John Scurlock

Aerial photography of mountains & glaciers across western North America @jaggedridgeimaging

I’ve photographed Tsar Mountain, the great sentinel of the southern Clemenceau Icefield, many times. Here, in an image from October 18, 2018, the weather is changing and a storm is bearing down on the Rockies from the northwest. This view looks south; at distant far right, note Sir Sandford and the Adamant Range in the Selkirk Mountains. #aerialphotography #canadianrockies #britishcolumbia #canada #mountains #climbing #skiing #clemenceauicefield #jaggedridgeimaging #flying
Winter seems to have gotten a running start in the Canadian Rockies. This image, of Mount Columbia from the southeast, was taken today, October 18. The photographic flight, from Valemount down to Mount Assiniboine, was a prolonged exercise in cloud & turbulence avoidance - I was quite happy to set foot on firm ground when I finally arrived at Nelson, BC. #aerialphotography #canadianrockies #columbiaicefield #jaspernationalpark #britishcolumbia #alberta #canada #jaggedridgeimaging #mountains #climbing #skiing
Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado: Dune patterns seen from ~5200’ altitude above the ground. The plane was flying at 13,800’, and the prevailing elevation in this locale is about 8,600’. East is towards the top of the image. The photograph was taken on September 7, 2018, on a glacier photography flight that originated in Steamboat Springs and ended in Montrose, Colorado. #greatsanddunesnationalpark #aerialphotography #colorado #jaggedridgeimaging
There are only two named glaciers in Wyoming’s Absaroka Mountains - the Fishhawk, and the DuNoir, seen at center in this image. It’s position, 43.796093°, -109.869487°, derived from topographic maps, places it in the gullies between the two arguably more glacier-like snowfields on each side of it. It’s map outline, from years-old data, looks nothing like the photograph, which leads to a question about whether or not the DuNoir glacier still exists. Ground-proofing and further map work may provide answers. But for now, it’s just speculation regarding the status of this small scrap of ice sitting in such an improbable locale - on the east flank of Coffin Butte, off the southeast margin of the Teton Wilderness in the empty, wind-swept Absarokas. (The peaks in the distance are called Pinnacle Buttes.) The image looks to the southwest, and was obtained on a September 5, 2018 glacier photography flight from Driggs, Idaho to Cody, Wyoming. #wyoming #absarokas #mountains #glaciers #rockymountains #aerialphotography #flying #wilderness #climbing #jaggedridgeimaging
Mount Warren’s north Face, at center, rises above the southeast arm of the Dinwoody Glacier in Wyoming’s Wind River range. To its left is Turret Peak, and to its right are Doublet and Dinwoody Peaks. The Dinwoody Glacier, one of the largest in the Rockies, has had a significant loss of ice over the last several decades; it appears possible from this image that parts of the southeast arm may eventually become disconnected from the main body of ice. This image comes from a glacier photography flight conducted on the morning of September 5, 2018 that originated in Cody, Wyoming and ended in Montrose, Colorado. #aerialphotography #wyoming #windriverrange #dinwoodyglacier #climbing #mountains #glaciers #jaggedridgeimaging #fitzpatrickwilderness #rockymountains #flying
This view of the Grand Teton’s east face comes from the last few minutes in Grand Teton National Park on the September 5 glacier photography flight originating in Driggs, Idaho. Mount Owen is at right, along with the Teton Glacier. The Middle Teton is at left. Shortly after this photograph was taken, I turned eastward to the Absaroka mountains, eventually landing in Cody, Wyoming. #aerialphotography #climbing #mountains #grandtetonnationalpark #jaggedridgeimaging #wyoming #glaciers #grandteton #rockymountains #jacksonhole
The plane is traversing counterclockwise around Mount Moran in preparation for photography of the Triple Glaciers, in shadow at right. But before reaching that point there’s a remarkable view south, past Moran’s sunlit east face and on to the Grand Teton and Tweewinot Mountain, at distant left. This photograph was taken on the morning of September 5, 2018, on a glacier photography flight originating from Driggs, Idaho. #aerialphotography #grandtetonnationalpark #mountmoran #climbing #mountains #jaggedridgeimaging #flying #wyoming #rockymountains
The east face of 14,300’ Crestone Peak, in south-central Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo range. To its left stands Crestone Needle, whose Ellingwood Ledges is one of Roper & Steck’s ‘Fifty Classic Climbs In North America’. This image was taken on September 7, 2018, during the course of a glacier photography flight to the Sierra Blanca in southern Colorado, where two small ice remnants sit high on the north face of Blanca Peak. That flight originated in Steamboat Springs and ended in Montrose, eventually continuing on to Cody, Wyoming. #climbing #colorado #rockymountains #sangredecristo #mountains #wilderness #aerialphotography #jaggedridgeimaging
The Merlon, Cloud Peak’s southeastern guardian, is an enormous granitic pillar that rises 1200’ from the scree slopes at its base. Because of its remote location in Wyoming’s Cloud Peak Wilderness, it’s seen relatively few ascents - several routes have been put up on its south face, seen here, and also on its north face, above the Cloud Peak Glacier. This photograph was taken on the morning of September 8, 2018, during the course of a glacier flight originating from Cody, Wyoming. #climbing #wyoming #cloudpeakwilderness #mountains #aerialphotography #wilderness #jaggedridgeimaging #bighornmountains
The great east face of Longs Peak, in Colorado’s Front Range. The image was taken on September 7, 2018, during the course of a glacier photography flight originating in Steamboat Springs. #aerialphotography #colorado #climbing #frontrange #rockymountainnationalpark #jaggedridgeimaging #mountains #longspeak
Fall’s imminence: Aspen grove, just east of the Flat Tops Wilderness in the White River National Forest, northern Colorado. This image was taken on September 7, 2018, during the course of a flight from Montrose, Colorado, to Cody, Wyoming. #aerialphotography #colorado #aspengrove #fallcolors #jaggedridgeimaging #rockymountains
Gannett Peak from the north, in Wyoming’s Wind River Range. There was some significant snowfall here a week ago, not uncommon for this remote area in late summer. But it’s mostly gone now and doesn’t interfere with glacier photography, the purpose of this flight. #aerialphotography #windrivers #wyoming #glaciers #jaggedridgeimaging #mountains #climbing #skiing
Early morning on British Columbia’s central coast in the Great Bear Rainforest. #britishcolumbia #canada #jaggedridgeimaging #coastmountains #klemtu #spiritbear #greatbearrainforest
Mount Longstaff sits directly on the western edge of Mount Robson Provincial Park, six kilometers west of Mount Phillips. It’s a bit of an outlier; the Swiftcurrent Glacier, seen here on Longstaff’s east aspect, is one of the last large ice bodies as one travels west from this point. (Another small icefield is found about 30 km northwest, on the flank of Reel Peak). The distant peaks at left are part of British Columbia’s Cariboo Range, on the west side of the Rocky Mountain Trench - and thus are not part of the Rockies. This photograph was taken in October, 2013, on a flight originating in Valemount. #aerialphotography #canadianrockies #mountrobsonprovincialpark #climbing #skiing #britishcolumbia #canada #jaggedridgeimaging #flying
Fitting in progress: Brand-new shoes... the old originals didn’t fit the new larger tires installed last year. It’ll be six weeks of work on and off to complete this little project... but in the end I’ll see 10-12 mph increase in cruise speed - putting it back up in the high 180/low 190s range... that’s mph by the way, not knots. #vansaircraft #jaggedridgeimaging #flying #experimentalaircaft #homebuilt
The great volcano Mount Adams, northwest flank, and the Adams Glacier. The White Salmon Glacier is at far right. The image was taken from an altitude of 10,500’ during the course of the return flight from Bend, Oregon, where I spent the day visiting my uncle and his wife, along with my old co-worker, friend and fellow-retiree Kenny White. The 1h50m trip (each way) featured heavy smoke from forest fires in both directions; in this image, note the crepuscular rays at left background where the sun is shining down through clouds and smoke. #aerialphotography #mountadams #wilderness #glaciers #climbing #skiing #flying #jaggedridgeimaging #mountains
Yes, Wyoming’s Wind River Range has an Empty Quarter - and it’s here. Far to the northwest of the more familiar parts of the range, the continental divide runs up to over 13,000’, a wind-swept, lonesome mountain landscape of tundra and snow. Here, the Continental Glacier sits on the northern aspect of the divide. It’s the last major ice body in the Winds before the terrain fades into lower elevations - remote still, but not near high enough to allow year-round snow, much less an actual glacier. This image comes from what I remember as one of my most memorable & epic flights to photograph glaciers in the American West. The late September 2009, journey began in Red Lodge, Montana, with a side trip to the Beartooths, then down to Cody, Wyoming for fuel (Red Lodge had none). There, I picked up a Wyoming highway map since I didn’t have an aviation chart for that state (the Wind Rivers weren’t on the agenda originally). I used that map to get to the Winds, and I photographed all the glaciers there in hot, windy turbulence, flying at times up to 17,000’ in an vain effort to find calm air. I was airsick at the end of it, so turned away to the northwest, dodging forest fires and smoke that obscured the Tetons and Yellowstone, passing by the Centennial Mountains on the Montana-Idaho border, eventually arriving at Hamilton for fuel. Then came a short run down to the West Fork Lodge in the Southern Bitterroot valley. My friends Ruth & Jimmy picked me up at the backcountry airstrip there and we drove ten short miles to their home in Conor. The day ended with a campfire and cold beer, while elk bugled on the mountainside above us beneath a dark sky filled with cold glittering stars... The next day, a fall storm laid down two feet of snow in the Wind Rivers - and the glaciers were thus hidden once again from itinerant aerial photographers. #aerialphotography #wyoming #windriverrange #glaciers #skiing #flying #climbing #wilderness #rockymountains #continentaldivide #jaggedridgeimaging #mountains
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