Shooting digital in one of the most stunning places in Oregon

I get very excited every time I come back from a hike to a breathtaking place. And there are plenty in Oregon! But this one… I don’t think I’m overreacting, or am I?

I am yet to set foot in the Wallowas, but I believe I’ve seen a lot of the rest of Oregon. My favorites are the whole SE (Alvord Desert, Steens Mountain and the Owyhees), the Central Cascades, the John Day area and of course Mt Hood and the Columbia River Gorge, without forgetting the Southern Coast. Of all these places, the hike I did last weekend tops all of them but Broken Top (the photo on the main page was taking from there), which remains at the top but now sharing the crown.

This hike starts at the Cloud Cap Trailhead, about 2 hours away from Portland. We left the city around 5:30am and got there just before 8am. Just one mile in you’ll run into the Cooper Spur shelter, offering the first glimpse of what’s to come from there. Not only the view, but also the effort it will take to get to the top.

Granted, I’m not in the best shape but this is not an easy hike by any means. Doesn’t help that starts at 6,000 feet (1,828 meters) and climbs all the way to fall just shy of 9,000 feet (2,743 meters), for a total elevation gain of 2,750 feet (according to my phone). I did feel the altitude and thought for a second I had to turn around when we were just a quarter of a mile from the top. Nothing a little break (applying snow to cool off included) can’t fix though.

We made it to “Tie in Rock” around 11am, counting the multiple breaks where I flew the drone (video of the hike including this footage coming soon!). There was only one other group at that time, so we got to enjoy the place and the extreme silence you can only get at places like this. We were interrupted every once in a while by a cracking noise coming from the Elliot Glacier though. A really creepy but fascinating sound!

The way down was much faster, this time we ran into a big crowd making their way up. I’d say come early if you want to do this hike.

I’m planning on going back there pretty soon, first with my film camera to shoot the shelter properly. But also to the top, hopefully finding more clouds than this time.

As the title suggests, I shot all these photos with my digital camera, an a7II using the kit lens, 28–70.


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