomb Mountain
During my time hiking in the Adirondacks, I’ve joined the ranks of the 46er organization and completed all of the 46 in the winter as well. I’ve also had the pleasure of hiking alongside many other fellow hikers when they achieved their 46er status. There is usually some form of celebration on the summit. On a recent trip up Mt. Marshall, a friend of mine completed his Winter 46 and we planned a St. Patrick’s Day theme for him as a surprise on the summit where we all donned green mustaches.
Winter 46er FinishWinter 46er FinishWinter 46er finish on Mt. Marshall summit, St. Patrick’s Day style!
Winter 46er finish on Mt. Marshall summit, St. Patrick’s Day style!
From reaching outlying areas in the backcountry, to making technical climbs, to just enjoying an amazing memorable day with great friends, climbing in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks and other exciting and challenging destinations has given me an opportunity to take some great photographs and memorialize incredible accomplishments.
Chris LangChris Lang
Chris Lang on the summit of Allen Mountain after finishing his Winter46
About Chris Lang
Chris Lang is an avid hiker, climber and photographer living in the Capitol District of New York State. He has a full time job in the IT field and spends the majority of his free time in the Adirondack Park climbing the 46 High Peaks with occasional trips to New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Maine. He has also climbed in the Alaska Range, summited Mt. McKinley (Denali), Mt. Rainier in the Washington Cascades and Mt. Hood in Oregon.
[email protected] (Alpine Angles Photography) Mon, 31 Mar 2014 23:46:17 GMT
Epic Santanonis - Final Winter 2014 Peaks Took a nice walk in the woods with some friends on Saturday in the Santanoni range.   Trail was nice and broken to the turnoff for the herd path and then it was all about trail breaking from there.  We made good time and were up to a windy cloudy summit on Panther in about 3.5 hours.  
From Panther's summit we started off towards Couchsachraga.  Jim46er did what he does best and broke like no other and lead us out to Couch. After about 4 hours we arrived at the summit after some creative route finding and blazing a path through some neck deep spruce traps.  We amassed quite the crowd and had about 15 people on the summit by the time we got there.  Once there we enjoyed a quick break and headed back to Times Square.  
The crowd at the swamp crossing
From Times Square it looked like someone had broken out to Santanoni, I didn't trust it though and after following the tracks for a few minutes they went nowhere.  We were back route finding again.  I took off into the woods attempting to find the trail or something that resembled it.  We split up into two groups with the larger group going the opposite way from me looking for the trail.  After some major neck deep spruce traps I decided to rejoin the larger group. Once again Jim46er did some major trail breaking and we made it to the summit at just below 11 hours for the day.  We had two new 46ers in the group on the summit Jimmy a new W46er and I believe his name was Kevin who finished his regular 46 as well, congrats to both.  I snapped a few quick pictures and took off back to Times Square, breaking out the express trail in the dark was not in the cards for today.  
The legendary "Braveheart" himself Jim46er on Santanoni's summit!  
We moved quickly back to Times Square and after a brief break I started to cool down so I took off ahead of the group on my way down.  I managed to snap a few pictures on the way down when the clouds that hung over us all day started to clear.
All and all an awesome day in the mountains and a real test of endurance! 
Full set of pictures:
GPS and Stats:
13:47'54.2 Hours
19.12 Miles
6161 Feet Ascent 
6763 Calories
[email protected] (Alpine Angles Photography) Sun, 16 Mar 2014 00:15:00 GMT
Melrose Arts Show My work has been accepted into the 9th annual Melrose Arts Festival at historic Memorial Hall at 590 Main Street, Melrose, Massachusetts.  Friday April 25 and Sunday April 27, 2014


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[email protected] (Alpine Angles Photography) Wed, 12 Mar 2014 22:21:00 GMT
Cascade Slide Climbed the cascade slide on Saturday 3/1 with Jim46 and several others from NYM.  We decided to do it alpine style and camp near the top of the slide.  I climbed the slide last year around this time and there was much more snow cover then but it was very similar conditions.  
The first pitch is the longest and we used just about all of the 60M rope to top it out.  As we were getting setup at the base, there were quite a few people on the slide and a good amount of falling ice from other climbers, glad I had my helmet on or it would have been a bad weekend as I got hit right on the head with a large chunk, no damage but it was a good reminder to some of the less experienced climbers in our group not to look up when someone yells ICE! and to give each other a bit of space.  After the icefall we waited a bit to let others get higher so it would be a bit more spread out.  
The crowd on the waterfall
Top section of the waterfall
From the top of the waterfall we continued on and free climbed some of the smaller sections and used the rope for the longer ones.  We stayed on the side of caution and used the rope whenever there was a question to the safety.  
After topping out at the last section of ice we setup our camp for the night.
Once our camp was setup we headed for the summit to see if we could make it there for sunset.  
A few shots from the climb up 
We made it to the summit just before dark and were able to take in some of the views
After summiting we headed back down to camp.  Some of the icier sections we had to down climb due to the ice under the thin layer of snow but we had no issues and didn't need to use our rope for the descent to camp.  
Once back at camp we made our dinners, hung out for a bit and headed off to our tents for the night.  The night was fairly windy but nothing I would call significant just a few rattles of the tent during the night.   
Sunday AM we woke to a few inches of snow on the tents.  We packed up our gear and started the trip down the slide.  
We rappelled down all of the icy sections and used two ropes to rap down the waterfall section at the bottom rather than rap down in the woods.  
Once back down the the lake we walked back to our cars for a nice breakfast at the Noonmark.  
Full photo set is here on flickr:  [url][/url]
[email protected] (Alpine Angles Photography) Sun, 02 Mar 2014 01:15:00 GMT