After 10 years, I was on top of Static Peak again! At least this time it was not snowing and
storming. Though, the morning looked really glum, as there was thunder, lighting and rain all around the valley. The rain did little to help the fires threatening the town of Jackson but it did give us pause for thought when heading up the mountain.
Static Peak, at 11,303′, is a barren peak with no protection in case the weather comes up. There’s a reason it’s called Static Peak. After 8 hours of hiking, managing foot hot spots and eating constantly, we stood on the peak. The hike up is class 3 (so says Wikipedia), so anyone who can scramble over rocks can make it..
Looking north, I didn’t realize that Timberline Lake was actually a lake. I’ve only seen it covered in snow and ice, so I had (wrongly) guessed it was another permanent snowpack or glacier.
Coming back was rather interesting, as it got dark by the time we returned to patrol cabin in the heart of Death Canyon. Yes, that’s the name of the canyon. And at the west end of the canyon is the accompanying Death Shelf. I’m not sure why the morbid name stuck to this gorgeous place but I’ll accept it.
Going down at night was exciting, as there is always the worry of running into large
animals in the dark. The Surefire EL2 lit up the night perfectly, though it didn’t prevent some stumbling in the darkness.
Oddly, I realized all of my shots of the peak are in video instead of stills. Thinking in both formats while marching up a mountain is tough. It was good practice for Antarctica, though. I’ve got to make sure to come back with an effective set of both stills and video. It’s not like I can just swing by there again!
The Sony RX100 and Sony HX20 seemed to perform admirably. I’m still going through the video and stills. But, so far, they look great. The above were taken with them. The dynamic range is quite good for a small camera. That’s what I was hoping for. A few shots are blurry – no surprise, especially with the wind. I’ll work with them more so when it’s show time, there will be fewer operator errors.
One problem I found was the 1080p 60Hz from both cameras crushed my 7 year old Macbook pro. The video barely plays in Final Cut Pro X. Time to get a new laptop to edit with when I get back! For this hike, I shot in the 1440x1080i setting. Hopefully it’ll be easier to edit with for small trips. I wish they had a 720p setting.