View Full Version : The view of the hike that kicked my ass

Wicked Dark
08-02-2010, 09:06 AM
Our mountains may not be the tallest in the world, but hiking in the White Mountains in NH will make you work for it. Unlike other places like Utah, Arizona and parts of California, Washington and Colorado, hiking in New England is destination hiking. Meaning you will toil long and hard before there is much of a view. Oh sure there are waterfalls and brooks, but views are few and far between. You've got to get above or beyond the treeline for that. Most of the trails are stream beds and rocky in the extreme (they don't call this The Granite State for nothing). In some months it's wet, buggy and cold. Or alternately wet, buggy and miserably humid.

So why do it?

For this.



Mt. Jackson is a little over 4000 feet and steep as hell. There are no flat parts on the trail that last over a minute. It's up and more up. We took the Jackson-Webster loop which meant coming down off this summit for a bit, crossing a ridge and climbing up to another 4000 footer. Kicked. My. Ass.

More to come.

08-02-2010, 09:41 AM
Nice set WD - Nice work on maintaining all that highlight detail in the clouds.

Wicked Dark
08-02-2010, 02:11 PM
Thanks. I'm figuring out the thresholds slowly but surely.

Mad Aussie
08-02-2010, 04:23 PM
I can imagine how majestic those views are after such hard work to get there.

Hope your ass is ok. ;)

08-02-2010, 07:57 PM
well worth the kick in the ass if it yields this result!! :thumbup:

Wicked Dark
08-02-2010, 08:28 PM
thanks guys. I'm so sore today I'm on a diet of ibuprofen and white wine. :angel:

Here's a rare view of a flat spot on the ridge between the two mountains. It took about a minute to get through here and then it was either up or down.


08-02-2010, 09:32 PM
Very nice series!

Mad Aussie
08-03-2010, 04:57 AM
Love that green moss near the planks. Nice shot too.

Wicked Dark
08-03-2010, 07:45 AM
Thanks guys. I'm still sore, but here's a few more -




It wasn't really a photography hike if you know what I mean. Too much difficult ground to cover (7 miles) and I was using poles so the camera stayed in the pack a lot, but I think I got some good shots when it came out. I've got one of the most steep part, but need to process it.

08-03-2010, 09:19 AM
Sounds like a tough one. I like the last one of the little fern especially. :)

Wicked Dark
08-03-2010, 10:05 AM
Yeah, I couldn't resist the little ferns.

Here's the last rock scramble to the top of Mt. Jackson -


08-03-2010, 11:21 AM
Spectacular views and great captures. Good exposures and colours. Nice!

08-03-2010, 11:58 AM
Wow, These photo's are amazing.
I can't get over the amout of detail and color in each of them.
I am struggling with colors so much. They just arn't poping out like these.
Your fisrt two are so clear you really feel you are right there.
I haven't had much luck getting great photo's up on the mountains near my camp. I suspect your lens is prob worth more than my camera though..lol

Wicked Dark
08-03-2010, 02:08 PM
Hey thanks guys. A lot of it is just sheer "seat time" as we used to call it in driving school. It took a bit to get used to digital after 20 years of film, but now I think I've got the hang of it and how to expose to manage the dynamic range. Then it's just a matter of processing the raw file a bit to bring it in line with the picture in my brain.

Funny you should bring up lenses BroMiCs. A lot of people overlook them when they're starting out, but glass is a huge part of a good photo. I kinda sorta splurged on the lens I have, but it's worth it since it hardly ever leaves the camera. Sharp, with very little distortion and accurate color rendition; an all around gem that I suspect I'll use for years. Good lenses are worth every prenny.

Thanks everyone for the kind words. It makes the ass kicking all the more worth it.

08-03-2010, 11:51 PM
to be honest, the views from the top don't do much for me... but i love shooting "microscapes", and i'd come home with a lot more shots from the trail than anything from the top...

Wicked Dark
08-04-2010, 07:49 AM
On any other hike I'd agree with you, but this hike is long and difficult and so wasn't really condusive to both photography and completion. You can check out this Gallery (http://wickeddark.smugmug.com/Nature/A-Walk-in-the-Woods/10857365_XHUnj#757467596_k5Poe)for microscapes galore. : D

08-04-2010, 07:55 AM
I like the last one with the person at the top. really gives a sense of scale to the climb and the steepness. :)

Wicked Dark
08-04-2010, 08:05 AM
hee hee - that's my husband up there. I'm glad the photo works, I really dithered with it.

08-06-2010, 01:02 AM
I thought maybe it was a park ranger waiting to read you the riot act. ;) The photos make me want to hike that trail, even if it does kick my ass. Lovely series.

Wicked Dark
08-06-2010, 07:07 AM
Nope. I've never actually seen a ranger in the WMNF before, but I think they do exist.