falling-glacier

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Autumn colors in Glacier National Park

Fall has arrived at Glacier National Park, and it’s stunning. Crushing clouds and rain greeted Nate Luebbe at Glacier, but as he crested Logan Pass he was treated to one of the most spectacular alpenglow sunsets we’ve seen. “The sun shot golden fingers between jagged peaks and illuminated the clouds from below, and I couldn’t help but admire the timing. Montana was welcoming me home.” Photo courtesy of Nate Luebbe.

as a longtime fan it’s a little amusing to me how so many people are like, wow nathan’s like a whole different skater this season! i mean, in a way he is, because his programs show a new side of him, but the general implication is more like, wow i didn’t know nathan could do anything besides quads!

the whole quad machine image is kind of a new development for him tbh. nathan was so impressive as a novice and junior because he was already a good performer and high-quality skater in many areas. he had a bunch of good programs with detailed choreography and range of expression when he was younger. his skating did become noticeably more jump-focused in the last couple of seasons, but i’m so glad that his new programs allow his innate talents to shine through. he didn’t suddenly become an “artist” overnight, the potential was always there, and now everyone can see what older fans saw in him years ago. i don’t see his improvement this season as a completely new development, more like a return to form, except even better. the kid is so talented, i hope he sticks around in skating for a long time.

anyways, if anyone’s interested in watching some of nathan’s earlier programs, here are some of my favorites from over the years:

Going back to locations you have shot before but during a different season can completely change the mood and style of your photograph. Although the locations may be the same, the new season gives a fresh look at things you may have never noticed or thought about before. Yosemite is a place accessible the entire year, and as winter brings the annual snow fall shooting locations like Glacier Point in the winter brings a new element to the landscape.

Base camp day!

Gorak shep is 5100m. And Base camp is 5300m. It’s going to be a tough day no matter what the hike is like.
It’s ‘nepalese flat’, which means it’s not flat at all, but a constant up and down.
It started cruisy enough and the constant view of the worlds largest mountains always makes it easier. But eventually we were scrambling up and down massive piles of boulders and rocks. By scrambling I of course mean ‘slowly making my way up, catching my breath, coughing, continuing the slow walk. Slipping over the odd rock, but always managing to catch my footing before an injury occurs’

Luckily when you reach Gorak Shep you can put your pack down before you continue the hike to Everest Base Camp (EBC to those in the know). Unluckily for me, I’m a photographer, so my bag still consists of 5kg’s of camera gear.
We ran into a couple who had just got back from the hike, they were energised, fresh faced, not suffering any illnesses. They told us ‘it’s a pretty easy hike, took us 2 - 3 hours return’. Stupidly I took them at their word, forgetting I still have several kilo’s to carry, and my rattling lungs (which by now I was starting to suspect wasn’t a simple cold) made every expulsion of energy into a difficult and time consuming challenge.
For the fit and healthy it’s a 2 - 3 hour hike. For our group it took maybe 4 - 4.5 hours.
I take full responsibility for the hold up. Bob is an absolute gun and Spencer, who was also sick, still managed. Though we did often sit down together and hold an orchestra of coughing. I hate being the slow one. I have lived my life trying to prove to myself/the world, that I can do anything I set my mind to. Except apparently walk to base camp in an upbeat and timely manner.

We finally reached a bunch of prayer flags, a sure sign we’d reached a destination. I celebrated too early, I looked down and realised base camp was below us, it was a swift descent down and then back up to actually be able to walk in amongst the few tents that were left (most of base camp had packed up in the preceding week)I considered not making the effort but I didn’t trek for 9 days to sit on my tired sick butt and NOT go explore base camp.
So down we walked, right up to the khumbu glacier. The ice fall. The most dangerous part of the everest summit ascent. The part that has claimed so many lives.
Also the first glacier i’d seen up close.
So many doco’s, movies, pictures, books. So many years of dreaming of this moment and here I finally was. Standing ON the worlds tallest mountain, maybe standing on the place where one day i’d start my ascent to the summit (although we’ll wait and see how expensive it gets, I am just a struggling artist)

These moments are always so anticlimactic. It’s hard to sit in awe when you’re so breathless and cold and tired. But sit in awe I eventually did. My brain just needed to time to warm up to the fact.
What a beautiful desolate wasteland base camp is.

Falling in Love With Glaciers
Listener
Falling in Love With Glaciers

she was born at too young of an age
and every night her dreams were touched by witches fingers
until her heart was caged
with every morning spent not caring if she cares or not
sleeping in the melt and mud, waiting for the earth to rot
burying herself alive she scrapes the hole that it left open
empty as her very heart, that mountain was all broken
now i can see that her blood’s red and she’s got feelings
and they always get spilled both without thinking

The White Flag Drops Among the Green

wars have been fought
along this terrain,
blood has been spilled,
though mainly, my own

jagged edges run sideways,
scars from different battles,
the ones I have lost
have caused the biggest
pieces to fall

I have been conquered
and then abandoned

men have plucked their flags
from the top,
rolled up their tents,
and set off for home

with each loss
another chunk is torn loose,
wrecking along its way
to the bottom

the birds are no longer startled
at the sound

I throw the white
to lay among the trees and rocks,
confident in the choice
of surrender

this heart is no mountain,
but I will turn it into stone.

——–

Inspired by my favorite Listener song “Falling In Love With Glaciers”. Everyone has a song they see themselves in. This is mine.