To all those who showed up last night for the Open House,
THANK YOU for pitching in and donating to the International Mountain Guides Sherpa Fund.
We raised enough to help 4 families in the town of Phortse repair and rebuild their homes.
If you would still like to support this effort you can send donations to:
International Mountain Guides
Attn: IMG Sherpa Fund
PO BOX 246
Ashford, WA 98304
Make checks payable to IMG and put "Sherpa Fund" on the Memo Line.
Wallace Stegner's "Wilderness Letter" - Prophetic, and after all these years more important than ever.Read Now
The following is the full text of Wallace Stegner's "Wilderness Letter." So many times in my adult life I have revisited this letter, and been in awe of its clarity and depth. Worth an un-hurried and deliberate read!
Los Altos, Calif.
With an opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis from Mount Rainier I headed to one of my favorite locations for a nighttime shoot. I knew that the moon was going to be bright, but hey, you've got to show up, right? We didn't get to see the Aurora, but we did have a splendid evening at one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I bumped into Ben Canales, a photographer and filmmaker who specializes in night photography. Great Evening! Ben's Website is www.TheStarTrail.com. Check it out!
The crowds have diminished in the mountains and now is one of the best times of year to experience the great wilderness that surrounds us. Check out the brand-new experimental collection from the lowland forest on Mount Rainier titled FLOURISH.
For those who don’t collect art, collecting seems very obscure and out of reach. Like my daughter who won’t taste her perfectly prepared summer squash, art collecting is something that you have to try before you realize how much it enriches your life. And it doesn’t stop there. Appreciation evolves and deepens over time. When you take that first taste you begin a life long process that defines your perceptions, opinions, and moods. Sure, a picture can be just furniture for your walls, but you don’t want to sit in an uncomfortable chair, do you?
When someone walks into my house or office, they immediately form a perception of who I am. There is no doubt that I am well traveled, adventurous, interested in broadening my mind, and free. My collection reflects this in a way that only it can. My collection is bigger than me, yet is me. Your collection is bigger than you, and it is an intimate reflection of you and your deep and interesting life. All of our lives are one-of-kind, and worthy of sharing. Are your walls blank?
I want my child to be surrounded by beauty. You are what you eat. I want her to think creatively, hell I want everyone who enters my life to think creatively! Family, community, co-workers, and clients will benefit from experiencing your collection. When they are inspired, society benefits.
So where do you begin? At the beginning of course. Find the first piece that you simply must have and acquire it. Don’t judge yourself for the decision you make or the price you pay (high OR low) as you might surprise yourself. Go with the flow and let it take you. Now you are rolling.
I often say that the ultimate metaphor for life is climbing a mountain. Do I have this completely backwards? Maybe there is no adequate metaphor for life other than itself. If you can push your goals to the limits of your resources and ambition, life's long long lessons will more than adequately prepare you for any challenge you will find on the side of a mountain. Having just finished a project that took 10 hard years to finish, I look at the ongoing projects within which I am still engulfed with no end in sight until surely my hair is gray. Climbs last a few days, a few weeks, even months. How can a mountain possibly be a large enough measuring stick with which to measure the realities of life?
-Authored by the NPS-
The Sunrise area, in the northeast corner of Mount Rainier National Park is now open full time for the 2014 summer season. The Sunrise Day Lodge will begin its summer operation starting tomorrow, June 28. Operated by Rainier Guest Services, the day lodge provides a snack bar and gift shop for visitors. The Sunrise Visitor Center is scheduled to open full time on July 3. Sunrise, at an elevation of 6,400’, is the highest point on Mount Rainier accessible by automobile. Snow does remain on the ground, but has been melting rapidly.
The White River Campground, also in the park’s northeast section, opened today for summer camping. All campsites are filled on a first-come, first-served basis at White River.
Also opening today is the Paradise Valley Road.
Mike leaves for his 16th Denali expedition this Sunday and we are really excited to release another print from the archives.
This image was captured just after summiting for the 8th time. Mike was part of a small, self-sufficient expedition that was 100% successful that year. The weather was beautiful throughout the climb which is rare for this mighty peak. Mt. Foraker looms in the distance above a sea of clouds. The precipitous summit ridge of Denali is the culmination of weeks or difficult climbing in one of the coldest, most brutal environments on Earth. This year Mike is going for his 13th summit!
New for the summer of 2014.
Up until now all framed prints in the gallery have been Artist Proofs. When you made a purchase, your print was then made, matted, and framed for you, taking up to 6 weeks. This will remain the same for our regular Open and Limited Edition Prints. However, beginning today, we will gradually introduce smaller, un-matted and un-framed prints for an attractive price. These smaller ready-to-go prints are made to the same exacting specifications as larger prints and use the same high quality materials.
The first print available is a panoramic image of Mount Rainier's Sunset Amphitheater. The image captures the full moonrise at sunset. The image is approximately 5 x 24 on 10 x 30 Luster Paper and includes an archival thin profile foam core backing.
Sunset Amphitheater, Full Moon Rise at Sunset, enough said....
Steve Caskey will share an evening of images and stories from his three-week journey through the Dolpo region of Nepal. His trek took him close to the Tibetan border, across the Himalayan crest to the Tibetan plateau. The trek involved the physical and mental challenges associated with hiking across nine passes over 15,000 feet elevation and two over 18,000 feet. In addition to the breathtaking scenery, Steve will share his insights into the Tibetan culture through the people he encountered. Caskey’s talk, “Trekking with the Snow Leopard”, speaks of his initial interest in this journey which was sparked by reading The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen. The book describes an unforgettable spiritual journey through the Himalayas. Now 21 years after reading the book, Caskey shares his own journey. Donations will be accepted for the CCEast Scholarship Awards and Fire Mountain Arts Council.
On Saturday, June 21, Eric Taylor will perform at our sister creative venue, the "Mineral School." Eric performed at our studio opening a decade ago and performed last year at the gallery's grand opening. We are glad to see him back in the area! You can find more information about tickets, free camping, and other good stuff by clicking here.
The Mineral School is transforming a beautiful 1947 elementary school in a small town near Mt. Rainier into a multi-disciplinary artists residency and event space. Mineral, Washington, is a bucolic lake town known for trout fishing and a rich history of logging and mining, yet less than two hours from Seattle and Portland and just a few minutes from Mt. Rainier National Park.
-Authored by the NPS-
Visitors to Mount Rainier National Park are advised that effective Thursday, April 10, the gate between Longmire and Paradise will remain open 24 hours. Some overnight closures may still occur during inclement weather periods. All vehicles entering the park are required to carry tire chains in their vehicle through May 1. Road and weather conditions can deteriorate quickly during Spring storms and traction tires may be advised or chains may be required at any time. Please obey the posted traction requirements to avoid accidents.
The Paradise snow play area and guided snow shoe walks have ended for the season.
Road rehabilitation work is currently underway between the Nisqually Entrance and Longmire. Visitors can expect to encounter large equipment, truck hauling and rough road conditions, with delays up to 30 minutes. Drive with caution.
The Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center is open weekends only, 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Paradise Camp Deli, located within the visitor center, is open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
The historic Paradise Inn is scheduled to open for the 2014 season on Wednesday, May 21. Reservations for Paradise Inn and the National Park Inn at Longmire can be made by phone – 360-569-2275, or online at www.mtrainierguestservices.com. The National Park Inn at Longmire is open daily and Spring is a great time to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the mountain during an overnight stay. The National Park Inn will be offering an Easter Brunch to the public on Sunday, April 20. For reservations, call 360-569-2411.
-Authored by the NPS-
-Authored by the NPS-
Park Superintendent Randy King advises that the park will be extending the evening weekend hours on the Longmire to Paradise road beginning Saturday, March 8. Those hours will be:
6:00 p.m. Uphill gate closes
7:00 p.m. Downhill gate closes, road closed
Weekdays, Monday-Friday hours will remain the same as present through March:
4:00 p.m. Uphill gate closes
5:00 p.m. Downhill gate closes, road closed
Opening of the gate at Longmire in the morning will remain at 9:00 a.m. Actual open and close times will be dependent on current conditions (weather, avalanche conditions, safety factors, staffing).
Visitors are reminded that the road between the Nisqually Entrance and Longmire is open year round, unless closed by extreme conditions.
All vehicles are required to carry tire chains when driving in the park from November 1 through May 1. Traction tires or chains may be required on any type of vehicle, at any time.
-Authored by the NPS, Ashford, WA-
Rehabilitation of 17.6 miles of road between the Nisqually Entrance and the developed area at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 3, 2014. Visitors traveling to the park via SR706 and the Nisqually Entrance, Monday-Friday, should allow an extra hour round-trip, due to construction delays into early fall. Please drive cautiously in the construction corridor.
The weather window for working on park roads is very narrow, limiting work to the milder weather months to avoid extreme weather conditions, such as excessive snow and freezing temperatures. While the construction and associated traffic delays present an inconvenience, the rehabilitation work will ensure the longevity of the only road accessing Paradise year-round.
The Nisqually to Paradise Road Rehabilitation Project will be completed in two phases, each taking up to two years. Phase 1 includes the installation of in-road buried conduits and junction vaults, as well as improvements to the road's substructure and drainage between the Nisqually Entrance and Longmire. This year's work will also include paving and substructure work on Ricksecker Point Loop Road and Paradise Valley Road. Phase 2 should begin in 2016 at Longmire and end at Paradise in 2017.
The project is needed to address deteriorating road conditions that are due to many factors including abundant precipitation, structural and design deficiencies, large traffic volumes, and normal wear. The road work is designed to protect adjacent natural and cultural resources, will replace culverts to improve aquatic conditions and will preserve the character of the National Historic Landmark District.
Information on this project, as well as general park information, will be available on Mount Rainier National Park’s website: http://www.nps.gov/mora/index.htm
Another photo for the 2013 Dolpo Trip Report. During the evening kora around one of the largest ancient stupas in the world (Boudhanath in Kathmandu), monks, nuns, pilgrims, Tibetan refugees, locals, and visitors circumambulate this ancient spiritual and cultural anchor in a timeless act of conciousness.
Check back periodically to see what's new!
Last fall I had the privilege of scoping out a new area in Nepal for IMG. We had a small well selected group, and an ambitious plan. Dolpo is a PHENOMENAL place to take pictures, and a true journey. IMG has announced another Dolpo Trek for 2014. You can check out my 2013 trip report here at Kalakora.com, and sign up at MountainGuides.com. Make this the year!
"You won't see the highest peaks in the world, or dangle from your fingertips, but you will have one of the most genuine experiences I can imagine. Lush valleys and wild rivers mark the first part of our journey and are culturally Nepalese. When we cross our first of nine passes, we enter another region altogether, geographically, geologically, and culturally Tibetan. Over the course of the trip we will bob back and forth between these two worlds, meeting new people, taking in some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever lay eyes on, and settling into a new reality for 25 days."
November 14th. 6 PM
An evening discussion about collecting photography. We'll discuss how the images in the gallery are made, printed, displayed, archived, and all the things to look for when collecting photography. It is very informative, and yes, there will be wine...
- Authored by the NPS-
With snow beginning to accumulate and winter recreation demand starting to increase, Mount Rainier National Park staff are preparing for winter operations and visitors. Superintendent Randy King notes that “Mount Rainier provides outstanding winter recreation opportunities and has been doing so for over 100 years. It’s a wonderful time to visit the park and area, provided visitors come well-prepared for the snow and road conditions. Safe backcountry travel in winter requires an especially high level of preparation, caution, and knowledge.”
The park will transition to winter hours of operation and service on Tuesday, November 12. As in past years, the road gate immediately above Longmire is closed nightly to ensure visitor safety and the safety of park staff, including rangers and the road crew. Rangers and snow plow operators evaluate road, weather, avalanche and staffing conditions every morning in making a decision on whether it is safe to open the Paradise road above Longmire. All times stated in this release are subject to change based on weather and road conditions. Visitors planning a trip to Paradise should check for current road status and weather on the park’s website or Twitter feed.
“Due to the reduced and uncertain budget picture, we are strategically deploying available park staff and resources to provide as much access as possible”, said King. Between November 12 and December 21, the gate at Longmire will open Thursdays through Mondays, at 9:00 a.m. The road will close nightly at 5:00 p.m., with the uphill gate closing at 4:00 p.m. to allow time for visitors and staff to exit safely. The gate will not open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during this period.
Between December 21 and the end of March, the goal will be to provide seven day a week access to Paradise. The target open hours for the road above Longmire during this period will continue as 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., with the uphill gate closing at 4:00 p.m. Maintaining fixed hours through the winter use season is intended to maximize public access to Paradise, while managing costs for snow plows and ranger staffs. To sustain seven day a week access to Paradise it will be important for visitors to heed gate closure times. Each instance of overtime required for handling after-closure issues will impact services available in summer. If set daily hours prove ineffective, or the park’s budget and staffing picture is worse than anticipated, mid-week closures or other management actions may be necessary at Paradise.
The entire park is open for visitor use throughout the winter season, including overnight winter camping with a valid permit seven days a week. Overnight campers should plan their travels with an understanding of nightly or scheduled gate closures. Visitors camping at Paradise between now and December 21 should not plan on driving out on Tuesday and Wednesday when the road is closed.
The Longmire area will remain open seven days a week, barring major storm events. This includes the historic National Park Inn (where lodging, food, gifts, snowshoes and skis rentals are available). For reservations at the National Park Inn, call 360-569-2275 or visit www.mtrainierguestservices.com. With the exception of the Thanksgiving and December holiday periods noted below, General park information, including winter activity guidance, backcountry permits, and sales of park books and maps from Discover Your Northwest will be available.
The Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise is open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The visitor center will also be open on Thanksgiving and the Friday that follows, as well as December 21 – January 1. During weekdays, Park Rangers will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Longmire Visitor Information Center (historic Longmire Administration Building).
“Conservative management decisions are required in the current funding environment,” King said. “This year’s winter operation – with fixed hours of access to Paradise - is an experiment. It seeks to balance winter services against summer needs when most people visit the park. It will require cooperation from the public to work, particularly as the days get longer. If it doesn’t work, we’ll make adjustments as needed.”
Visitors are reminded that all vehicles are required to carry tire chains when traveling in the park, including 4WD. Tire chains are available at the Summit House in Ashford. Road conditions can deteriorate quickly at any time and mandatory chain use may be required even for 4WD vehicles.
At this time, State Routes 123 and 410 remain open, but dependent on changing weather conditions. The Stevens Canyon Road east of Paradise, the White River, Sunrise and Mowich Lake Roads are now closed to vehicle access for the winter, but remain open to winter recreation.
There’s always plenty to do in and around Mount Rainier, any day of the week! Visitors are encouraged to obtain up-to-the-minute updates on road conditions and restrictions by calling the park at 360-569-2211 for recorded information.
Backcountry travelers are advised to get updates on current and projected snow, avalanche and weather conditions before coming to the park, and come prepared to survive winter conditions.
- NPS -
River Crossing on the Dolpo Trek. Photo by Lobsang Sherpa.
We'll be heading to the Dolpo Region in Nepal soon, and want to let you know how to follow our progress. There is far less connectivity on this trip than usual. Updates will be given via satellite phone to International Mountain Guides HQ, which will post updates on their blog. The IMG blog is linked to their Facebook page, so if you follow them you will see links to the blog. The Facebook page for the Kalākora Gallery will also link to their posts from time to time.
During many trips to Nepal and Tibet, I've ardently kept my eyes and ears open for new regions to explore and photograph. For me the cultural and aesthetic experience of travel is equally important to the cleansing experience of an ambitious journey, and Dolpo fits the bill perfectly. Our good friend Lobsang Sherpa who was the sirdar for Dr. Rodney Jackson's Snow Leopard collaring project during 1981-85 (See National Geographic June 1986) is trekking in ahead of us to get things ready for the group. I am especially enthusiastic about the opportunity to create images for the Kalakora Gallery in such an extraordinary area. This trek is as much a cultural journey as it is an adventure.
The Kalākora Gallery is very happy to be part of the White Pass Scenic Byway. If you haven't had a chance to visit the exhibition space, check out this video. See you soon!
-Authored by the NPS-
Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Randy King advises that in honor of the 97th birthday of the National Park Service on August 25, all entrance fees to Mount Rainier National Park will be waived for that day. Entrance fees will also be waived at National Park Service areas throughout the country.
Park visitors are invited to celebrate the beauty of the park on this fee-free day by enjoying a nature walk, naturalist programs, or earn a Junior Ranger badge while visiting the park.
Wildflowers are still in bloom throughout the park, so visitors should bring their cameras to capture the beauty. Please be sure to stay on the identified trails to avoid damaging the wildflower meadows.
With Labor Day approaching park visitation numbers begin to decrease as families end their vacations and children return to school. Some park areas will begin scaling back their seasonal operations after the Labor Day holiday on September 2. This is still a great time to plan a park visit, when crowds are smaller and fall colors begin their show.
-Authored by the NPS-
Families and individuals of all ages are invited to the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park for a special program on Saturday August 10. The event coincides with the Perseid meteor shower which will peak during the second week of August. The program starts at 8:00 PM in the lobby of the Paradise Inn with a short presentation about the National Park Service “Natural Lightscapes” program. The National Park Service has come to embrace night skies as one of the many scenic vistas the agency is a steward of. It is essential to keeping a park whole and touches on almost every aspect that is important to us - from sustainability to stargazers, and animals to ancient ruins. At 8:45 PM there will be outdoor star and meteor gazing next to the Paradise Visitor Center with Tacoma Astronomical Society (TAS) volunteers and their telescopes. Volunteers will also assist visitors to make astronomy devices called star finders.
If weather makes star gazing difficult, the party will move inside the Paradise Inn lobby for star finder making and a question and answer session with the astronomers.
Entry to the park is $15 per private vehicle. There is no fee for the Star Party and Natural Lightscapes program.
If you have questions please contact Park Ranger Curt Jacquot at (360) 569-6577.
Information about the Tacoma Astronomy Society is found online at: http://www.tas-online.org/
General park information is available at www.nps.gov/mora or by calling 360-569-2211.
I'm a bit of a lighting fanatic, and use Solux Bulbs at the gallery and at home to light artwork. Solux provides an unparalleled replication of natural daylight and is used in many of the world's top museums including the Musee d'Orsay, Van Gogh, and Guggenheim Museum. Solux also has eight times the life and twice the efficiency of standard incandescent sources and does not contain the mercury found in fluorescent lights sources.
SoLux bulbs are available in following color temperatures – 3500K, 4100K, 4700K in both 35 and 50 watt bulbs. All of those color temperatures and wattages are offered in four different beam spreads (narrow spot, spot, narrow flood and flood).
The 3500K SoLux is primarily a light for color, art, homes and stores when you want to improve their presentation. The 4100K is popular with diamond stores and is just a tiny bit better than the 3500K SoLux for illuminating black and white photos as it increases contrast. The 4700K is used by those that want a very accurate simulation of D50 for doing color matching. Many photographers use the 4700K for color proofing/color management although some use the 3500K SoLux for that since that is the light source they will use for displaying the (color) photo on the wall.
The SPD of all SoLux bulbs is smooth and has no spikes or large gaps. The 3500K and 4100K SoLux bulbs have ultra-low UV and greatly reduced IR output and are therefore very art-friendly.
SoLux is also available in line voltage PAR format. You can find those bulbs here: www.solux.net
You've taken the time to select and present your collection, make sure to finish the process in the best possible light. Once you do this for one piece in your collection and see the results, you will do it for all.