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High Altitude Cold Cycling

This is how I get to some places. Load up the North Face Recon with cameras, small tripod on one side of the pack (used to make this picture so not in view), and pedal and pedal.

If the pack has ~25 pounds of gear, this gets strenuous from 12,300 to 13,000' elevation, but it’s not nearly as hard as the hard-man ride from the Owens River to the summit of White Mountain Peak.

The trick is to not overheat and sweat and get too wet on the way up. Take a wool hoodie (tremendous heat loss from head and neck, especially if mostly bald!), and a hooded down jacket (stowed on the way up) and wool gloves for the descent (and for standing around while shooting). I take additional precautions when alone, as I always am up here (the season and temperatures keep out the fair weather folk). Back in the car for sleeping, stay warm down to 5°F or so with the right down sleeping bag.

For quick shots like this where hands go numb quickly, the Ricoh GR with a little fill flash can’t be beaten. But note the magenta cast to the dark gray pack: this is the same issue I observed with the Leica M9; it does not happen with a Nikon or Canon DSLR. Which explains why the color accuracy has driven me nuts on a few images (impossible to get right). To the eye, the pack is gray. To the camera, it’s purple/magenta.

No one ever takes pictures of me, so I have to take ’em myself! And I find that such images are a great way to add context to a trip that otherwise is just stuff out there—I find some enjoyment in that.

October 16 2013 17:42 , about 12,300' elevation in the White Mountains
Oct 16 2013 Ricoh GR

The earth shadow rises with a full moon.

Earth Shadow Rises, Oct 15 2013, 18:30
Ricoh GR

If it looks cold, it was! Crunchy snow cold.

Dusk with view towards White Mountain Peak, Oct 15 2013, 18:35
Ricoh GR

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