Weminuche Wilderness and Mount Oso

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Summary:

  • Backcountry camping trip in the Weminuche Wilderness area of the San Juan National Forest.
  • Successful ascent of Mount Oso from the basin between Moon and Rock Lakes.
  • August 22-28, 2014
  • 39.8+ miles
  • 12,100+ feet of elevation gain, 11,200+ feet of elevation loss
  • Cody Addison, Alan Davis, Todd Hahn
  • Start at Pine River Trail Head
  • End at Elk Park, pickup stop for the Durango - Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
  • Google Earth kmz of approximate route, Pine River Trailhead to Lake Creek Trail to Moon Lake to Rock Lake (side trip to Mount Oso) to Hunchback Pass to Kite Lake to Continental Divide to Elk Creek Trail to Elk Park on the Animas River.

Many of these pictures are the result of "merging" three successive photos taken with differing exposures and then applying a technique called "tone-mapping an HDR image". It is often helpful to employ these techniques in order to fully capture the wide range of light levels of mountain scenes and to better represent to the viewer what the hiker has experienced. As well, applications of this method can be used to create images that are more artistic than what accurately describes the experience. My use of this technique spans the range from "realistic expression" to artistic.

For these photos, I used Photomatix Pro 5.0 for HDR and Lightroom 5 for general finishing.


August 22, 2014

We arrived in Durango just before noon. Cody and I flew from Houston, while Alan had been in Colorado for a couple of days already.

Evidence of the Missionary Ridge fire of 2002 on the way to the Pine River Trailhead.

A cloudy start.

The height of the Weminuche Wilderness often causes the passing summer air from the west to rise and cool, causing clouds and precipitation.

At the wilderness boundary a couple miles in.

Photo taken by Cody Addison


August 23, 2014

Morning at the first camp near the intersection of the Pine River Trail and the Lake Creek Trail.

Photo taken by Cody Addison

Photo taken by Cody Addison

Photo taken by Cody Addison

Photo taken by Cody Addison


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