"Winter's Warmth" Snow, ice and golden light deep in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon, February 2014. Please enjoy and share!
In early February, the Pacific Northwest received the most significant low level snow since 2008. Luckily I-84, which provides access to the Oregon side of the gorge, remained open throughout the storm. After reviewing the snow forecast and road conditions with my friend Jordan Ek, we decided to head out to the gorge to see if we could make it all the way up to this location.
When we arrived at the trailhead and stepped out of the truck into 10 inches of fresh powder, we knew it was going to be a fun hike. We had no idea if it would be possible to reach this location with all of the snow, ice and high water, but we decided to give it a try. It was definitely a challenging hike, but when we finally made it to this part of the canyon, we were amazed by all of the beautiful ice.
We had a blast shooting this location, but it was damn cold! The air temperature that morning was about 20 degrees and I'm guessing the water in the creek was just a hair over 32 degrees. The water in the creek was so cold that it was actually freezing on the top and frazil ice was collecting on the bottom of the creek! Our tripods did not fare well in the cold water, since the ice completely locked them up after about 20 minutes of shooting. Mine got stuck at about 3 feet off the ground and Jordan's was stuck about 4.5 feet. After standing in the water (with waders on) for about 2 hours we could hardly feel our feet. Once the feet went numb, we decided it would be best to start heading back to the truck, since toes are probably worth more than images! This was definitely one of my most memorable trips to the gorge!
Nikon D800, Nikkor 16-35, polarizer.
3 image blend for DOF, 1.6 sec at f/16, ISO 100 x3