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  1. #1
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour

    For a few years now I've been trying to get out on New Year's Eve for sunset photos. In 2011, zerodog and I stepped it up by going out for a little backcountry ski tour on New Year's Eve. For 2012 we went really big and did a big ski tour in the Brighton backcountry, above Salt Lake City. It was a pretty solid adventure, too. I'm not sure what the mileage was but we took one lift up and then climbed 10,500 foot Mt. Millicent, descended to a saddle and then skinned to the top of Wolverine Peak, at about 10,800 feet. I've got a whole bunch of photos, all of which were taken with the Olympus TG1 waterproof point-and-shoot. This first batch was taken while we were climbing Mt. Millicent, just out the gate at Brighton Ski Resort.

    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310090_1000.jpg

    Jenni, on one of the steeper sections:
    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310091_1000.jpg

    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310096_1000.jpg

    Our fearless leader, Greg, near the top of "Milly."
    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310099_1000.jpg

    About halfway up, looking east, with Brighton Ski Resort down below:New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310100_1000.jpg

    Kevin, topping out on Mt. Millicent:
    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310106_1000.jpg
    Photo-John

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  2. #2
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Wolverine Peak

    Wolverine Peak is between Brighton, Alta and Solitude ski resorts and the view is incredible. However, we got started late so when we reached the peak the sun was already getting low and fog had built up below us. We had to get our gear ready for the descent but the scenery couldn't be ignored and a few "Happy New Year" salutations were exchanged. We had to hurry though, because we didn't want to get caught out in the dark at near-zero (Fahrenheit) temps.

    Rob, a.k.a. zerodog, with the infamous Wolverine Cirque in the background. The steep chutes in that bowl have been featured in many ski and snowboard videos.

    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310125_1000.jpg

    Kevin and Manny on Wolverine Peak:

    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310123_1000.jpg

    Manny, stepping into his skis. The peak in the background is called "The Castle" and Alta is somewhere down under those clouds. There were a bunch of other skiers on the peak. Most of them had hiked from Alta.

    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310126_1000.jpg
    Last edited by Photo-John; 01-02-2013 at 09:22 AM.
    Photo-John

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  3. #3
    Ex-Modster Old Timer's Avatar
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    Re: New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour

    Sounds like a really great adventure for New Years Eve. Nice set of pics from the TG1, that last one in the first set really caught my eye.
    Don't forget about the Gallery. Are your photos there??


    Nikon Samurai #13

    "A photographer is known by what he shows not by what he throws. The best photographers have the biggest trash cans." Quote from Nikon School sometime in the early 1970's.

  4. #4
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Sun Goes Down On 2012

    I didn't take nearly as many photos as I would have liked on this tour. Next year we need to start it earlier and bring lights. Although I was packing the Sony NEX-7 and 18-200 OSS zoom for "serious" photos and action photos, all I used was the Olympus TG1, since it was in a pouch right on the shoulder strap of my pack. So there are now real descent photos and no powder action shots. But believe me, it was glorious. Three days after the last storm and the resorts don't have a speck of powder left but there's still tons for those who have the gear and knowledge to head out into the backcountry.

    This is our leader Greg and Manny, breaking trail for us and trying (unsuccessfully) to keep us off the rocks. The sun was below the west ridges at this point and we were back down below the clouds. At this point we were officially running out of time.

    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310136_1000.jpg

    This is what happens to a beard when the temperature is near zero F. That flat area behind me is Lake Mary - frozen solid.

    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310145_1000.jpg

    Kevin, starting the little climb out of Lake Mary. The sun has officially set on 2012 at this point and we are hurrying to get out as we have a nasty steep chute to negotiate before we're actually finished. We ended up in the chute in the dark and it was pretty scary, although everyone made it down safely.

    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310153_1000.jpg
    Photo-John

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  5. #5
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Safe!

    It was completely dark by the time we got down the steep shute and negotiated our way through the trees back to the empty resort parking lot. It was also super cold (on the drive down I saw -5F on the car thermometer). So instead of driving straight home we went to the local bar, Molly Green's, to get warmed up. This is what zerodog looked like when he came into the bar:

    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310154_1000.jpg

    Here's a photo of those of us who stopped into the bar and a few other friends who were already there after a day of skiing in the resort.

    New Year's Eve Sunset Ski Tour-pc310160_1000.jpg

    Happy New Year! Here's to lots of adventure and new photo opportunities in 2013!
    Photo-John

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  6. #6
    Nikonowhore zerodog's Avatar
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    Re: Safe!

    Fantastic!! Digging what the Olympus captured!

  7. #7
    Senior Member armando_m's Avatar
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    Re: Sun Goes Down On 2012

    What a wonderful adventure !!!
    Still in awe every time you share the wonderful place where you live

    since you go in the back country , is anything in particular that you guys need to do to prevent snow avalanches ? or the 0F is enough assurance that will not happen ?

  8. #8
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Safe!

    Quote Originally Posted by zerodog View Post
    Fantastic!! Digging what the Olympus captured!
    Yeah, the Olympus is pretty damn good. I'm really glad I had it since I didn't want to bother with the Sony under the circumstances. The black-and-white photos were converted because the white balance and highlights were problematic in some photos. That one photo you took of me Greg and Jenni nearing the top of Wolverine was really nice and really shows the difference a bigger sensor and a RAW file can make. I'm hoping that Olympus builds on the success of this camera and makes one that can shoot RAW. I'd love that.

    Add some of your photos to the thread!
    Photo-John

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  9. #9
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    Re: Safe!

    Nice! Looks like a good time for sure. I've been doing more Nordic style tours so far this season as the snowpack is a bit touchy around here still. I may get out a little deeper/higher next weekend near my friend's cabin on an old mining claim.
    Happy New Year!
    Last edited by mattb; 01-02-2013 at 10:14 AM.

  10. #10
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Safe!

    Quote Originally Posted by mattb View Post
    Nice! Looks like a good time for sure. I've been doing more Nordic style tours so far this season as the snowpack is a bit touchy around here still. I may get out a little deeper/higher next weekend near my friend's cabin on an old mining claim.
    The snow has definitely settled down here. The last real dump was overnight last Friday and the backcountry has been pretty thoroughly tested since then. Things are still a little thin in places and I made a fair amount of rock contact but the snow was really nice and deep and I didn't see any avalanche evidence except in the really obvious places. I hope to do this tour a few more times this year and get on it earlier so I can do some serious shooting. There were about four good, steep powder shots that have good photo potential.

    Happy New Year to you too, Matt. Let me know if you get the hankering to come out this way for some winter fun
    Photo-John

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