A walk in the hills with the E-M1

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by kimo, May 21, 2014.

  1. kimo

    kimo Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Dec 4, 2013
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Recently my lady and I went for a nice high-elevation hike in the mountains of Colorado. I carried my E-M1 and 12-40mm f2.8 and thought I’d share some of the pics (ok, maybe a lot of the pics :smile:)  from along the way.

    The E-M1 has become my “go to” camera in the backcountry. My D600 and D7000 have been parked in the cabinet since the Olympus arrived last November. Six months later and I am still learning the way of the camera, and I’m still in love. It is such a compact and quick handling camera - a true joy to use. The EVF with histogram is tops.

    Our plan for the day: Drive to the historic ghost town of St. Elmo in central Colorado and park the car. From there we would hike the snow-covered road toward Tincup Pass at 12,154 ft. of elevation. From the pass we would ascend moderate slopes to gain the ridge leading to the 13,345 ft. summit of Tincup Peak. From the summit of Tincup Peak we would traverse the east ridge over to Point 13,050. From there, we would descend two thousand feet back into the trees and find the road back to St. Elmo. By the end of the day we would hike 12.5 miles with just over 4,000 feet of vertical gain from our start elevation. Our GPS track is below.


    Captions on top of photos.

    Our day starts at 6 AM Saturday morning. We scramble from our tent just in time to catch sunrise on the majestic Sawatch Range. Our goal for the day is hidden deep in the folds of the range.


    Two friendly bighorn ewes greet us on the road to St. Elmo.


    I park the car in downtown St. Elmo. It’s probably the best-preserved ghost town in all of Colorado.






    We start to walk the dirt road toward our next objective: Tincup Pass.


    It doesn't take long for the dry dirt road to become covered with snow.


    Winter's harvest uncovered.


    The road skirts the south slope of Point 13,050.


    The right way?


    The road and upper basin is popular with snowmobiles in winter.


    We get a look at our next objective: Tincup Peak.


    We reach the summit of Tincup Pass and take in the breathtaking view.


    This western aspect gets a lot of sun. From the pass we follow a trail towards the peak.


    The view of Fitzpatrick Peak on the other side of Tincup Pass.


    Anna gains the ridge and heads toward the summit.


    I gain the summit ridge and get a good look at our next goal: Point 13,050.


    At the edge of the world.


    We reach the summit of Tincup Peak and are treated to a huge 360-degree view. Here’s the Oly 12mm version:


    The cold wind reminds us of winter so we don't stay too long on top. We start down toward the ridge leading to Point 13,050.


    The conditions are good as we continue on the ridge. The ridge takes on a more rugged look ahead.


    Our church.


    We encounter an interesting tower along the ridge. We can’t pass to the left or right of it due to steep snow slopes.


    Anna starts up. There’s a couple awkward moves to get around the boulders near the top.


    “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.” – John Muir


    We begin to ascend Pt. 13050 in earnest.


    The steep rocky slope is a real treat on tired legs.


    But after some huffing and puffing and maybe a cuss word or two, we reach the summit of Pt. 13050.


    We are the first to sign the summit register in 2014.


    We sit back for a while and take in the well-earned view.


    I take one last look at Tincup Peak before we head down. We have enjoyed a good day in the hills.


    We find a low angle snow slope near the summit and slide down it. The mountains have a lovely ability to make me feel like a kid again.


    The slope flattens out so we stand up and hike toward the trees. The road is in the valley below.


    Surrounded by giants.


    We descend into the trees.


    And after half a mile of kicking and thrashing through soft waist-deep snow while wearing snowshoes, we reach the road. We turn back toward the trees and say thanks.


    The snow-packed road melts rapidly in the warm afternoon sun.


    A window to spring.



    We reach our car tired and hungry – it’s time for some food and a well-earned beer at the local brewpub. On our drive out, we pass a large group of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep grazing near the road. I pop on the 40-150 that came with that E-PM2 kit that I picked up last month. It’s a sweet little lens, especially for packing in to the back country. I take a few pictures and marvel at how beautiful this place is. I take a few more pics and put the camera away, marveling at how well the E-M1 captures it all.

    • Like Like x 28
  2. audiodrive

    audiodrive Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 9, 2013
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventure!
  3. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    I bet you appreciated the "lightness" of your u4/3 gear especially at the higher altitude. Very nice photos!
  4. popiT

    popiT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 20, 2014
    BayArea, CA
    Very very nice trip and photos. Breathtaking views at the top!

    I found the 40-150 is one of the most bang for the buck lens.

    Thanks very much for sharing.
  5. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    incredible state

    i miss that place
  6. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    Great story and fantastic pictures! What lenses did you use besides the 40-150?
  7. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Great shots. I can't get my head around hiking up and not skiing down :wink: .
  8. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    Thanks for bringing us along. I wish I lived in CO.
  9. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Thirteeners are hills? Yikes! Great pics and hike.
  10. db96

    db96 Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Jun 10, 2012
    Central Indiana
    Nice! I think that will be my main combo for Alaska next summer. Great photos!
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