Wednesday, December 10, 2014

If you can't ski, elk

The skiing is pretty mediocre so far this year.  There isn't enough terrain open yet to keep it interesting.  I got a call from Chad Rexroad asking if I wanted to go hiking and trying to find elk to photograph. 

We left at 6:45 to get an early start and went  into a canyon a few miles east of Heber.  The hiking is a bit of a challenge.  You start on some road, but most of the real elevation gain (about 1600 feet) is done up the sides of steeps hills with no paths.  If you're lucky, you can follow a wildlife trail for a while.

We ended up seeing over a dozen elk, but none close enough to photograph very well.  This one is about a half mile away.  Elk are very frustrating.  Even though they are quite large, they are very timid.  In Park City, we have to let Jasper out to chase the deer out of the yard. 
 While we were out, the moon was setting behind a ridge-line.
Once we were high enough, we could see Mount Timpanogos. 
 At one point we could see 11 elk. These three were the closest, about 400 yards away.  We were trying to sneak up closer, but the snow on the ground had been through freeze-thaw cycles and every step made a huge crunch.  These were all bulls and they had pretty impressive racks.
 The scenery looking back into the town of Heber was nice.  This may be about the prettiest view I have ever had of that town.
Good exercise.  Goo scenery.  Lots of impressive elk.   Quite the morning!
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