“Vail Kaleidoscope” – Lifestyles and Scenery in and around America’s Premier Mountain Resort

 

All photos and artwork included in this Web site are copyright-protected and the exclusive property of Eric Schickler Adventure Photographer. No downloading, use, reproduction, manipulation, sale and/or distribution permitted without express written consent.

© Eric Schickler Adventure Photographer

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IMG_4579 - Version 3 2008-10-04

Avon-Game Creek Bowl- Vail- HI-RES 2009-05-03 2014-05-12 Balloon-Hot Air-Steamboat-Wild West-HI-RES 12009-07-06 332014-05-12 Balloons on Nottingham Lake- Avon- HI-RES-CHOICE SHOT 22009-07-18 342014-05-12 Colorado River Train & Canoe on Shore-HI-RES - Version 2 2009-05-23 292014-05-12 Fireworks-Vail-HI-RES-Choice Shot 2009-04-23 172014-05-12 Gore Creek-near The Hamlet-Winter 2009-05-04 282014-05-12 Hanging Lake Waterfalls-PRIMO SHOT-HI-RES 2009-07-29 312014-05-12 IMG_0143 2010-12-25 82014-05-09 IMG_0585 - Version 4 2011-01-08 92014-05-09 IMG_0586 - Version 3 2011-01-08 102014-05-09 IMG_0992 2011-04-25 202014-05-12 IMG_0995 2011-04-25 212014-05-12 IMG_1015-edited 2011-04-25 482014-05-12 IMG_1023 - Version 2 2011-04-25 472014-05-12 IMG_1102 32004-09-18 352014-05-12 IMG_2263 - Version 2 2007-07-25 222014-05-12 IMG_2281 2007-07-25 202014-05-12 IMG_2303 - Version 2 2014-03-02 462014-05-12 IMG_2318 - Version 2 2014-03-02 92014-05-12 IMG_2776 2014-04-03 (1) 452014-05-12 IMG_2869 2014-04-14 442014-05-12 IMG_3874 - Version 3 2012-08-19 542014-05-13 IMG_3908 2012-08-20 552014-05-13 IMG_3924 2012-08-20 562014-05-13 IMG_3936 - Version 2 2008-07-13 112014-05-09 IMG_3965 2012-08-21 572014-05-13 IMG_4006 2012-08-23 122014-05-12 IMG_4012 2012-08-23 132014-05-12 IMG_4031 - Davos Trail - West Vail - Mount of the Holy Cross & Notch Mtn. - Choice Pick* 2008-09-26 12014-05-12 IMG_4043 - Version 3 2008-09-26 22014-05-12 IMG_4160 2008-10-03 612014-05-13 IMG_4167 2008-10-03 602014-05-13 IMG_4203 2008-10-03 592014-05-13 IMG_4206 2008-10-03 582014-05-13 IMG_4223 - Version 2 2008-10-03 182014-05-09 IMG_4259 2008-10-03 172014-05-09 IMG_4267 2008-10-03 162014-05-09 IMG_4494 - Version 3 2012-09-16 422014-05-12 IMG_4514 2012-09-16 392014-05-12 IMG_4522 2012-09-16 382014-05-12 IMG_4534 2012-09-16 (1) 402014-05-12 IMG_4537 - Version 2 2012-09-16 142014-05-09 IMG_4542 - Version 2 2012-09-16 412014-05-12 IMG_4543 - Version 5 2012-09-16 432014-05-12 IMG_4546 2012-09-16 152014-05-09 IMG_4650 2008-10-05 192014-05-09 IMG_5438 2009-06-20 142014-05-12 IMG_5863 2009-10-05 322014-05-12 IMG_6588 - Version 2 2013-02-17 162014-05-12 IMG_6595 - Version 3 2013-02-17 182014-05-12 IMG_6630 2013-02-22 252014-05-12 IMG_6641 2013-03-25 242014-05-12 IMG_6764 2013-04-13 62014-05-09 IMG_6778 2005-09-30 302014-05-12 IMG_6790 - Version 2 2013-04-14 492014-05-12 IMG_6814 - Version 3 2013-04-14 52014-05-09 IMG_6881 2010-02-26 (1) 262014-05-12 IMG_6984 2013-04-14 72014-05-09 IMG_6988 (1) copy 32013-12-09 IMG_6989 2005-10-01 232014-05-12 IMG_6994 2013-04-14 (1) 502014-05-12 IMG_7022 2005-10-11 262014-05-12 IMG_7846-edt (1) copy 2013-10-13 IMG_8433 - Version 2 2010-09-11 152014-05-12 IMG_8545 - Version 2 2013-12-30 532014-05-12 IMG_8546 2013-12-30 522014-05-12 IMG_8547 2013-12-30 512014-05-12 IMG_8549-edt-med. size 2013-12-30 12014-05-09 IMG_8552 - Version 2 2013-12-30 42014-05-09 IMG_8582 2013-12-30 242014-05-12 IMG_8593 2013-12-30 642014-05-13 IMG_8595 - Version 2 2013-12-30 662014-05-13 IMG_8600 - Version 4 2013-12-30 652014-05-13 IMG_8679 - Version 2 2013-12-30 32014-05-12 IMG_8682 2013-12-30 42014-05-12 IMG_8770 2014-01-01 52014-05-12 IMG_8834 2014-01-03 632014-05-13 IMG_8840 2014-01-03 622014-05-13 IMG_8844 2014-01-03 102014-05-12 IMG_8846 2014-01-03 112014-05-12 IMG_8886-edtd 2014-01-03 62014-05-12 IMG_9036 - Version 2 2014-02-21 222014-05-12 IMG_9053 2014-02-21 72014-05-12 IMG_9061 2014-02-22 82014-05-12 IMG_9065 - Version 2 2014-02-22 232014-05-12 IMG_9696 2006-09-30 252014-05-12 Kayaker-S.Platte River - wide-HI-RES - Version 2 2009-07-08 122014-05-09 Piney River Scenic-HI-RES 2009-08-11 272014-05-12 Train along Colorado River-fall colors-HI-RES 42009-05-23 362014-05-12 Wildflowers -Lupines-Purple-Vail Mtn.-HI-RES 2009-04-18 212014-05-12

Vail’s Closing Day 2014 Mountaintop Celebration

These great people sure know how to party. And when the sun and warmth shows up, they bring out their best.

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All photos and artwork included in this Web site are copyright-protected and the exclusive property of Eric Schickler Photography. No downloading, use, reproduction, manipulation, sale and/or distribution permitted without express written consent.

© Eric Schickler Photography

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Winter Fun and Nature’s Beauty in the Central Colorado Rockies

It has been a busy winter so far for the ol’ Canon camera. The incomparable Colorado landscape, plentiful snow and animated clients and visitors provided wonderful visual imagery. I lost a few pounds and almost a few fingers (to frostbite) capturing these photos. But I hope you’ll agree it was worth the effort. Enjoy these selected snapshots of winter fun in the Colorado high country.

Most are from Vail Mountain and Summit County locations during Dec., Jan. & Feb.

As always, most of these images are available as high-resolution fine-art prints, or as electronic stock images for consumer and business publications or web site/Internet uses.
If you are Colorado local, I am also available for private photo shoots of any type.
Contact me for image prices, shoot fees, and terms of use.

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All photos and artwork included in this Web site are copyright-protected and the exclusive property of Eric Schickler Photography. No downloading, use, reproduction, manipulation, sale and/or distribution permitted without express written consent.

© Eric Schickler Photography

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A White-Knuckled Visit to a Snowy Ditch

I had a near nightmare on the road in December 2012, driving down an icy and snow-packed road in the mountain valley of Lake Creek, Colorado.

I was late for work, and definitely moving too fast in my Toyota Camry sedan, which has no four-wheel drive, and had some nicely-worn tires at the time. I was cruising down a slight hill and entered a gradual, deceptive curve.

Camry on Snowy Driveway

My Camry awaits me in the driveway, destined for its ill-fated trip down the mountain.

 

I suddenly realized I was in peril as I finished the curve. My speed and the forces of physics had done me in. There was no way to reverse this reality. An object that is in motion tends to stay in motion, especially when friction is nowhere to be found. The rear of the car started wavering — a bit left, then a bit right. I peered ahead to survey my prospects for recovery and survival, or a dastardly doom. Gasp! Oh no. Here come two cars toward me on the narrow, winding road.

I do all I can to use my Upstate NY driving skills to control the horizontal skidding motions, and somehow hold the car onto the road, just getting past the two oncoming cars without slamming head-on into either one of them.

But the evasive maneuvers only fueled the wavering, and on the fourth swivel, around she went–into a full spin. “Holy Moley, this is not good. It’s been a very long time since my last auto accident, but I remember this feeling.”

Resigned to feeling the worst on impact, I checked to make sure I had put on my seat belt (Yes!), braced for landing, and realized I was heading backwards into a slight ditch. Pow! Kerphlumph. Then quiet.

“Am I alive, Mildred? Am I? Yes…. I can feel my fingers. That’s a good sign, despite the very white knuckles.”

Luckily, there was enough snow and the ditch was shallow where I happened to land. I was very lucky. There were several obstacles along the ditch:  a tree, a few large rocks, an electrical utility box, and deeper ditch drops, before and after where I landed. Had I gone off the road earlier or later, I could have hit one of them, then flipped the vehicle. But even worse, while still on the road, I could have spun broad-side or head-on into one of those other vehicles, hurt someone and/or myself, and/or significantly dented my wallet.

I said a few prayers of thanks to my maker and protector. I had dodged a big bullet, and I knew it. As a friend told me later: “You’ll never do THAT again, will you?” Nope. At least not on that road.

I was able to laugh at the silliness of my actions, and at how I felt like a teenager in his first winter of driving. My ski school supervisor laughed even harder when I told him why I was late for work. In addition, I often imagined the snarky, wise-ass comments other passers-by might have made upon seeing the accident scene.

Looking on the bright side, I did for a brief moment reflect on my skilled evasive driving maneuvers when disaster and possible injury to myself and another was imminent. All those winters in Upstate N.Y. did teach me a few things. Then I got humble again really fast.

I learned a stark lesson, and have given much more respect to this road ever since. My lesson was driven home daily, for three weeks after my mishap, every time I passed by the indentations in the snow in that ditch. It never snowed enough during all that time to cover up the evidence of my embarrassing blunder. I think that happened by design.

After the continued embarrassment, I started praying for snow to erase the “scene of the crime” from everyone’s view, especially mine. I had learned my lesson.

Here’s the Camry imprint in the ditch, after a very nice neighbor pulled me out on that cold, slippery December morning in Colorado.

Off-Road Ditch Landing-Lake Creek Rd.

The location of impact.

Snow

All photos and artwork included in this Web site are copyright-protected and the exclusive property of Eric Schickler Photography. No downloading, use, reproduction, manipulation, sale and/or distribution permitted without express written consent.

© Eric Schickler Photography

Let it snow even more.

Related Posts:

http://ericschickler.com/category/mountains-in-winter/

http://ericschickler.com/2013/04/24/mountains-in-winter-part-ii/

http://ericschickler.com/2012/01/11/snowy-scenics-evergreen-colorado/

http://ericschickler.com/2010/04/27/sugar-coated-late-april-morning-in-evergreen-colorado/

http://ericschickler.com/2011/05/01/winter-scenic-photos-colorados-loveland-pass-arapahoe-basin-ski-resort-april-28-2011/

 

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Colorado Mountains *

People don’t move mountains.  Mountains are considered to be static, motionless, rock-solid, constant.  But they do change. Sometimes they rise in elevation.  They also crumble under the forces of nature, be it weather, erosion or earthquakes.

People don’t move mountains.  But mountains move people.

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Every mountain has multiple personalities brought to life by a viewer’s angle, perspective and elevation.  The mountain changes with the time of day, the type of light, the season, the location relative to other geographical features, the direction it faces, the altitude, the geography, the weather.

Mountains don’t just sit there. They are dynamic, slow as it may seem.
Mountains don’t just sit there. They scream!
They create weather, they shed their skin, they harbor wildlife.
They lure the curious, the admirers, the unwary.
They create addictions —  some beneficial, others risky.

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THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS:  “Backbone of the North American Continent”

What treasures do Colorado’s mountains and forests harbor?

Wind-driven snow and ice crystal patterns on a west-facing rock face.

Morning sun reflecting on a thin layer of overnight ice on the creek.

Afternoon light accentuating the colors of rainbow trout shifting direction one foot below the creek’s surface.

Erie, distant echoes of howling coyotes.

Nights marked by such complete stillness and silence that you feel guilty for breathing.

Stars so plentiful and bright that your body surges with intergalactic intrigue.

Cool nights that send bugs and mosquitoes packing for Arkansas.

Halfmoon Lake - Challeneger Peak Area

In the mountain valleys, creeks surge with ferocity in the afternoon and evening, then retreat after midnight as the cooling temperatures slow the melting process.
Then they surge again as the process begins again the next day.

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Wildflowers of so many varieties that they turn mountainsides, meadows and creek banks into masterpiece theaters.

Flowers-Yellow Mule's Ears -Jackson County Meadow-horiz. - HI-RES - Version 2

Cool, damp moss draping creek banks.

Old-growth forests that create cool, cavernous hollows.

Rock formations that turn imaginative glances into surrealistic movie scenes.

Hanging Lake Waterfalls-PRIMO SHOT-HI-RES

Winds you can see with your ears as they trace a path across a valley and dance through the lodgepole pines and aspen groves.

Mountain climbs that offer greater dividends as you increase in elevation.

Creeks and rivers reborn or reactivated with spring’s cascading snowmelt create a thundering, never-ending roar.

Rainbow over South Park Meadow of Blue Iris-HI-RES - Version 3

Afternoon thunderstorms that temper and refresh the heated day, abating the dust and triggering the landscape’s fragrances.

Rainbows dazzle the eyes as a passing storm moves east and the sun re-emerges in the west.

Mountains in Winter 1

All photos and artwork included in this Web site are copyright-protected and the exclusive property of Eric Schickler Photography. No downloading, use, reproduction, manipulation, sale and/or distribution permitted without express written consent.
© Eric Schickler Photography

RMNP- Hallet Peak area -Snowy Clouds

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RMNP-Hallett Peak from YMCA Camp-horiz-HI-RES

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Vail Mountain – Closing Day Celebration – April 14, 2013. The Ceremonial End to Vail’s 50th Season. *

* Two days later, the season was extended for the three-day weekend of April 19-21 due to abundant amounts of new snow.

Not sure what kind of party will happen on Sunday 21st, but this would be hard to re-create. There is nothing like Closing Day at Vail:  colorful, noisy, wild and unpredictable. Full of customs, costumes, vittles and bevvies, and plenty of tradition. Sweet and bitter, happy and sad. But always memorable.

__________________________________________

All photos and artwork included in this Web site are copyright-protected and the exclusive property of Eric Schickler Photography. No downloading, use, reproduction, manipulation, sale and/or distribution permitted without express written consent.

© Eric Schickler Photography

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Snow & Ice – Evergreen & Kittredge, Colorado

Feb. 2-5, 2012 – This early February snowstorm dropped nearly 30 inches in and around Evergreen. Look at the delights it left on our foothills countryside.

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© Eric Schickler Photography, Communication & Design

All photography, text and artwork seen here (unless otherwise noted) is copyright-protected and the exclusive property of Eric Schickler Photography, Communication & Design. No downloading, use, reproduction, manipulation, sale and/or distribution permitted without express written consent.

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Snowy Scenics – Evergreen, Colorado

Winter in Evergreen is remarkable, and scenic beyond belief. Within one mile of my home are the most scenic spots, that take on a magic quality when the blankets of white fall from the sky. I find subject matter that is simple, grand, intriguing, soothing, peaceful, invigorating, quaint, inspiring and fascinating.

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These images were taken in, around and near Alderfer/Three Sisters Park, and along Bear Creek, just east of Evergreen.

The park has 770 acres of ponderosa pines, silver-plume quartz outcrops and scenic open meadows, accessed by 10 miles of gentle trails. The primary early landowners, the Alderfer family, named the landmark rock outcrops after their children: the “Three Sisters and the “Brother.” The park has become very popular with mountain bikers and hikers, many of whom drive up from the Denver metro area on weekends.

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I find endless moments of adventure, exercise and solitude in the park during the week, when you can often explore for hours without seeing a solitary person. Animals represent a higher percentage of the population at these times. I’ve seen coyotes, deer, elk, fox, bear, marmots, and plenty of hawks and eagles.

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One of my favorite little critters is the Abert’s squirrel, distinguished by its black coat and fuzzy upright ears. It is named after Colonel John James Abert, an American naturalist and military officer who led the Corps of Topographical Engineers, which mapped the western U.S. in the 1800s. The squirrels are found primarily in ponderosa pines forests, which they use for food, protection and nesting.

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One inhabitant I’m happy to have never met on the trail is the mountain lion. They are known to inhabit the park, and I have heard a few growling off in the distance. I learned early on that it’s not a great idea to run the wooded trails at dusk or dawn.

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The elk population in and around Evergreen has grown significantly over the past several decades due to their protected status and the small remaining number of mountain lions, their primary predator.

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Human-elk interactions are a daily occurrence in Evergreen, where the concept of “Rush Hour Traffic” is very different from that found in the city. Rush hour in this community often refers to a herd of elk in the middle of the road, on your driveway, sidewalk or in your backyard. Automobile traffic is stopped by both traffic lights and elk herd crossings.

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The funniest Evergreen “rush hour” moment for me was watching five elk parading aimlessly around a traffic circle in the center of town at 5 p.m., paying no heed to the well known rule that vehicles already in the traffic circle have the right of way! Fortunately most resident drivers are very alert to sudden elk appearances, and show great patience in allowing them their migratory freedoms in and around town. Letting them ravage one’s deciduous trees and gardens is another matter altogether.

When snow covers the park, hikers strap on snowshoes, skis and ice & snow crampons to tackle the trails. Some hardy mountain bikers continue to ride the trails when the snow is hard-packed.

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Winter is such a highly rewarding time for photography. That’s when I experience and document unique contrasts, the mix of cool and warm light, soft gradients, the visual delights of falling snowflakes, the juxtaposition of stark blue skies and sheets of white, and the dance of snow clouds as they rake the mountaintops.

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Then my lens moves to the fascinating formations of snow on the sturdy ponderosa pines and aspens, the gentle lines and reflections along the waters of Bear Creek, the sparkle of Colorado’s dry champagne powder, and the soft draping of powder on exposed rock outcrops.

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My most successful winter images are those that actually capture and convey the hush that exists when a deep blanket of snow covers the landscape. That peace and serenity is also why I so enjoy braving the elements to bring you these images. Which brings me back to the primary reason I am a nature photographer. It keeps me outside and away from the computer!

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As I get older and find myself staring down yet another winter, my mind drifts to thoughts of a warm tropical beach and all the comforts that come with it. But then I look out my door and find scenes like these in the Colorado foothills. I could never move to a one-season location. Look what I would miss!

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