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Monday, July 16, 2018

Weekly Post: The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get by Robert Glenn Ketchum

by Robert Glenn Ketchum


Growing up my parents had a home near Sun Valley, Idaho. It was there that I learned to ski. Over many years I befriended members of the Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club, with whom I had both life, and art-forming outdoor experiences. I had my camera, and these are my adventures.  Enjoy!!  ~Robert Glenn Ketchum



Monday, July 16, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #115:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #115:  The hamadryads at Kane Lake usually begin to appear in the warmth of the afternoon, especially when there is good weather. Sometimes they are hard to see or find because they “disappear” amongst the rocks for sunning and swimming. In the case of the DFC&FC, these shy creatures willingly reveal themselves because we have been a “friend-of-the-lake” for many years. Shown here are two of my favorites, and they actually let me photograph them. The one in the lower image, warming on a log after swimming, is one of our favorites because she likes to picnic and drink wine. There is nothing better than great FRESH food and a bottle, or three, of lake-chilled wine to finish the day at lakeshore, after climbing about in the higher basin.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, July 9, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #114:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #114:  That high basin, single-day hike above Kane Lake with a brave hamadryad that left the shelter of trees below, was pretty over-the-top (last post). Few people do such a lengthy hike, in a single shot, and our group had fun but one paid the price and ended up at the Mollie Scott Clinic in Sun Valley needing medical help, after we walked out. More typically, the hamadryads appear in the warmth of the afternoon, around the shoreline of Kane, where they swim, dine, and sun. In the late light, Kane sparkles like a jewel and the rocks ashore are warm, so on days when there is no weather to contend with, hamadryads often throw picnics. Because members of the DFC&FC have come to, camped at, and cared for Kane Lake for numerous summers, the hamadryads willingly reveal themselves to us, and best of all, we are often invited to their picnics. In post #106, I show Gordon Williams standing on a high ledge, looking down at Kane Lake. He is in the “spotter’s” position. Often binoculars are used while doing this. Although posing for my shot, he is actually looking to see if any hamadryads have come out below. If it is an afternoon like the one shown above, I guarantee they will appear.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, July 2, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #113:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #113:  Jumping into a pond surrounded by snow at this altitude is NOT to be taken lightly. ALL aspects of what you do must be considered. It is SO f*%#ing cold, there is no wading in, so you need to find a spot to dive that is deep enough. You also need to have a DIRECT swimming line to a spot that will allow you a safe exit without cutting your feet on rocks. The reason for this is that after you hit the water, all you can think about is where to get out, and in the rush to cross the pond and climb the bank, you want to have pre-planned exactly what you are going to do, so you don’t get hurt, flailing. The photographer of the last post, Gordon Williams, is now the subject of this one, and shows you exactly what happens, in this swimming “experience.” He has picked his spot, and after the brief dip, he is sprinting around the meadow to warm up,..you see, he has to jump back into the tarn again, because if you want to climb back down to Kane Lake, you have to be on the side from which we started. We did not NOT tell our guests about this eventuality until they reached the far shore - LOL!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, June 25, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #112:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #112:  Because there are no trees in this rocky upper basin above Kane Lake in the Pioneer mountains of Idaho, it is seldom visited by hamadryads, who tend to stay around the lake below. Occasionally, however, they can be lured higher, and this is such an occasion. I am in Ketchum-Sun Valley for a show at the Gail Severn Gallery, and Gail has just hired a new gallery assistant. Young, beautiful, just married, and Scandinavian healthy, she mentions she wants to go hiking and really SEE the area, but does not know where to go. If you follow this blog, you know, we of the DFC&FC often do spontaneous things when hamadryads are involved, see post #86. Thus, I immediately offer a hike IF she thinks she is in shape for it. (She looks “in shape.”) My thought is a daytrip into Kane Lake. I have no expectation of getting to the basin above Kane Lake in the same walk-in, as it takes a concerted effort, and demands you be in GREAT condition, especially if you plan to walk back out the same day. However, we started early, and after a good cool, morning stroll, arrived at Kane well before midday. Responding to a suggestion that we climb higher, everyone was onboard ("The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get"), so up we went, into the rocky basin, playing around the boulder, and finally, here, “the ol’ swimmin’ hole” at the end of a long day. As you can see, there is still a good deal of snow at our elevation, but that did NOT deter our desire to “refresh.” Yes, we are ALL going swimming. (Not wishing to embarrass anyone else, I will only identify myself as standing next to the hamadryad.) Photograph © copyright Gordon Williams 2018
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, June 18, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #111:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #111:  DFC&FC colleague, Chris Puchner is on a free-climb to the summit of Goat Mountain in the Pioneers, and for awhile, we three who have chosen NOT to do the ascent sit by the giant boulder near the top of a basin, and watch as he works his way up. After we loose sight of him, however, the heat of the day begins to bear down on us because all the barren rock in the basin offers little respite. After lunch, some picture-taking, and a few naps, we decide to retreat from the boulder to what Gordon Williams promises is a cooler place. We backtrack along the “path” which we followed into the basin, but at the point we would start down to Kane Lake, we branch to the left instead, following the merging meltwaters as they head towards the plunge of the waterfall. We are on a relatively broad terrace, now more “garden” than rock, and in the midst of it is a “lake.” It is small, and narrow, but furrowed fairly deeply into the middle of a blooming meadow, and flowing with VERY cold water. Gordon suggests that we will wait here for Chris to downclimb as it will be easy for him to see us and reconnect. In the meantime, as relief to the heat of the day, we COULD all go “swimming.” We do. Then, as we are warming and drying ourselves in the late afternoon sun, a wild cry echoes around the walls from above, and Puchner appears at the top of a snowfield directly above us, amidst his descent.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, June 11, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #110:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #110:  During several hours of lounging and lunching around the gigantic boulder (frame, left) in the rubble filled basin above Kane Lake, I make this prescient image of the summit of Goat Mountain. Our DFC&FC colleague, Chris Puchner, is free-climbing it at the moment, while three of us sit in the shade, snacking, and watching. In this picture, note the debris field in the snow patch beneath the summit. Many of those are VERY large boulders, some of which have come down SINCE our arrival earlier in the day. Hot weather, melting snow, and water flowing through the cracks of these shattered rock faces is fracturing them even further and sweeping big pieces away. Quite impressive! AND, somewhere on that ridgeline coming in from the right, our friend is presently “hiking.” As Chris is no longer visible, and this basin is so enclosed by stone reflecting the heat, Gordon suggests that while we are waiting for Chris’ return, there is one more thing we have not yet seen, and a hot day like this is just the right time for such a discovery.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, June 4, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #109:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #109:  Ah! The perfect place to rock-out. DFC&FC colleagues, Gordon Williams (lost in the shade of the overhang) and Chris Puchner, begin to survey which challenges they might attempt on this day. It is VERY HOT and clear and this boulder rubble-filled basin is like a frying pan. Snow patches around us are melting rapidly, and water from them is gurgling through the small, saturated, mossy gardens that are in between all of the rocks. We started early, and now are here well before noon. The second tallest summit in the Pioneers, Goat Mountain at 11,900ft, is just out-of-frame to the right. After snacks, water, and some discussion, Chris reasons that we have yet to see a cloud, and it would be a good day to summit without risk of weather. He has decided to go for Goat Mountain. Neither myself, my friend, Chris Korody, who is with us at the time, nor Gordon feels up for the task, as it is a LONG way and A LOT of elevation between here and there. Instead, we opt for the “climb-around-the-boulder, stay-in-the-shade, sleep-on-patches-of-meadow, take-pictures, drink-water, eat-A-LOT-of-snacks” mode, and while away the day. Chris now has much work to do, so he shoulders his rope and ice-axe, and is off, using one of the steep snowfields to kick-step a staircase onto the exposed ridge over 1,000ft above. We watch until he disappears amongst the rocks. We have told him we will wait in this basin for his return.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, May 28, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #108:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #108:  Having spoken of the gardens and the boulder in the basin (last post), we are not quite there yet. There is still some more of that “The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get” stuff. Although taken on different visits, I was struck by the similarities of these two images, taken as I work my way up. The previous B&W post, became a print in my first portfolio, all images of the Pioneer Mountains and the Sun Valley area (mostly of Kane Lake and it’s surroundings). This color image is another clear, hot day with Gordon Williams (above) and Chris Puchner headed to the boulder to “practice.” What else I see is a beautiful trail of connected ledges and small garden patches unfolding like a staircase, if you believe it to be so. In case you are curious, that spire in the middle is the Salzburger Spitzl, at 11,601ft., the 14th tallest peak in the range. It is hard to tell from this perspective, but looming MUCH larger behind it is Goat Mountain, at 11,913ft., the 2nd tallest summit in the Pioneers. This basin lies at the foot of some impressive faces.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, May 21, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #107:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #107:  Above Kane Lake is a relatively bug-free world of rock. After the ascent along the edge of the inflow stream and clambering around ledges, a very stoney basin levels off and plunges deeply into the heart of the peak section. What initially appears to be nothing but boulder rubble, turns out to be small gardens surrounded by rockfall. In fact, rock falls ALL the time, and falling rocks can be heard regularly throughout any visit. When the DFC&FC comes up here to play, there are actually many things to do. The Devils Bedstead and Goat Mountain can be free-climbed from here if you have the skills and nerve. There is considerable snow in the narrow chutes that rise above the basin, and they not only provide flowing water to the valley floor, they are staircases for those that want to follow them up. Near the back of the basin, there is also a bonus - one of the biggest boulders you will ever see. Members of the DFC&FC do not have to summit to be challenged, they can practice virtually any kind of climb on this boulder.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, May 14, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #106:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #106:  Summer days in the Pioneer Mountains above Sun Valley, Idaho can be very hot, with thunderstorms building up in the afternoon. As lovely as Kane Lake is at dusk and dawn, during the middle of the day, it can be blazing, and more frequently than not, buggy with persistent mosquitoes. While we of the DFC&FC can certainly be accused of “lying about” the lake, we did so at the end of the day. During the day was an entirely different matter. “The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get,” are the words we leave the tent with in the morning. Breakfast before bugs, and we are off, AND up. Up through the rocks next to one of the incoming streams. Lots of ledges and boulders, but after a bit of effort, Kane Lake takes on a very different appearance, and most of the bugs have been left behind. Here, Gordon Williams is scouting the lakeshore to see if any of the hamadryads have come out.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, May 7, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #105:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #105:  Lying around on the rocks and ledges of the shore of Kane Lake is not the only location members of the DFC&FC do a lot of lying around. Here, Gordon Williams, who has just come back from a day of climbing above, makes like Ferdinand the Bull, and rests amongst a field flowers. As you can see, Gordon is still festooned with rope and iron, and has not quite made it back to camp yet for the afternoon swim. On many of my visits, Gordon, and fellow DFC&FC colleague, Chris Puchner join us, but my other friends and I just came to hike, and Gordon and Chris came to hone their climbing skills. Although there are plenty of summits surrounding us, you don’t need one to stage a climb. If any of you know climbing history, CAMP 4 in Yosemite is a famous destination, not only because of the big walls nearby, but also because of all the difficult scaleable boulders around the camp area. If you never seen a “climbing” boulder, stay tuned, somewhere up above Kane Lake there is a doozy!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, April 30, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #104:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #104:  I have always been partial to the evenings at Kane Lake. After what is usually an exhausting day of climbing higher in the rocks and gardens above the lake, getting back to camp on a warm afternoon in the summer is a great luxury. You can lose your gear, most or all of your clothes, and the meadows are soft enough to walk in barefoot. The late afternoon sun causes the lake to shimmer in the breeze, and the little rocky terraces and shelves offer staircases into, and out of the water, with hot flat surfaces to sun on after your swim. Regardless of the warmth of the day, Kane is shockingly cold, which is breathtaking when you first dive in. I happen to like to aftereffect. When I emerge from the cold water, the adrenalin rush has “reset” my system, and as I gaze out across the lake, the late light sets the edges of everything aglow, and I perceive the world with a heightened crystal clarity. One thing is for sure, the Japanese landscape gardeners have definitely been working up here.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, April 23, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #103:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #103:  A deep blue, and sparkling in the sunlight, Kane Lake sits like a jewel in a perfect setting. The far shore abuts the foot of sheer walls that surround nearly half of the lake, farming the view. The near shore hosts meadows, clusters of trees, a few streams, and room enough for several excellent camp sites. This is looking out of my tent as the sun rises. The shoreline on this side of the lake is especially convoluted with small grassy peninsulas, tiny “garden” islands, and MANY places where you can enter and exit for a swim without tearing your feet up. A good deal of time is spent enjoy early morning and late evening light at lakeside, and after a day of climbing higher, swimming in the late afternoon before dinner is welcome relief. Most hikers see Kane Lake as THE destination, and many of them just walk-in for a day-trip, and do not camp overnight. We of the DFC&FC, on the other hand, enjoy staying overnight to catch the morning and evening light show, BUT we go elsewhere for the rest of the day. Remember, “The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get’” Besides, there are fewer mosquitoes up "there."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, April 16, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #102:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #102:  After we ascend the largest of the granite dikes, there is a short walk and rather suddenly, meadows and clusters of trees appear, framing a waterfall whose splashes I can hear echoing around in the rock walls. In a relatively few steps, a shoreline of little mossy islands and zen trees opens, and BEHOLD KANE LAKE! After many visits I have come to believe that what makes Kane special are the contrasts of the setting. The lush, often flowering meadows, the encroaching trees, and the shimmering lake are a wash of vibrant blues and greens that come to a truly abrupt end, at the foot of ragged granite headwalls and debris fields of boulder rubble. Towering above that are larger summits, and whatever snow pack feeds that waterfall. OR, are there other lakes above Kane? Look carefully. Above the waterfall, amongst the rocks. Is there something green there?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, April 9, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #101:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #101:  Emerging from the forest canopy as the trail starts to climb, we can see open granite ledges rising steeply around us, and there is quite a bit of boulder rubble at regular intervals. The trail threads through everything, but it is important to watch for the cairns in traversing up and around the steep rock walls. As the canyon rises more abruptly, the granite ledges become large granite dikes that require some serious “stair-climbing” to ascend, but in true DFC&FC tradition of, “The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get,” when you surmount the last dike, the view is inspiring. Catching our breath, Gordon Williams and his wonder dog, Pasha, ponder the valley from whence we have come. As you can see, we are nearly above the treeline, and look at all that granite and those hanging meadows in the background. Now, where is Kane Lake ?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, April 2, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #100:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #100:  Of the MANY beautiful lakes and basins in the Pioneer Mtns. near Sun Valley, Idaho, certainly one of the favorites of the DFC&FC is Kane Lake. There are many reasons for this. It starts with a dramatic approach - a rough road, water to cross with NO bridge, and the view up-canyon, crowned by the Devil’s Bedstead (summit in background). Standing here, looking at this, Kane Lake is on the right side of that peak, and it all seems very far away. If you have been following this blog, recall that Doug Metro and I visited Boulder Basin in posts #88 - 90. That basin is actually just to the left of the distant Bedstead summit, separated from Kane by a high ridge. However, if you survive the road and the water crossing, you will find a well worn trail that is one of the longest hikes in these mountains. Thankfully much of it is relatively flat and in the shade of the forest. There are meadows and occasional views, but this part of the hike is mostly in the trees which become quite dense, just about the time the trail bears to the left and starts UP.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, March 26, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #99:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #99:  When Jon Davis and I tell Michael Holmes that we have found another stream to follow UP, there is a lot of squacking because Michael is clearly tired, and the altitude is taking its toll on him. Jon and I have been doing this all summer so we are better acclimated, and it is unfair, but Michael is a good sport (and a former decorated Marine), and after a brief rest, some water, and snacks, he agrees to follow us up. The sculptural trees and flowering rock gardens quickly disappear, and we move into a terrain entirely of boulder rubble, a distinct characteristic of the Pioneers. Clawing our way up through scree, and trying to use the bigger, more stabile rocks to push off from, we finally crest a boulder strewn basin with a small snowfield. The “lake” is more like small pools of blooming algae, and much of the snowfield has the algal bloom commonly called “watermelon snow,” because it causes the surface of the snow to turn shades of pink. In this image, Michael is pondering such a patch of snow, as Old Hyndman stands watch over the three of us, and delivers a magnificent day. In the morning, we will go down and out. Thank you my friends for a great adventure.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, March 19, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #98:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #98:  Michael, Jon, and I, do some crawling on hands and knees to work our way through the dense brush and trees of our snack-site, and when we emerge, it is as though we have passed through some barrier, into another world. The rocks around us are festooned with flowers and soft grass, and the few remaining trees, stand like sculptures in the landscape. The terrain rather suddenly rolls over a curve of granite and levels off in an expansive terrace filled by a large, shallow lake, and completely surrounded by gardens. We are also afforded a most excellent profile of Old Hyndman. Needless to say, all of this calls for some serious downtime, the removal of some clothing, more snacks, and an interlude of sunbathing. Belle takes the opportunity to go swimming, but she could not lure any of us into to doing so. After a time though, we randomly wander about, exploring our private nirvana, and at the opposite end of the lake from the outlet we climbed up, Jon and I find an inflowing stream, still of notable size. What does this mean ? “The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, March 12, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #97:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #97:  For some time, our journey upward is like climbing a steep staircase, just slowly planting one foot in front of the other. The day is cloudless, REALLY hot, and the altitude is clearly affecting us as we are all breathing harder, but our view of the world just keeps getting better and better, so we forge ahead. Several hours into the morning’s ascent, the waterfall we are following flows through a verdant niche of blooming meadows, a dense cluster of brush, and stunted trees. My dog, Belle Star (left), Michael Holmes, Jon Davis (right), and I arrive here, and decide to drink, snack, and catch our breath. We are above 10,000ft. and the day abounds with birds, insects, flowers, and an occasional froggy noise. The weather is stunning, and the sound track of cascading water is starting to cause echoes in our hearing. Meadows seem alive and breathing, thriving on the water flowing through, they blossom vibrantly in the warm summer sun. Michael is beginning to believe. We are high, and getting higher. We are not in danger, but we may be in heaven. Excelsior!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, March 5, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #96:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #96:  Surrounded by the sounds of water and wind, and tired from our relentless ascent, we have a great uneventful night, and wake to a morning that is hot and clear. During breakfast, Michael queries what we will do for the day - so I ask you, my reader, what will we do? Of course, the answer is “The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get.” I know exactly where this conversation is going, AND where we are going for the day. Michael is highly skeptical. Above, is the largest of the waterfalls feeding the streams in our meadow, and it is quite close to our campsite. It is clearly coming from a significant source, so Jon and I are pretty sure there is yet another lake above us. The route up is no longer a granite slab walk through hanging gardens and waterfalls however, it has become MUCH steeper, but there are a lot of terraces and benches, with some very concentrated small gardens, so Jon and I both agree that we will be able to pick our way through. Michael is now sure we are both nuts.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, February 26, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #95:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #95:  Although it may not seem likely from this image, this is the least damaging place I can put my tent. LOOK at the density of this bloom, and we are nearing 10,000ft. Ah! The peak of summer, and at the moment, nothing but reasonable, expectable weather. We are choosing to camp quite high, so we would just as soon not have any lightning “events.” A large stream charges by not far away, so we have great water noise, and the spongy moss you see here, is a nice support pillow for my neck and head. It is a “skookum” camp, in an AMAZING location with a spectacular view of the face and summit of Old Hyndman, and Jon and I know from previous experience that with much water still coming down many streams above, there are certainly more lakes up there, but from here it was going to be a scramble in the granite, the luxurious meadow benches are over.
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Monday, February 19, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #94:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #94:  Trying to find the best place to put our camp has many considerations. We want to have some cover if it storms, so being near a tree group is good. Having water close by is also good, and ideally we should locate near the main stream coming from above us, so that we can explore and follow it up in the coming days. Our biggest concern, also causes our most difficult choice, and that is where to camp that will not crush the AMAZING meadow bloom - at which point, we arrive here! Water! Beautiful! Probably the main waterflow coming from above! And, just beyond the fallen tree, a relatively large, level area, semi-sheltered and not blooming so intensely as elsewhere. The gods provide. Michael keeps muttering, “This is trippy! I have never seen anything like this!"
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Monday, February 12, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #93:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #93:  Ever upward, verdant, squishy step after squishy step, Michael Holmes, Jon Davis, and I continue our ascent through the Wild Horse Lake group. Somewhat different than established US Forest Service trails, like the one that brought us from the parking lot to the valley below, there is no “real” trail we are following any more. Because we have climbed past the first large lakes where that trail stopped, and we are now VERY alpine. With each step up, the ascent has becomes more vertical, and the scale of the meadows is shrinking in size, although we are all still surprised by how lush and large they are, considering our altitude. Then, we round the lip of the hanging garden through which we have been climbing, and another meadow bench levels off and opens before us. It has some notable limber pines that nicely frame Old Hyndman peak, here, and there are a number of stunted pine islands laced by trickling creeks. Above and beyond this plateau, we can see lakes indicated on the map, but they do not seem to offer much terrain to camp without significant exposure, so somewhere here looks like it is going to be our home for a few days.
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Monday, February 5, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #92:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #92:  Michael Holmes, Jon Davis and I are on a "stairway to heaven” as we slowly pick our way upslope along side rushing streams and through spongy meadows of blooming alpine wildflowers seeking the Wild Horse Lakes. Every so often we emerge on a broader, flatter granite bench, also festooned with blooming meadow patches and flowing streams. Each terrace offers inviting campsites, but following the DFC&FC mantra of, “The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get,” Jon and I keep opting to continue our ascent. Michael thinks we are both nuts, but seems willing enough to trust us, so we continue our journey up. We are trying to follow the largest water source, to its source. It is surprising to all of us how large and lush the meadows are as high in the range as we are climbing. Sometime soon we will make camp. Just one more small bench...
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Monday, January 29, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #91:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #91:  Another summer visitor who pleasures with us in the Pioneers is my friend, Michael Holmes, back in the US after several tours of duty in Vietnam. At the time Michael comes to Sun Valley, Jon Davis, who you met previously in this blog skiing the ridge above Pioneer Cabin, is also in residence, and Jon and I think Michael might enjoy a beautiful wild place where no one is trying to kill him. The Wild Horse Lakes in the Pioneer Mountains are an ascending chain of lakes that get smaller and smaller as the rise, and they are interconnected with some of the most verdant meadows and waterfalls I have ever seen. It is mid-July, in the heat of summer, AND the peak of the alpine wildflower bloom. We start out on a forest trail, which is a nice hike, but things really begin to happen as the path rises, the trees thin, and the meadows begin to expand. The sound of water is everywhere, as sparkling cascades of small streams cut through climbing meadows of grass and moss, completely blanketed with blooms. As you can see here, we are all blown away. Michael, in particular, is looking like the guy on his t-shirt - LOL! Jon is either staring at cloud forms, or gauging the route we will follow up. “The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get."
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Monday, January 22, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #90:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #90:  Doug and I find the high tarn and surrounding benches of Boulder Lake very joyful and inviting as the morning wears on, like some magical secret garden at the top of a basin that is mostly boulder debris. The wind continues to rage around us and echo off the walls, but it is also tearing the clouds to pieces and suppressing the daily build-up of weather by blowing it away with the income of fall. You can smell the change! The intermittent sun warms us, and with no threatening electrical events to chase us off of our high perch, we linger, sun bath, and have lunch. Belle, my black lab, goes swimming in the tarn. Eventually we wind our way back down to camp. Doug wants to give his feet a break and get out of his shoes, so we spend the rest of a sunny afternoon, fishing. We catch several nice trout, but before we eat, the last sunlight of the day has illuminated a beautiful, high meadow on the other side of the lake, and now that we both know what to expect, we agree we should go investigate, and enjoy last light sitting there. Bouldering around the lake is simple and the scramble up is mostly meadow grass or granite. The view is REALLY dramatic, giving us both a clear sense of the whole basin we have been exploring. THEN, I notice motion and color in the trees on the trail coming up to the lake. As the single, hiking figure crests the last dome before the lake, I recognize the wardrobe and profile of my DFC&FC colleague and good friend, Gordon Williams. We call to him and he joins us for the end of the evening in the “high” meadow. He has no backpack, he just walked in because it was such a nice day, and he thought he would say hello, as he knew we were here. It is bright twilight when we get back to camp, and the offer of fresh trout lures Gordon to stay for dinner, after which, in encroaching darkness, he opts to take-off and walk back out. Doug is amazed, and I worry, but awhile later there is a good bit of distant whooping and horn honking, so we know he made it safely. The next morning, we do the same.
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Monday, January 15, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #89:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #89:  I am sure at one point in your life, most of you have recognized that EXACT day when summer turns to fall. The temperature cools, and there is a different smell in the air. When Doug and I walked in yesterday, it was a classically hot summer afternoon in the Wood River Valley and the Pioneer Mountains - in the 90’s, with weather building throughout the day, and scattered thunderstorms in the late afternoon. However, during the late night and early morning hours of our first night camped at Boulder Lake, something else happens. I am first awakened around 4am by a sound that is echoing around the walls of the basin. It seems to come from far away, down the canyon up which we had hiked. It grows louder as it travels towards us, and then it flows into our basin, racing around the walls across the lake from our site, then circling behind us, rushing through the trees around us, and flapping the rainfly of the tent. It is rhythmic and peaceful, although the intensity of the gusts grow stronger as the sun rises. It wakes Doug also, so we have an early breakfast, patch his blistered feet, pack lunches, and head up, slowly ascending a series of stunning limber pine-covered, granite benches. As we get higher, weather appears, but there is no heat or humidity, just a dry, cool fall wind. There is NOT going to be an afternoon build-up today, so we can keep climbing without fear of exposure. At the edge of the last trees, the terraces we have been rambling through, broaden and level out, at the center of which is a beautiful tarn. It has rock islands, and the surrounding walls offer relief from the bluster of the day. Doug finds a rock island to his liking (lower-right, middle image, red sweater), and finally finds peace with this place. “The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get!"
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Monday, January 8, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #88:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #88:  Almost everyone we know our age has a sleeping bag, but most do not have hiking boots, backpacks, or tents. Thankfully our gear room can accommodate most needs. When my friend and fellow artist, Doug Metrov, shows up, he has a bag, a daypack, and little else, but is truly eager to go camping, so we outfit him as best we can, and he and I are off to Boulder Lake. The trailhead is up Trail Creek road, and back into the Devil’s Bedstead. It is a marked, US Forest Service trail that is relatively short, but quite steep, and it proves much harder for Doug because it is hot, and he is uncomfortable under the weight of the heavy daypack. As you can see here, he also does not have hiking boots, but rather leather-soled, raised heal, Frye boots, which look fashionable, but offer shitty traction on logs and granite. On the walk in, he often slides back as much as he steps forward, and by the time we reach the lake, it is late, he is pissed-off and exhausted, and his feet have blisters. We do have a GREAT campsite, though, so we eat a decent meal, and watch an amazing starshow in the night sky. I am hopeful tomorrow will be more fun.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, January 1, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #87:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #87:  Sun Valley summers are very good to my friends and I. Most of us are making money in one way or another, and the four of us who live in the 8-plex at the end of Warm Springs, have set our gear up so that we can roll at a moment’s notice, and we do (which you already know if you read the previous post.) Because we also have a lot of extra bedrooms, many guests visit, sometimes often. I use their willingness to explore as a reason to take them camping in the Pioneers, and rather methodically investigate many different basins and beautiful lakes. As you already know from past posts, we go to Pioneer Cabin frequently, but being there is only a “window” on a whole other world, so next week I will start by exploring Boulder Lake basin with my college classmate and fellow artist, Doug Metrov, who dropped in for a visit. I will leave you this week with a view from the other great “window” we all enjoyed - the balcony deck of our house - today watching afternoon weather blow-up, while having a cold beer.
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Monday, December 25, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #86:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #86:  Although my friends in the DFC&FC and I go other places in the Pioneers which this blog will enumerate shortly, we return many times to Pioneer Cabin to enjoy the new “features and amenities” we created with the DFC&FC remodel. Perhaps you noticed, in the last post, the work crew is present, but the famous DFC&FC slogan, “The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get,” is not yet painted on the roof. With weather impending that day, and work finished, some of the crew heads back down into the valley, while others of us stay on to watch the weather build. To those of us that stay, I point out that the roof formerly sported the words, “Ski Heil,” and now that those letters have been papered over, it feels like something is missing. At first it is suggested that we just replace those words, but after some discussion, we decide instead, to use OUR “inspirational” catch phrase, so those still present scramble back up on the roof before the rain and paint the now-iconic phrase. In the lead picture at the header of this blog, we can all be seen “pondering" our results. This blog is about to take some great summer camping journeys into the Pioneers, but one last picture from the Pioneer Cabin archive I thought worth posting is the above, taken by friend and fellow photographer, Richard Todd (photograph © copyright Richard Todd 2017). Just days before the infamous Chris DuPont-Darcy Lazaar wedding at Clarendon Hot Springs Ranch, there are a lot of “guests" in town in a mood to party. Two of them, Cheryl and Lucky, (on the roof “sunbathing”) are friends of Chris Korody. I am in the window, and Chris stands next to me. The two young ladies, I believe, are Australian. We met them in The Pioneer Saloon. They said they liked to hike. We told them about the cabin, AND wound up here just before dark. Now it is the next morning, clear, and 85˚, so we are all just trying to “recover."
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Monday, December 18, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #85:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #85:  I can happily say that not only does Chris Korody recover from his back sprain created by a fall while skiing out from Pioneer Cabin, he comes back to the cabin the next summer accompanying a true “crew” from the DFC&FC to finish repairs and put on a new roof. Gordon Williams, Chris Puchner, Chris Korody, and I hike in late one afternoon and, while dinner prep is underway, we haul out all of the materials we had stashed under the cabin during the winter visit. Early the next morning, further support arrives on horseback packing large tubs of tar. We fire the stove up, start heating the tar, and commence laying a new roof. In the upper picture (photograph © copyright Gordon Williams 2017), Chris Korody enters the cabin, while Puchner and Jon Davis work the roof crown. It is necessary to do all repairs before it rains, so thinking that it might, more people offering to help soon show up. Thanks to all, by midday, the weather is moving in, but Pioneer Cabin has finally been fully “remodeled.” No more leaky roof. No more air leaks around the windows. A great stove that works well, and new bed platforms for everyone’s comfort. Job done, we stage a last group picture before some depart: on the roof - Chris Korody (standing), Gordon Williams (above), and Chris Puchner (below); on the ground, Jon Davis (standing), Pasha the Dog, and at least one Patterson, I believe, or maybe both.
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Monday, December 11, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #84:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #84:  Probably the last photograph anyone takes this day, Gordon Williams (photograph © copyright Gordon Williams 2017) catches the full view from the ridge above Pioneer Cabin as Peter Eaton (front) and I (2nd), slowly ascend. You can see we have been skiing around the cabin quite a bit during our stay, but nothing like what awaits us on the other side of this ridge. You can also see our packs rising above our heads and giving all of us very awkward skiing balance. If you will look back at post #62, you will see exposed boulders at the top of the ridge (foreground), and then a hill below that has trees. Imagine all of that is now covered in deep snow. Just beyond the boulders there is a steep drop into a broad meadow. This is the last open-slope we will ski before entering the trees. Hefting an unwanted pack, and strapped onto two slick boards, Chris Korody takes one look at the drop, and starts to regret leaving the cabin. Minutes later he is facedown, out in the meadow, and buried beneath pack and powder. We dig him out quickly, but he has twisted his back badly, and is in a lot of pain. He cannot stand! We all know something very real is unfolding. The weather is clear, REALLY cold, and quite windy. We have an immovable man down and a LONG way to go to get out. There is little time to waste if we are to get help. Jon Davis elects to stay with Chris, so we leave them fuel, stoves, and a shovel with which to build a snow cave. The rest of us go for it. Someone needs to get to the helicopter pad before dark. Gordon, DeMornay, and I are probably the best skiers, so we take off using steep and scary descending lines of traverse through the trees. More than once we are dismounted because branches snag our packs, and it is exhausting getting back up out of the powder. Sweaty-wet and only a little worse for wear, Gordon and I hit the valley floor around 2:30pm. We gulp some snacks and water, re-lace our boots, and launch into a flat ski of several miles to reach the closest plowed road. It will be dark around 4:30 and it would be best to rally a copter and get our friends now, so they do not spend the sure-to-be sub-0-night exposed. About 3/4 of our ski out, I succumb to terrible heel blisters on both feet and cannot keep pace with Gordon, so he pushes ahead. The last yards are very painful for me, but just as dusk nears, and I come into view of the plowed highway, Danny Danielson and Gordon, pass overhead in the helicopter. Relieved, I await my remaining friends. By the time we all get into town, the copter has returned, and Chris is resting, warm and reasonably comfortable in the hospital. He will recover, and visit the cabin many more times.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, December 4, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #83:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #83:  It dips below 0˚ during the night, but the Pioneer Cabin remains comfortable, and returns to toasty as soon as the stove is fired in the morning. We stash all of our remaining repair materials under the cabin so we can return in the spring and replace the roof, then we clean up, and pack up. Even without tents, our packs still carry, pots, pans, water, sleeping bags, etc., so they are not as heavy as when we backpack, but they do make our upper body balance awkward when skiing. This is the “joyous” moment when we have all swung them up for the first time (remember: we came in by helicopter, and have been skiing with relatively light daypacks.) Haha ! Funny poses! From left to right: Richard DeMournay, Jon Davis, Peter Eaton, Chris Korody, yours truly, and thank you Gordon Williams for taking the picture (photograph © Gordon Williams, 2017). Haha! Truth is, these are more like nervous gestures. Most of us ski well enough to realize that with the packs on this is going to be “exciting,” and not necessarily in a good way, and poor Chris does not ski downhill AT ALL, so he has no idea what is about to happen. Now looking at this, I also note, those of us with cameras are wearing them “out” as we had the day before when we were skiing and taking pictures in the storm. We have not yet realized that for the rest of this day, we will be skiing, and taking pictures would become irrelevant to getting down and out.
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Monday, November 30, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #82:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #82:  It is a spectacular end to an amazing day, that as an artist, provides me with material that I am obviously still enjoying to this day (I hope you are as well). Gordon and I take a slow 360˚ from our vantage, and I make this one last image, then we head back down to the warmth of Pioneer Cabin and our imbibing friends. It seems that all is well. We have repaired the cabin, while enjoying the surrounding access with a great ski day. Now, all that there is left for us to do is ski out,..several thousand feet down to the valley floor, and then many miles along the closed road to where it finally meets pavement, near the end of the Sun Valley golf course. The dynamic of that seems adventurous and possibly fun, IF we are ALL great skiers, but we are not; IF we did not have packs, but we do, and they REALLY make your balance awkward while skiing; and it is going to be f@#&ing COLD! Back at the cabin, food, warmth, libations, a good day, and great friends pushes most of those thoughts out of our minds, but reality will dawn on us when we wake up in the morning and start to pack.
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Monday, November 23, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #81:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #81:  While we watch the spectacle in front of us, we can hear our friends at the cabin below whooping it up, so they must have something visible from their vantage as well. From our perspective, Gordon and I now know two things: it IS definitely clearing off; and, it is rolling into a cold-and-clear, a condition common to the Salmon and Wood River valleys, when after a storm, there is a stunning drop in temperature. It happens quickly, and it often goes below zero. From our ridge top, we can see it is completely clear to the west, and the air around us grows colder with every passing minute. Regardless of the temp, Gordon and I know there will be a sunset, so we layer-up, ski along the ridge a bit to keep moving and warm,..and wait. At first we have some color on foothill slopes, and in the clouds above, then Hyndman (12,008ft) re-appears and takes on a hazy glow. Almost in proportion to the sun setting, the clouds seem to be evaporating. In a final display, as the last rays of warmth spotlight Hyndman , Old Hyndman (11,775ft) comes out of hiding and begins to glow as well. This is our treat for bothering to do one more twilight ski. No one at the cabin sees this.
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Monday, November 16, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #80:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #80:  While we watch the spectacle in front of us, we can hear our friends at the cabin below whooping it up, so they must have something visible from their vantage as well. From our perspective, Gordon and I now know two things: it IS definitely clearing off; and, it is rolling into a cold-and-clear, a condition common to the Salmon and Wood River valleys, when after a storm, there is a stunning drop in temperature. It happens quickly, and it often goes below zero. From our ridge top, we can see it is completely clear to the west, and the air around us grows colder with every passing minute. Regardless of the temp, Gordon and I know there will be a sunset, so we layer-up, ski along the ridge a bit to keep moving and warm,..and wait. At first we have some color on foothill slopes, and in the clouds above, then Hyndman (12,008ft) re-appears and takes on a hazy glow. Almost in proportion to the sun setting, the clouds seem to be evaporating. In a final display, as the last rays of warmth spotlight Hyndman , Old Hyndman (11,775ft) comes out of hiding and begins to glow as well. This is our treat for bothering to do one more twilight ski. No one at the cabin sees this.
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Monday, November 6, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #79:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #79:  Skis off, snacks, hot liquids, or cameras in hand, we all assemble in front of Pioneer Cabin to watch the peek-a-boo display of the summits of the Pioneer Mountains, as a storm blows off. The day has been spent skiing along a ridgeline to the left that overlooks a high basin and several of the tallest peaks and ridges in the range. It snowed all day, so we never had a view of them, but as we skied home this evening, the weather began to break off. Back at the cabin with the stove going, and food cooking, we are all now back outside because the wind is picking up and the clouds are being shredded by the summits, as the weather turbulently dissipates. Things change very quickly - it will snow suddenly on us, but peaks might be visible, then it will clear above us, and the Pioneers will disappear. It is also getting close to sunset, and the horizon to the west is definitely opening, so occasional rays of light sweep in under the clouds above us. Frozen cloud vapor and blowing snow crystals fill the air and give everything a gauzy haze. In this image, Chris Korody (left, with camera) takes spiritual advice from Gordon Williams, and Jon Davis (right) is on his way along one of the trails we established to different viewpoints. For some minutes here, we all stand in a strange rose hue, everything about us that is snow-covered, now reflects the warm ambient colors of the setting sun behind us.
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Monday, October 30, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #78:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #78:  Earlier in the day, I had some enlightening experiences among the limber pine along the ridge we were skiing. I was working with my B/W film at that time, so now I switch my 300mm lens to my B/W camera body, and begin gazing back at those trees, branches, and snow-covered, rolling domes, we spent the day traversing. As a consequence, my back is turned on the valley below me and the direction of the summit views, when I hear the crew begin to cackle once again. Without taking my camera from my eye, I simply swing my lens around, and this appears in-frame, “Peak, Above a Cloud.” For hazy moments, I can see the darker rock configuration through the cloud vapor, and then Handwerk Peak emerges - for 5secs! The weather is really pouring through now, and none of our various “views” lasts very long, so after a few more frames, I stuff all my gear back in my pack, and make a run for the cabin, before it gets any darker. The new powder affords me an effortless, floating descent into the midst of my friends who are drinking, snacking, and cawing, while standing around in front of it, watching the “show” unfold. “Peak, Above a Cloud” becomes another image that goes into my portfolio, “WINTERS: 1970-1980,” and it is also translated as an embroidery by the guild that I work with in China.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Monday, October 23, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #77:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #77:  I bend over my camera as I change lenses, using my body to shelter it from any possible falling snow. When I stand back up, Cobb has “emerged,” raging like a Himalayan summit in a storm, now etched against an ever bluer and clearer sky. I am sure each of us utters, “Oh, my God!” at least a dozen times. For some moments Cobb seems so brightly illuminated, we are sure the storm is breaking off, but after a spectacular display of rock and form, the surging clouds soup in the valley below us, reasserts itself and banishes our “peak dream” into the darkening night. I still have a good distance to ski downhill, and I do not want to do it in flat light like last night, because this hill is much steeper and more complicated. My 300mm lens is too large to ski with it out and exposed, so it has to go back in my pack go back in my pack, but before putting it there, I thought I would take on last look around.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, October 16, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #76:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #76:  Our view of Duncan Ridge (11,755ft) is brief, but generates much hooting. When the clouds close back down and the view vanishes, we return our attention to extracting Peter from his “powder pit.” (If you have ever tried to stand and put your skis on in deep powder, you understand how much he is struggling.) I sense the moment we have just experienced is the start of something, and then the snowfall also begins to abate. A few minutes go by, then again the grey haze of clouds seems to sink into the valley below us, opening blue sky above. It is not terribly windy on our ridge, but we can see the clouds out over the valley being blown, turbulently. It is a hazy glow that first attracts my attention, then it begins to have definition, and like Duncan Ridge previously, I watch Cobb (11,650ft) appear as if by magic, and just shimmer there in the sky, massive wind-driven snow banners streaming of its ridgeline. The crew is going crazy! There is some VERY SERIOUS braying amongst us,..and then I find my 300mm lens.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, October 9, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #75:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #75:  We all know while we are skiing in this storm, that many of the major summits of the Pioneers are out there in front of us, the view of them has just been completely obscured by the falling snow. Since leaving the trees, where we took a modest break (previous post), the snowfall has become even heavier and it is hard to shoot at all. We are heading back along the ridge toward Pioneer Cabin, and there are plenty of opportunities to do some downhill skiing, but enough new powder has accumulated that mistakes now bury those who fall. Amongst some trees, close to, but still well above the cabin, I stop to catch my breath and take in the “view.” It consists of several friends below me, some in motion, some in face-plant, and in the hazy distance, our refuge for the night, just in time, as they day is getting late. Peter has had a serious header, and the weight of his film camera and gear has left him pinned and helpless, so while I watch others near him try to help him up, I suddenly realize the grey of the sky has briefly turned blu-ish, and it seems there is something with definition emerging from the clouds of the storm. I start yelling about this, while trying to retrieve my 300mm lens from my daypack, and as we all look up, Duncan Ridge appears, floating, suspended in a vapor of swirling, sparkling crystals,..and then it is gone.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, October 2, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #74:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #74:  As quickly as the brightening sky occurs, it fades away, and a hard snowfall returns. Our group skis over several more domes along the ridge, and then we arrive at a stand of limber pine, dense enough to offer some modest shelter from the falling snow. We have now been out for several hours and have skied a fair distance, so it is agreed by all that we should stop and snack. Our filmmaker, Peter Eaton, is not having a good day because his camera batteries do not like the cold. His film is behaving erratically because it is becoming brittle, and of course, it is snowing so hard he really can’t see much. It is clear, his hopes of filming a glorious, colorful ski adventure in the backcountry is not working out as he had originally envisioned it. I don’t bother him with the axial lighting thing, as that is apparently NOT what he wants to see - too bad! It is different in my world. In fact, when I stand up after some munchies and water and peer out from our position, this unfolds in front of me. “View in a Storm” would prove to be the second image made this day that would find it’s way into the portfolio, "WINTERS: 1970-1980.”. It would also be translated into an embroidery by the guild group I am working with in China, and become one of the most beautiful pieces we create during my UCLA-China Exchange Program.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, September 25, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #73:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #73:  My moment of photographic discovery standing at the foot of the “Edward Weston” tree (and yes, it was nude-LOL), completely re-adjusts the way I am viewing this day. The storm and the flat lighting are not adversarial to my efforts. They are a GIFT! I suddenly realize a whole new world of potential images surrounding me, where before I thought my options were limited. Excited by my discovery, I move on to see what comes next, and catch up with Gordon Williams near the top of the first dome of the rolling ridgeline along which we are attempting to ski. It is clear that the new snowfall makes the steep gullies downhill into the basin below a risky ski, as there is likely slope instability and we could set off avalanches, but he and I agree that the ridge seems safe, so we opt to continue wandering along it. As I crest another rise, the sky brightens noticeably, and the light becomes so dead flat, I have no ground or horizon orientation whatsoever. When I stop to ponder the way the world around me is illuminated, I realize, everything that is not white, seems like it is floating. Rocks and trees are arranged like Japanese brush paintings, and their design is suspended in a blank, white space, apparently devoid of gravity. This is “3 Trees” another of the images that would eventually be part of my portfolio, “WINTERS: 1970-1980” and it would also be translated into an embroidery by the embroidery guild with whom I will be collaborating with in China, beginning in 1985.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, September 18, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #72:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #72:  In my life as a photographer, I have learned that you never know when it is going to be “one of those days.” Certainly, as I step outside Pioneer Cabin in the morning to be greeted by several feet of new snow, and a continuing snowfall, I do not yet know what is about to happen. Locking into my skis, and arranging my cameras so they are protected, I wonder whether there are any pictures to be made AT ALL, given the flat light and limited visibility. (NB: I ALWAYS work with my gear OUT, never in a backpack, because working with a group, there is no convenient time to stop and slow everyone else down. I need to be able to work, WITHOUT any interruption to those that I am with.) As we begin the ascent of the ridgeline to our north, the storm increases intensity and the snow really comes down. In one of my “rest” stops, I look around at our group through the haze of falling crystals, and have to laugh because it strikes me we are a photo-workshop that has completely lost it’s mind. Every one of us has cameras, and Peter Eaton has a giant 16mm film/sound system with which he is attempting to work. At any given moment, someone stops to fiddle with their cameras, but it is hard to imagine anybody is getting pictures in this storm,..and then, I realize I am standing next to this. We have ascended the ridge to the point where there are many limber pine (post #64), and I have stopped at the foot of quite a large one. The more I study this pine, the stranger it becomes. The details and textures of the wood seem etched. The pine, itself, seems to glow a bit and stand out from all the other trees nearby. Trying to decipher this through my lens, I have a moment of realization drawn from photographic history: Edward Weston made remarkable pictures of his assistant/muse/wife, Charis Wilson in the sand dunes of Oceano. What was striking about the images was the light upon here nude body - because the dune was so reflective, there was as much light reflecting back from the sand on Charis, as there was light falling on her from the sun - shadows disappeared and her body seemed to glow and float. Weston called it axial lighting. In the bright, but flat, light of this storm, there is little detail in the snow around me but it is reflecting “axial” lighting back on this tree - there are few shadows, as everything is equally illuminated from all sides. This my Charis!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, September 11, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #71:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #71:  When you have had too many snacks, too much fun, and not enough dinner, time passes more quickly than you may realize and although the view is awesome, it is now dark. Our group of crazies are a long, steep descent back to the cabin, but Gordon feels certain the new snowfall will “slow us down sufficiently” and we should just “go for it.” Several points of note here: my scanner is old and beginning to fractalize my 35mm scans too much, as you see in the last post ( the “edges” around Gordon). So, I have bought a killer new scanner to better resolve images in future posts. I bring this up now, because the above image is NOT suffering from scanning failure. This is Gordon rushing towards me in the dark. I am shooting handheld. If it looks like an out-of-focus, double-image, it is! I am at 1/2 sec. exposure, panting breathless from having just done this run myself, and I am cold and need serious food so I am probably shaking. The light is flat and the terrain unreadable. Not everyone does this without falling, but none one is injured, so we all retire for the evening to have food, libations, and a good sleep. With our “work” finished, in the morning we will have a “play day” and after breakfast we plan to ski the longer, higher ridge to the north. Outside, the snow has started falling again.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, September 4, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #70:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #70:  All the materials we have not yet used are stored under the cabin for our spring return to complete the roof, and we spread our gear on the new bed platforms trying to organize our somewhat crowded, space. The cabin is REALLY warm from the combination of stove, multiple bodies, and a well done job sealing wind leaks in the walls, so we have a great snack party, after which we stumble outside to see the view. The sun is setting and we are in a winter twilight with rapidly changing passing weather, that for the moment has once again cleared slightly and the snow has stopped. Following his belief that “The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get,” Gordon suggests that we all ski to the top of the ridge to our south for view of the valley and the weather coming directly at us. So, off we all go. Please note here - NONE of us uses “skins” as yet. This uphill traction is all based a choosing the proper WAX and picking just the right angle of traverse - anybody remember doing that ? LOL! At the moment we are in an uphill. corkscrew traverse that will brings us onto a summit looking south over the Wood River Valley, and east at the Pioneer Mountains. Then it will get dark!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, August 28, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #69:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #69: Our “crew” for the winter rebuild of Pioneer Cabin, includes quite a range of friends. There are DFC&FC colleagues like Gordon Williams along, my good friend, photographer and workshop teacher, Chris Korody (post #49), and I also invite two friends from Santa Barbara, photographer-artist, Jon Davis (post #66), and a filmmaker attending Brooks Institute, Peter Eaton. With a full house and LOTS of raw material, our first order of business is to fix and clean the stove, start a fire, and go to work sealing holes and replacing windows. Weather was coming in during our supply airlift, and it only gets worse throughout the day, so we all have the common goal of securing the cabin so it will be warmer at night. Once the stove is roaring and not leaking smoke, we attack the windows and holes in the wall. We have to heat the window putty a bit to get it in place, and as the last a the glass panes are replaced, it starts to snow. As did Ansel Adams, we landscape photographers occasionally take portraits, so this is one of my earliest - looking out from inside the cabin, a Rene Magritte vision of Gordon putting in one of the last windows, with the snow falling. With glass in place, we seal everything with Visqueen, and settle in to our snug new remodel for the incoming storm.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, August 21, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #68:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #68:  Sitting in Pioneer Cabin having dinner after our walk-about in the alpine basins below us that afternoon, two ideas filter into our conversations. One is that I am going to try to get Sun Valley Magazine to run a short article about our campsite clean-up (post #66) as it will serve to promote the photography program I teach at the SVCAC, and it will further the “lore” of the DFC&FC which will help to fill our evening lectures that we give at the Sun Valley Lodge. The other topic of our conversation is the condition of the cabin. The stove barely works and leaks smoke; many of the windows are broken out so it is hard to keep out the cold out and keep in the warmth; the beds are a joke, as springs have rusted away; and because it has rained much of our visit, there are pots EVERYWHERE trying to contain dripping from the porous roof. Inspired by our effort earlier in the day to clean up the filthy sheep camp, I hatch an idea to save the cabin. I will ask Glenn Cooper, whom I work for at the art center, to speak with her friend, Bill Janss, who is developing Sun Valley. As winter approaches, I have noticed many “abandoned” materials lying around as construction sites close down for the season, and I want Sun Valley Company to “donate” nails, glass, scrap board, and rolls of tarpaper to the DFC&FC, so that we may rebuild the cabin. Then, I will do a story about THAT for Sun Valley Magazine. Further, I can see it can become a two-part DFC&FC adventure, if we can start the inside-the-cabin work in the winter, and mix that with a bit of backcountry skiing. Then, we can come back to finish the outside and the roof, the following summer. Glenn Cooper and Bill Janss fully support the idea, and local helicopter pilot, Danny Danielson, offers to donate a couple of flights up to the cabin to carry in the supplies because he likes our initiative as well. The above shot becomes a cover of Sun Valley Magazine.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, August 14, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #67:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #67:  With our daypacks full of plastic, cans, and other trash, we turn ourselves back toward Pioneer Cabin and begin to walk down-basin. As we stroll, the sky brightens and the clouds begin to lift. By the time we reach the dome at the foot of Handwerk Peak, we can actually see blue, and sun has begun to warm the day a bit even though it is getting late. Knowing a slog up the scree gullies we came down will be miserable, we decide to drop lower in this valley to the more forested slope below the cabin, which should be easier to scramble up. As we round the base of Hendwerk, clouds lift off 11,700ft., Duncan Ridge, which comes fully into view. This is a BIG, STEEP wall, whose ruggedness is now even more accentuated by the light dusting of snow, and in the dazzling sunlight, it is breathtaking. We need to keep moving so that we can ascend to the cabin before dark, thus I am quick to snap this shot off. At the time, this was nothing more than a document, but seeing Duncan Ridge sent a primal chill up my spine because I could sense its power and scale. As fate would have it, in just a few months I would be back at Pioneer Cabin in the middle of winter, and this time I would SEE Duncan Ridge in ALL of its raging glory.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, August 7, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #66:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #66:  As our group follows the rock up into higher basins, we encounter numerous meadows, and although it is late fall and stormy, some of them still sport a few flowers here and there. It is also clear they have been grazed. Sheep are herded through the Pioneers and spend a good deal of time munching at fairly high altitude. In the case of this basin, the shepherds actually established a more permanent camp and stayed some length of time. Unfortunately, when they left, they did not show much respect for the very mountains that support them, and in their wake, we find a truly TRASHED camp, as you can see. Our new associates are to the left; Gordon Williams makes a statement with his ice-axe, front and center; and, to his right are Jon Davis and Rick Demornay, my friends from Santa Barbara. We ALL find the messy camp appalling after so much of the rest of the day had been wildly beautiful, so I suggest since we all have daypacks that are nearly empty, that we carry out all the garbage we can collect. Gordon also de-constructs the campsite to minimize its visual impact on the surrounding basin, and we scatter all of the charcoal and ashes accumulated in the firepit. This takes little effort on our part and makes a big difference to the view when we stand back and see what we have done. Doing this again and again throughout the Pioneers and Sawtooths would become a “service” hallmark of the DFC&FC - our way of being grateful for having such extraordinary environments to explore.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, July 31, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #65:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #65:  Our sidehill granthing (see previous post) causes us to drop off the ridge more quickly than we had hoped to, and when we finally leave the rubble and scree for solid rock, we are in the basin at the FOOT of Handwerk Peak, looking directly up along the spine of its ridge. Everything seems so much bigger now than it did when we were looking at it from the cabin. In reference, in the last post you can see a rock dome without many trees at the foot of Handwerk. That dome is in the middle of this picture, and this stream flows from meadows off to the left of the dome slope. It rains on us occasionally, and more often than not it also snows lightly, but melts on contact. We chill here for awhile, snacking and taking in water, and then we decide to follow the solid granite up the basin and towards the destination we originally hoped to reach. Although grey and cold, it is a beautiful hike, and I begin to have some sense of why Gordon likes the Pioneers so much. It also occurs to me that you can summit Handwerk without rope, simply by a goat-walk along the ridge. Too late in the day for that now, but perhaps another time!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, July 24, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #64:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #64:  Handwerk Peak is to the immediate right, and I have always thought it looks like the rear view of a lizard whose legs are splayed behind him (iguana-style). Its spine is the ridge leading to the summit, which has the shape of a head with a pointed nose. According to Gordon, our destination for the day is the high basin to the left, sitting just below the snow line, AND, he says, “we can get there in a simple traverse.” The Pioneers are a VERY DIFFERENT kind of mountain from the Sawtooths and Gordon is enjoying “introducing” us to this range that the DF&FC consider their backyard. The Sawtooths show a lot of notable, clean granite walls and summits, and although there are certainly boulder fields, it is seldom just shattered scree. The Pioneers are more weathered and completely shattered, all the way to their summits. Although there is plenty of granite, there is an awesome amount of scree and rubble as well, as you can see from the foreground ridge summit in post #62. Our path for the day, lies along an extension of that same ridge, running off to the left in this picture. The weathered limber pine along our route are spectacular, but so are some of the steep and unexpected scree ravines we encounter that cause as to adjust our traverse line. Long hikes offer all day conversations about nearly anything, but as all of us except for Gordon are relatively newcomers to this terrain, he interjects our conversations with various stories and credos. The primary lesson for the day is “Never rise or fall more than you have to,” in reference to our line of traverse. Because the traverse is rugged, and always sloping left-to-right, Gordon also refers to our hike of step-forward, slide-two-steps-down as “sidehill granthing.” Well, sidehill granth we do!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, July 17, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #63:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #63:  Looking off the ridge in the other direction, Pioneer Cabin is still below me and in the shadow of dawn, but the Pioneers, themselves, are starting to glow and light up, and the sky is on fire. “Red sky in morning, sailor take warning.” Probably true here as well. With the morning waking up, weather begins to stream through, and I return to the cabin to find my DFC&FC colleague, Gordon Williams, has arisen and has started the stove. Jon Davis, who is also attending the Brooks Institute with me, and his friend Rick DeMornay, are just beginning to stir, and then the first storm breaks. It rains hard, and adds more snow to the peaks. About the time we finish a slow breakfast, two other hikers appear, so we make room for them in the cabin and offer them some food. As they recover, the storm abates (for awhile) and cabin fever sets in, so Gordon suggests we get on our gear and go for a hike out along the ridge, making a big traverse and coming into the basin beneath 10,600ft, Handwerk Peak. What do we know? Sounds like a good idea! Our new cabin-mates want to join in, as well, and so we are off.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, July 10, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #62:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #62:  While studying at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, I maintain a great relationship with my friends in the DFC&FC because we will use any excuse to adventure. On an extended Thanksgiving holiday break, I bring several of my Brooks classmates and Santa Barbara friends with me to Sun Valley. It is late fall, cold, and raining almost everyday. We hook up with Gordon Williams, who suggests we should go camping, but to a “protected” location so we will not be out in the open and need tents to stay dry. Besides, he wants me to see the Pioneer Mountains which form the backdrop of Sun Valley, and which you approach using the road up Trail Creek. He suggests we hike to historic Pioneer Cabin, and base there for further adventuring out into the major peak section of the range. My backpacking experience until now has been limited to the Sawtooths, where we did need tents, so not needing them sounds like our packs will be lighter, BUT we just take more fresh food and alcohol. There is weather coming in, so before it arrives, we leave in the late afternoon and accomplish the steep, switchback trail to the cabin before dark. The cabin is pretty beat up and leaks a lot, but the stove works and we are fine. In the morning the weather lets up briefly and I do a sunrise walkabout. From the trail, at the ridge above the cabin, this is my morning view - Trail Creek, Sun Valley, and the Big Wood River Valley are all obscured by clouds, and Baldy floats like an island in the far distance. They are still grey and dark. Up here, WE are having a raging sunrise! THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, July 3, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #61:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #61:  The show goes on for a good bit of time, and finally we have been standing too long and the cold is setting in, so it is time to get moving once again, and we start back across the lake. Every once in awhile, I stop to turn and look back as the spectacle of sunspots continues dancing across summits and walls. At the moment, I am skiing in my first pair of cross-country skiis. They are Kneissl, and I have cable bindings. I am also wearing hiking boots and gaiters. This tech will morph many times over the ensuing years. Yesterday on the lake, the howl of the wind was so relentless, you could barely think, let alone communicate. Today, there is an almost zen silence that is only interrupted by the strangely harmonious squeaks of everyone’s cable binding system, that squeak a bit with every stride. Because I keep stopping to look back and shoot, I fall behind the group, who are now intently headed toward fire and food. I find myself looking at a familiar wall that I have always thought subject worthy, and indeed, it appears in two important pictures of mine, post #55 and #57. As I ponder it, a faint sun ray beams down softly, illuminating the face against the dark sky, jewel-like. It has been a good day, and this is a lovely parting gift, as we will ski out after we eat lunch and return to Ketchum-Sun Valley.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, June 26, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #60:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #60:  The next morning at the Saviers’ cabin on Pettit Lake, my DFC&FC friends and I awake to a day that saw on-and-off snowfall all night, but it now appears the storm might be breaking off. More notably, the howling wind has died and although high clouds are passing through, it is windless, calm, and quiet. We have a good breakfast and warm to the day, but cabin fever eventually sets in, so we head back outside and into our skiis. The few inches of new powder provide perfect conditions, giving us solid traction to push off into long glide strides. It is not as effortless as being driven across the frozen lake surface yesterday by the wind, but it does feel like flying. We all drop into our individual rhythms and start to “step-out.” We are back out on the frozen lake and once again headed down toward the far end and the canyon which we have visited several times before, that leads up to Alice Lake and Parks Peak. The sky is dark and threatening, but it is not that cold, and no snow is falling. When we hit the mouth of the canyon, however, and get a look at the snow load and wind deposits, no one thinks going any further is a good idea because these are extreme avalanche conditions. Just before we turn back, this happens: “Fool’s Holes” open up in the clouds and let through select beams of sunlight that scroll across the landscape like spotlights. There is much “hoo-hawing” in our group as these illuminating windows sweep by, and after a series of varying images, this lines up rather beautifully, setting a big wall and Parks Peak aglow.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, June 19, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #59:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #59:  Seemingly without much effort we reach the Saviers’ cabin, having been propelled most of the way across Pettit Lake by the howling wind. After I step out of my skis, I walk out of the trees to the edge of the lake and look back at where we have been. Our tracks have already been erased from the lake surface by the ground blizzard, and it is now snowing hard as well, so most of the world has disappeared behind the veil of flakes and ice crystals. As I squint into the storm in the direction of the end of the lake and the canyon from which we have just returned, a faint hint of the wall I have come to know quite well, ghosts in and out of my vision. At first I think it is just changes in the density of blowing/falling snow that is causing the tones I see, but then for a moment, I can clearly distinguish trees and rock faces with which I am familiar. Gordon is at my shoulder by now, curious that I am still trying to take pictures, and he, too, sees these fleeting forms appear and disappear, and asks if I can actually make pictures of what we see. Apparently I do. This is “Distant Wall through Snow and Clouds,” and along with the last two posts #57, “Sawtooth Walls,” and #58, “Edge of the Lake in a Howling Spindrfit Storm,” these 3 images are part of the 24 prints published in my portfolio:  "Winters:  1970-1980". Thank you Doc and Joe for the gift of being able to enjoy this place.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, June 12, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #58:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #58:  Out on the open, frozen expanse of Pettit Lake, the wind is now at our back and pushing us. It is blowing harder than ever, but we no longer have to tolerate ice crystals stinging our faces and tearing our eyes. During the really big gusts, you can actually see our whole group gliding along, riding the wind. Many times we just stand up straight and hold our arms out in T-formation, using our bodies like sails. The wind is strong enough to be stripping the fallen snow off the ice surface of the lake, and when it picks up clouds of powder and sweeps into the forest, trees disappear and reappear as if low clouds were passing. About 1-2ft. above the lake ice, but below our waists, there is a stunning ground blizzard that NEVER stops blowing. Looking at the forest through my lenses, I am aware of the weird tonal changes that occur because these particles in the air are bending light and diffusing hard edges of detail into some dreamlike, middle tone landscape that has NO black, and white is a white-out! This is NOT the pre-visualized world that Ansel Adams describes as his approach to photographing the landscape. There is NOTHING you could PRE-visualize about this craziness. I am lucky to even make exposures.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, June 5, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #57:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #57:  With each ski stride forward, the intensity of the wind seems to increase, blasting us in the face. We get some relief when we reach the treeline at the edge of Pettit Lake and enter the canyon, but clearly the storm is getting WORSE. With so much snow, AND so much snow being blown around, we know we are now entering an area that is growing more dangerous as the hours pass because of the threat of avalanche. When we arrive at this point, our skiing exploration ends, as no one thinks venturing into more exposed terrain is a good idea. We shelter in the trees to snack and watch, and in the process of taking pictures, numerous, small, dry-powder avalanches pitch off of ledges and trickle down steep gullies. This storm is not “passing,” and just keeps raging on, so after a short break we get back in our skis and head down canyon. Now the wind is WITH us and the trail has already been broken, so our retreat is marked with wild whoops of ski-joy, as our individual glide steps cover many feet of terrain, AND we pick up speed as we head for the lakeshore.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, May 29, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #56:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #56:  Now on another visit to the Saviers cabin at Pettit Lake, I encounter a very different place. With a notably BAD storm coming in, I ask Joe if we can go out to the cabin, and he is happy to let us do so, but does not choose to join us. Gordon Williams, my DFC&FC colleague, and some other friends are up for the adventure, however, so we are off. We cross over Galena Summit before the snow starts, but by the time we reach the car plowout on Highway #75 that serves Pettit, it is snowing pretty hard. It is a cold, dry snow, and VERY beautiful, so we load up our gear, step into our skis and head for the cabin. After a cozy night, we wake to a blizzard. It is blowing hard and REALLY snowing, so at first we just hang by the fire and enjoy a slow breakfast. By 10am, though, we all have cabin fever, so remembering the visuals of my previous trip, I suggest we once again ski across the lake and up the canyon beneath Parks Peak. With no better suggestions, we gear up, and head out. Not all ideas are good ones, and skiing across the open exposure of the frozen lake surface may be the most direct line to the canyon, but it also leaves us constantly wind-whipped by ranging gusts that are driving stinging ice crystals into our faces. The wind strength also seems to get worse as we get closer to the funnel of the canyon at the end of the lake. I believe it was here that Gordon turned to me and said, “Maybe this isn’t such a good idea.” But, I reminded him, “The Higher You Get The Higher You Get,” and he agreed the canyon would soon rise, so we skied on. Does this background look familiar? Check the last post.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, May 22, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #55:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #55:  More typical to daily cabin behavior are cross-country skiing trips to various views and vantage points around Pettit Lake. Just a bit further down the lakeshore there is actually a summer trailhead for a great loop hike that rises into some very high granite basins and connects Alice Lake, Twin Lakes, Toxaway, and few smaller ones, so frequently in the winter we would set out on one direction of the loop or the other with the intention of reaching one of the lakes, it just never happens that we get there. The simplest and most direct approach is to ski across frozen Pettit Lake and start up the canyon beneath Parks Peak that leads to Alice Lake. It sounds good in theory, and this day is nice and sunny enough, but as we near the end of Pettit and enter the heavily forested canyon, the walls steepen to absurd verticality on one side, and offer little refuge from potential avalanche on the other. At our farthest point of access on this day’s ski, we arrive here. This is, “Sheer Wall,” another image that would become part of my portfolio, “Winters:1970-1980.” This also seems like a good place to stop for lunchsnacks and some sun, so we break out the smoked clams and crackers and listen to the gentle breeze rustle through the trees. Or not! In the middle of our winter solitude, a new sound echoes through the walls of the canyon, a sort of low rumble. Unsure what it is at first, we all soon realize it is an avalanche SOMEWHERE, and we study the walls around US to see if they are moving. Not this time, but it is definitely lunch over and time to retreat downcanyon.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, May 15, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #54:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #54:  There are numerous times when I reach a limit on the partying in the cabin, or sitting in the sun, so if we are not out on our DFC&FC “mission-of-the-day,” I often wander around in the woods near the cabin, absorbing the “vision" of winter. At this point I am shooting in both color and B&W. Galleries in the area, and some magazines I have met, prefer color, but I also have seen that my B&W in these backcountry journeys presents a very different look of the landscape than I have ever seen represented before in photography, and I want to keep exploring that. Besides, my attendance at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara has greatly improved my B&W skills and I love to work in the darkroom and make beautiful prints. It is also clear that I have been taught the world of the B&W print has a broad tonal range, and all subjects are actually manipulated in some degree, either in the film processing or the printing, to achieve this “perfect” range of separate tones. Yet, here I am in the woods behind Joe Saviers’ cabin, staring at a world that only has a few VERY contrasting tones in it, NOT a “perfect range.” Somehow this still looks pretty great to me, and in framing I realize this minimalist composition, “Visual Haiku,” that will ultimately become one of the images in my published, 24-print portfolio, “Winters:1970-1980
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, May 8, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #53:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #53:  Admittedly, not all the time spent at the Saviers’ cabin at Pettit Lake is adventuring or photographing. There is a good deal or eating, relaxing, and partying as well. Every day we rise with a mission that usually involves skiing somewhere, having lunch, and getting back in time for a bit of this at the end of the day, before the cold of the night sets in. It is now late afternoon, and we have been out all day. This is Vicki Golden, my partner at the time (and someone that will show up in many adventures throughout these blogs), and she has just stepped out of her skies to enjoy some last rays in a porch chair. Note those stylish gaiters! I will also take this opportunity to acknowledge one other element I always loved about Doc and this cabin. Pettit Lake had loons, and Doc actually had a beautiful stuffed loon in the cabin on the mantle above the fireplace. One winter, a wolverine got into the cabin by coming down the chimney, and trashed the place. It found the loon and chewed away all the neck feathers without damaging the rest of the mount. After Doc repaired the cabin, he placed the loon back on the mantle WITHOUT REPLACING THE NECK THAT HAD BEEN CHEWED AWAY! On any given night, sitting about eating and drinking I would often gaze over to see the loon staring down at us, his beautiful feathered body and head connected together by about 6-inches of bare wire. Perfectly weird and wonderfully funny. Thank you Doc and Joe for inviting me to enjoy this place.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, May 1, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #52:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #52:  This is Doc Saviers' cabin at Pettit Lake in the Sawtooth mountains, and that is his son, Joe, surveying the winter domain from the front porch. Joe is another “brother" of the Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club, but he does not often strap on his cross-country skis, except to come out to the cabin. I am sure that those that knew him would agree, Joe had two speeds - occasionally laid-back, and mostly full-throttle. When Joe skied, it was simply a process of pointing your tips down the hill and following along at any speed or steepness. Fearless! Most of the DFC&FC activities that took a lot of toil and effort were not his thing, but he did like to have us all out at the cabin, partying and having fun. The road into Pettit Lake is not plowed in the winter, so we all ski in the mile or two it takes to reach the cabin. The cabin is large and snug, so it is a GREAT place to use as a base for further adventures, as you will see. Importantly, it is also a place of quiet reflection, and provides me with many of the winter images that would ultimately comprise my first published portfolio of prints: “WINTERS: 1970-1980."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, April 24, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #51:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #51:  There is yet one more “character” to introduce, another DFC&FC colleague, but to set the stage properly we must return to the Sawtooths. Like Redfish Lake (post #36), this is one of the lower, larger lakes that are part of the range - this is Pettit. Pettit is about 1-1/2 miles across, at the end of which is a rising valley. The tallest of the visible summits in this image is Parks Peak (10,200’). It is quite a view and quite a basin. At this time, Pettit not only hosts US Forest Service campgrounds, but it also has private residences that hold “grandfathered” leases (that I think have now expired). One of those grandfathered “cabins-by-the-lake” belongs to Dr. George Saviers, who is noted as Hemingway’s personal doctor, but who also was part of the excellent medical group that serves the athletes and injuries of Sun Valley. Doc has several sons, and of them, Joe, is a classmate of Gordon Williams and Chris Puchner, AND a contributor to the concept of the DFC&FC. Part of that time we spend “conceptualizing” is at Doc’s cabin on Pettit Lake. Of course it is nice in the summer when it is warm and you can swim in the lake, but that is when everyone wants to be there. WE, of the DFC&FC thought it was also a great place to go in the winter when no one was around and the Sawtooths were showing off their rugged walls and summits through layers of deep (skiable) snow! For me as a young photographer, this was a VERY inspiring retreat.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, April 17, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #50:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #50:  More of the characters involved. No! Not the girl! That is Shelley Selover, my girlfriend at the time, who has come up to Sun Valley from Los Angeles to do some hiking and camping. The “characters” I refer to are the house and the car. The car is my ’67 327 Chevy Camaro Rally Sport, that I imagine to be a 4-wheel drive vehicle, having taken it up the road to Hell Roaring Lake in the Sawtooths, TWICE! AS you can see, it is attractively decorated - it is amazing any air passes through that grille or you can even see my headlights - I think we have just come back from a camping trip to Kane Lake in the Pioneer mountains, and I believe I forged some creeks getting to the trailhead. THE HOUSE is something else entirely. Owned by a family in Oregon, this is a duplex located out near the end of Warm Springs road, looking directly across at lower Warm Springs run, and not far from the circular stone house. Split down the middle, each unit has 2 large bedrooms/bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room with huge fireplace, and balcony access upstairs, while downstairs are 2 smaller bedrooms, a bathroom, and door access. Because I was teaching at the Sun Valley Creative Arts Center, climber-realtor-property manager, Louis Stur, a friend of several DFC&FC members and anyone else who loved the surrounding mountains, arranged a rental for “us” on one side of this unit, and the owner sent his son out to live on the other side and “supervise” us. There were A LOT of “us.” Originally, we were all teachers - myself, Chris Korody (previous post), and our colleague from San Francisco, George Leisey. Then, Gordon Williams, Chris Puchner, and Pasha (a dog friend of GW and my dog, Belle Star - see post #46) started hanging around, initiating the pioneering of climbing routes across the huge stone fireplace in the living room. When we took the owner’s son with us on a backpack to Decker Lake and the Finger-of-Fate (posts #38-48), he opened up his side of the duplex to our group and joined our party. We stored all our climbing and camping gear in HIS downstairs bedrooms, so that we could be ready to go at a moment’s notice. (Shelley went on to be a publicist for Arnold Schwarzenegger, on tour doing media with The Rolling Stones, a 17-year Vice President of West Coast Media for Sony Music, and now owns CIA Media, managing Stevie Wonder. She is amazing person with whom I shared some very good times. TY, SS!)! 
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, April 10, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #49:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #49:  At this point, there is a LOT going on and I want to introduce some of the characters and their cross currents. To start with, right out of college, any job is a good job, so because I still skied resort slopes, I needed a lift pass. When I came to Sun Valley after graduation, I brought with me some of the light show equipment I used in LA, so in my first resident winter (’70-’71), I was not only ensconced at the Bald Mountain Hot Springs Motel teaching photography, but I was running the light show in the Boiler Room, a nightclub at the Sun Valley Lodge. If you follow this blog, you will recall that in post #32, I also mention meeting Kristen Cooper, a student of the workshops I was teaching, and how because of that her mother, Glenn Cooper, asked me to teach photography at the newly-founded, Sun Valley Creative Arts Center during the upcoming summer months. Fast forward to summer, and the above person is Christopher Korody. A classmate of mine from the Webb School, Chris and I are now both out of college and he has come to “hang” with my friends and I in SV. He is also an aspiring photographer and needs work. There is, as yet, no photography darkroom constructed, so Glenn Cooper secures Dollar Cabin for us, which Christopher and I transform into a classroom and darkroom using duct tape and tarpaper from the nearby home construction sites. Dollar cabin is the winter lunch cafe for those that ski Dollar Mountain, so it has numerous benches and tables, as well as two LARGE bathrooms that become our darkrooms. I also convince Glenn that I have too many children mixed with adults taking classes, and suggest Chris should teach a Children’s Photography Workshop exclusively for them, to which she agrees. Dollar is truly a ski “shack” and the darkroom(bathroom) floors had tile and drains, so kids could get REALLY “involved” with their work and it was still easy to clean up. Above on the left is Mr. Korody displaying his quiver of Nikons prior joining our DFC&FC backpack adventure into the Sawtooths, which I have described in posts #38-48. To the right he is “man-ing” the Children’s Photography Workshop display at the Sun Valley Summer Arts Festival. All of THOSE pictures were made without any cameras, and THIS display was a star of the show. 
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, April 3, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #48:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #48:  Decker Lake and the Finger-of-Fate were a remarkable start to my exposure to wilderness. Lost in thought on the hike back out, I began to consider how I might continue to do trips like this as part of my budding photographic career. These kinds of adventures, and the smaller, more versatile cameras opened a whole new world of vision that went beyond parks, and pretty pictures, to a greater sense of the wild planet. This vision is heady, it makes me high, and when we arrive at the car, I am more wired than tired. I am perfectly clear an amazing door of perception/opportunity has just opened for me. I would also like to acknowledge my indebtedness to Decker Lake and the island, in particular. Not only does my dog (at the time), Belle Star, claim the island HER sovereign nation by occupation (post #46), I note in post #39 that that image of the lake and island were one of my early successful gallery prints. This is another of my early gallery images. Apparently in complete disregard for the health of my ’67 Camaro, I not only ventured up the Hell Roaring Lake access road another time, I did so in a snowstorm at the coming of winter. A great day was had by all, and the lake was beautiful. The Finger never appeared. 
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, March 27, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #47:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #47:  Val and I had a similar day. I felt we shared the same sense of primal revelation and suddenly looked at the world around in a VERY different and exciting way. In that late afternoon light at Decker Lake, you could see that sense of our discoveries radiating from her. I am sorry she has since passed away. I feel grateful to have spent meaningful time with her. I would also like to acknowledge her family, as they tolerated me and did some wonderful things for the Ketchum-Sun Valley community of which they are still a part. Her parents, Ed and Carol, ultimately donated the funds for the construction of a state-of-the-art darkroom facility for the Sun Valley Creative Arts Center photography workshop program which I helped to found, and although her brother, Ed, and I have not communicated, her brother, Andrew and I touch base on FB. Recently I was glad to see a post of him and his son at the top of Limelight, one of the great ski runs on Baldy that goes top-to-base. I hope those who loved Val enjoy these old pictures of mine. This is my “Madonna of Decker Lake” diptych.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, March 20, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #46:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #46:  My lovely dog at this time was a black lab named, Belle Star. She hiked well and wore her own saddlebags to carry her food. As the day was hot, and she was black, she always had water to drink, but aside from soaking her paws, she remained dry and consequently quite toasty to the touch. By the time we arrived back at Decker Lake and camp, she was ready for some total immersion. Belle and Valerie had previously witnessed our group of males, diving in, bellowing a lot, and then streaking for the shoreline, so they both did their “thing”. Val headed for her deepwater rock ledge on the other side of the lake which still had the late sun. Belle, not sure why no one had yet investigated the island in the lake, decided that someone had to, and so she headed there. Apparently both women thought it better to get further away from the bellowing.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, March 13, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #45:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #45:  It was good that Chris and Gordon completed their climb early, not because of the threat of inclement weather, but rather that it was PERFECTLY clear and blazingly hot. Our meadow-mooing, loopy-leaping, and glissading found us wearing less and less clothes and drinking A LOT a water. Apparently this was before any of us had heard of sunscreen or sierra cups - check Gordon’s shoulders. As this is the first time many of us have done something like this, wandering in rugged mountains to find jewel-like gardens with moss and flowers, drinking water flowing from melting snow with no hesitation, climbing through scale and verticality like a small fly in a crack, or moving from boulder-to-boulder like a…? Then comes my open-conscious mind and my Stanley Kubrick moment. For me, the entire day seemed VERY PRIMAL. My body was doing things it had never done, in beautiful places - stunning places - it never even considered before, and yet in my life, my body AND my mind never felt more free, while at the same time, more connected to the planet. It was a “primal” connection, and at moments like these (above) I could not help laughing as my mind’s eye reflected on Kubrick’s primal moments in “2001: A Space Odyssey.”. Gordon even has his stick-weapon thing tethered to his body, so he may reach it immediately in case of attack - his looks way more sophisticated than just some jawbone, though! Water good! Naked at the lake cannot come soon enough!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, March 6, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #44:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #44:  Quite soon Gordon and Chris appeared from above us and we all broke out our official lunch. It was clear that there was NOT going to be any weather today driving us to cover, and so we all agreed that there was no hurry to return to our lake and camp any too quickly. More mooing and grazing. In the highest of the meadows around us there was still a good bit of snow left in some places, so those of us that had never played in this environment before were tutored by Gordon about glissading and how to use an ice-axe for an arrest. Chris on the other hand, just flipped out. Not having an ice-axe, I glissaded into a stream, and most of us got sunburned on some part of our body. It was fun AND killer beautiful. If backpacking brought you to places like this all of the time, I’m in. This is a world I knew little about but I am about to dive into it in a big way. SO many lakes, and so little time. For now, most of us were fried, and just getting back to our lake for the evening swim was more than enough. Oh, and food! Did I mention food!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, February 27, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #43:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #43:  We were all so excited, we rose with Chris and Gordon at dawn as well, to find a warm, and crystal clear day (so far) with the Finger-of-Fate etched against the blue sky. Breakfast was had by all - including a DFC&FC culinary secret, a special energy-brew coffee - and we were off. The higher we got, the higher we got. Our ascent through the boulders took us out of the bug zone and into the warming rays of the sun. Chris and Gordon moved ahead more quickly as they still had much to do, but the rest of us were like cows turned out to graze in alpine pastures. We moo-ed around from one flowery meadow to another, and from one waterfall to another, loafing semi-naked, snacking, and taking in the stunning views. By the time our heard reached the highest point achievable without rope safety, Gordon and Chris summited, made a lot of whooping noises from somewhere way above us, and tossed off a few rocks. We called out to them of our arrival, and then we decided to wait for them to downclimb, so we could all retreat back to camp together. Here, Valerie focuses on her footwork and Chris Puchner is a mountain god surveying his domain. The day remained cloudless, and had become really hot. There was actually talk about “going for a swim” when we got back to the lake. How quickly they forget - LOL!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, February 20, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #42:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #42:  After our baths, the evening grew cool quickly, so we donned warmer clothes and began fixing dinner. We all agreed that we would go to bed early as Gordon and Chris wanted to start at sunrise and summit the Finger-of-Fate before any afternoon weather that might arise. They also suggested the rest of us leave camp early to avoid the bugs, and work on getting our “granite legs” under us. As we all sat with our food in the waning sunlight, the Finger was framed perfectly from our campsite. My climbing colleagues thought we might follow their general direction once we were up and moving in the morning, and scramble up high without doing anything technical. I was amazed when they assured us there were many other small ponds, streams, and meadows amongst the rocks and ledges that you see here forming the base of the Finger. Notably they also warned us that it was important to choose your route of ascent/decent wisely when moving around so that you did not end up getting ledged-up - confronted with a sheer face around which you might not be able to navigate.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, February 13, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #41:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #41:  For those of you that HAVE dived into high mountain lakes, or pretended you are a “Polar Bear” at various winter events, it should come as no surprise that for those of us who have NEVER done it, doing it comes as quite a surprise. There is nothing so sobering as being completely naked and taking that lunge. When you hit the water, the universal response is, “oh, F*%#, and then you start thrashing frantically for the shoreline and a place to get OUT! The only female amongst us, Valerie watched the succession of males hit the water and bolt, flailing wildly in the air and bellowing a lot, and decided her “bath time” would be a bit more reclusive and quiet. She also said she wanted to have a better place to GET OUT. This is her “launch” ledge. Looks like a lovely evening at Decker Lake doesn’t it. Weather permitting, tomorrow morning Chris and Gordon are going to climb the Finger-of-Fate.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, February 6, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #40:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #40:  Not even the most avid backpacker truly likes carrying a pack, so we shed ours as soon as we could find suitable areas to spread the tents. Everyone attended to getting camp set up and having some lunch, and then there was a rush of afternoon laziness as we sat about the lakeshore, surveying our new domain. There was no one else here. It was as though we had entered our own private world. For awhile each of us strolled and scrambled around the lake, visiting a lush meadow and beautiful waterfall on the other side situated dramatically beneath the Finger-of-Fate, but as the afternoon wore on, the heat of the day began to dissipate without any afternoon thunderstorms. My DFC&FC colleagues, Chris Puchner (seated) and Gordon Williams (standing) suggested since we were sweaty all day, we might all want to “go for a swim” before the afternoon grew any cooler. As you can see, THEY think the idea is really funny? We, on the other hand, have never dived into a high mountain lake before. See where I am going with this?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, January 30, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #39:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #39:  Chris and Gordon, my friends in the DFC&FC, had all of us arise at dawn, not only to witness the spectacular sunrise on the Finger-of-Fate above Hell Roaring Lake, but also to eat breakfast, pack, break camp, and get on the trail while it was still cool, and before too many mosquitoes appeared. There is no trail to the Finger, you simply leave the lake trail at Hell Roaring and begin an angular rising traverse through a large boulder field. Several people in our party, myself included, had never carried full-rig backpacks before, and what became immediately clear was that this imaginary line of ascent through the rocks was a lot more difficult and strength demanding than the “stroll” through the forest on the trail we had done the previous afternoon. Then it got hot! With every passing hour, even hotter. It would be 90˚ by noon, and hopefully we would be at the smaller lake by then as well. In the meantime, we were all dripping sweat and shedding clothes. Finally, we seemed to plateau and the big rocks gave way to beautiful flowering, grassy meadows, through which a small stream trickled. Within steps the lake became visible, and although it was much smaller than Hell Roaring, it did not seem small. Actually, having never seen an alpine like, I thought it looked like a blue jewel shimmering beneath these dramatic, jagged ridges of the Sawtooths.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, January 23, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #38:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #38:  (For those of you that know this place, this is where my story gets very funny). I now own a great Jansport backpack with a hip-belt (thank god!) and a really nice 2-person, A-frame tent with a storm vestibule (whose use I do not yet fully understand). I have also been invited to bring others on this weekend camping trip, so roommates in our housing rental, Chris Korody and Robert Shaw, join us, as does my girlfriend at the time, Valerie Dumke. We all own relatively small cars, so with all the gear there is no car-pooling and I find myself with Valerie and Christopher in my 4-speed, stick-shift, 327 Camaro, following Gordon Williams and the others IN HIS JEEP as we pass the sign for Decker Flats and begin to ascend the horribly rutted road to Hell Roaring Lake trailhead - if you follow this link, note the language “high clearance road.” This is miles of some of the craziest driving I have ever attempted AND, amazingly, I did NOT trash my car. Finally, at the trailhead, pack on the back, boots laced up for the 5-mile forest walk to the lake, I have Sierra cups, sleeping pads, a water bottle, and some lens cases hanging off of various part of my rig, and as I am wearing it for the very first time, I am trying to get used to the numerous straps, belts, and other adjustments that will make it as comfortable as possible. Then, we are off! The trail is great, the walk is hot but easy, and about 2-miles into it, we stop for a water break and a momentary pack unload. I thought it a chance to make my first pictures, UNTIL I DISCOVERED I left both of my Nikon F’s sitting on the hood of my car! I jogged back to find them still there and retrieve them. Following my return, we made Hell Roaring Lake and set up camp within an hour, enjoying a beautiful clear evening. Then we arose at dawn to be greeted by this. Can you guess where we are going? It is a small lake at the base of the Finger-of-Fate.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, January 16, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #37:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #37:  Another of the images that I printed and that sold well at the time, this reflection in Redfish Creek deals with the landscape as an abstraction, but as is apparent, it is not really dealing with the landscape of the Sawtooths in any descriptive way. There was some part of my own emerging vision that wanted to be able to see and understand the greater landscape, while still rendering it abstractly, a technique and way-of-seeing that I found in the best of Eliot Porter’s images, especially those from the New England woods and the slot canyons of Utah. I began to consider the words of my former instructor, Robert Heinecken, that I might want to use a larger camera to photograph the landscape, and indeed, Eliot shot with a 4x5 view camera. This kind of thinking would eventually have me commuting between Sun Valley and Santa Barbara so I could attend the Brooks Institute of Photography. For the moment, however, it was summer, it was hot, I had the weekend off from teaching the Photography Workshop program for the Sun Valley Creative Arts Center and my DFC&FC friends, Gordon Williams and Chris Puchner were going camping in the Sawtooths to climb the Finger-of-Fate. They thought I might come along and take some pictures. While I had been camping, I had not yet backpacked, so it was off to The Elephant’s Perch for some new gear.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, January 9, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #36:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #36:  This is another of the early images that I exhibited and sold while trying to establish a presence as a young photographer in the Sun Valley/Ketchum area. This was a gift to me one afternoon on a drive into the Sawtooths to hike around Redfish Lake. Redfish is a big lake and at the far end it is dramatically framed by major summits so it is a very “photogenic” setting. What is apparent in the work that was successful from these formative years is that the best of it was abstract. The struggle that I was having had to do with something I observed in the work of Eliot Porter. He had a magnificent eye for the abstract BOTH up-close, and at greater distance and larger scale. He often seemed able to render an entire landscape as abstractly as he did a lichen detail on a boulder. In my own evolution, I had found a sense of that abstractness in things viewed closely, or minimalized by the “blank” expanses of winter, but when I turned the camera on Redfish and the mountains, the best I seemed to manage would be described as a “postcard” shot. I would soon learn that you will only begin to “see” a place when you know it more intimately, and that comes with time and familiarity. Porter’s best images had a “sense of place” that I did not yet grasp, but that would change thanks to my friends in the DFC & FC.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, January 2, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #35:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #35:  The other aspect of being in Sun Valley / Ketchum for the summer for the first time was that when I was not working on a project or teaching, I would hang around with my friends in the DFC&FC. One of my best friends, Gordon Williams, had always promised I would find the area more fun in the summer than in the winter, but that had yet to be seen. What was clear, however, was that I could drive and hike many more places, AND getting over Galena Summit to see the Sawtooths was no longer challenging with no snow on the road. Summers are hot in Sun Valley and there are many big lakes at the foot of the Sawtooths that host private homes and retreats. Some of the lakes have lodges and rent boats as well. For me, it was a great place to cool off a bit, expand my photographic vision, AND stare up at the rugged range of summits that so often served as my backdrop or part of a reflection and wonder what it would be like to be up there. The topo maps showed LOTS of smaller lakes higher up.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, December 26, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #34:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #34:  From my new “home” at the beautiful Bald Mountain Hot Springs Hotel, I set about finding employment. I did some food shots for a couple of restaurants, some dog portraits of prize hunting dogs in the area, AND I got Mollie’s Bookstore in Sun Valley to put up some of my prints which generated a few sales. Those prints also caught the attention of local realtors, and in particular, Tom Curran. Tom was one of the most successful realtors in the valley, and he was working closely with the new Sun Valley Company as they were beginning to develop their holdings. He thought having my work in his offices helped to close deals because it showed off the area in ALL seasons. I also put a notice up on local billboards that I would teach photography one night of the week out of my apartment. In one of those classes, a young student really seemed to take a learning leap from my teaching, and so her mother wanted to meet me. The young girl was Kristen Cooper. Her mother was Glenn Cooper, close friend of the Janss family that just purchased the resort of Sun Valley. As the Janss developed the resort, Glenn believed having a cultural center would be a draw for high-end clients and so in cooperation with the Janss, she was promoting something she called the Sun Valley Creative Arts Center, and she wondered if I would like to teach there.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, December 19, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #33:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #33:  Through my college years, the natural world lured me away from the world of rock-and-roll clubs and The Sunset Strip of Los Angeles. First came my discover of Limekiln Creek, then my parents began leasing a home in Ketchum, Idaho, during the winter months and I came up to visit, learned to ski, and began to photograph the then unfamiliar environment of mountains and snow. I met some locals my age that became friends and a loose knit group called themselves The Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club (DFC&FC). One of them, Gordon Williams, and I spent a good deal of time together cross-country skiing and we became friends, remaining so to this day. As college graduation approached in 1970, I made a fateful decision NOT to go to graduate school, but rather begin my career as a photographer, AND MOVE TO SUN VALLEY! Gordon had always told me I would enjoy the area even more in the summer than in the winter, and from my years of visiting the area, I felt there was enough work there for me to survive. Shortly after the official moment of departing college, I found myself putting down monthly rent on a lovely 1-bedroom apartment at the infamous Bald Mountain Hot Springs Hotel. Hey, I have a swimming pool, but it smells like rotten eggs and turns blond hair green!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, December 12, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #32:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #32:  “Except for the fact one eye is frozen shut, that was REALLY great - now we need food!” The cry was heard from all. Exhausted, exhilarated, and encrusted with ice and snow, we finished our last run and headed back to the car. On the return to Ketchum, the Boulders put on a beautiful show tearing the passing clouds apart on their rocky faces. Someone in the car mentioned it would be a great day to ski those foothills, and then someone else said we should all ski into Boulder Basin and winter camp in the old mining village some time. Boulder Basin? Winter CAMPING? That sounded VERY different to me, and really out of my league. Nonetheless, it caused me to consider where my skis might take me if only I had better technique and more experience. I also realized by being “out there” I was creating a very different photographic image of winter than I found in the public market. By the time we reached The Pioneer Saloon and food, I had decided to get serious about my backcountry skiing.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, December 5, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #31:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #31:  Enough esoterica about the light and zen tree shapes, point the tips downhill and follow them! As my good friend and fellow DFC&FC member, Gordon Williams, would say if he saw these lines, “it is more Stein Stizmark than Stein Eriksen," BUT REALLY F*%@ing FUN! So, since we had already done all of the work of breaking a trail through the fresh snow along the ridge, after we hit the road, we got water and “snacks” from the car, and then started back up. In fact, the wind died and the weather never got worse, so we did this a bunch of times until we were totally fried and just barely capable of navigating our way back home. Time for some prime rib at the Pioneer Saloon!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, November 28, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #30:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #30:  Snacks over. Heels locked down. The road and the car are the next stop. One last look around with the camera before tucking it away - and then, this zen-like meditation appeared in front of my lens. “Less is more.” The limber pine is calligraphy from the natural world. Everything else is so “clean.” Simple. In the years after college, when I moved to Sun Valley to work and establish my career as a photographer, the first prints I exhibited and sold did not get published as a portfolio, but they did share a certain visual continuity about “winter.” This image, “Galena Summit,” post #20,”Hard, Wet Snow in the Willows,” and post #25, “Bowls and Ridges” were among the first images to sell well because I think they speak to the universality of winter rather than some specific location. Once again, I would like to thank Gail Severn and the Elkhorn Realty development group for regularly exhibiting these prints and helping to establish my market.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, November 21, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #29:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #29:  Alas, the wind began to pick up and although the coming storm would eventually raise the temperature, at the moment our exposure on the ridge was FREEZING. Seeking some protection, we moved into the trees below the ridgeline on the Wood River Valley side of the summit. The clouds streamed by overhead driven by the rising wind, and the light was gauzy, like a strange haze, because of the ice crystals being whipped around. As we dropped below the ridge, the evergreen trees gave way to some spectacular limber pine, and then the slopes opened and were virtually treeless down to the base near the road where we had left our car. Out of the wind, we were protected enough to take a break and take in our new view. We also woofed done some jerky and “other” snacks, AND we locked down the heels of our bindings. This is where the real fun begins.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, November 14, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #28:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #28:  The crystal clear day began to disappear slowly as we drove north. The predicted storm was moving in from the Salmon River Valley side of the pass. When we arrived at Galena Summit, it had begun to snow in flurries, but it was still viciously cold. At least there was a minimal breeze and the trees along the ridge would also offer us some shelter. As we donned our skis and began our ascent, the cold air burned into our lungs and our breath came out as steam that turned to ice crystals. It was TOO COLD to snow, so even the flurries were more like ice granules than snowflakes. On the ridge it was very quiet and you could not hear noise from the road. The only sounds were the wind, our breathing, and the creak of the ski bindings. The snow on the ground was deep and dry, the trees were laden because the wind had not yet knocked the snow off, and occasionally the ceiling would lift, blue sky would show through, and spots a brilliant sunlight would sweep across the spectacle of mountains surrounding us. Clearly our day is a fine example of “The Higher Your Get, The Higher You Get."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, November 7, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #27:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #27:  Those stunning cold snaps common to the area caused some pretty interesting visual effects. Open water would steam until it froze over, and sometimes that rising moisture would become rainbow-sparkling ice crystals floating in the air. Other times it would encrust trees almost like they had been “flocked” for Christmas. For downhill skiers, the cold temps meant brutally cold lift rides and often near-frozen fingers, regardless of your gloves. However, cross-country skiing tends to generate a LOT of heat, and so on many of the coldest days, instead to heading to the lift lines of Mt. Baldy my friends and I would take the drive to Galena Summit. Toward the end of one such freeze, my UCLA classmate, Tom Work, and I decided we would drive to the summit and ski the ridge, hoping to take in the view. We reasoned it might be cold, but there was a storm coming that would actually warm things up, and we might get some fresh POWDER from it, so it sounded like a good time to be had, and we were off.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, October 31, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #26:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #26:  Since I often took the drive to Galena Summit for the ostensible reason of seeing the view of the Salmon River Valley headwaters and the Sawtooth Mountains, I thought I should show you that view. Those are the Sawtooths in the distance. Scale is hard to judge, but suffice it to say on this side of the range at the foot of those summits, lie many BIG lakes. The range is also host to 57 peaks above 10,000ft. This is a grand landscape and breathtaking panorama when it can be seen. In the winter there is some limit on those days. Snowfall, as you have seen in previous posts can occlude the view. Many days are screamingly windy at the pass and VERY unpleasant, and REALLY CLEAR days can be brutally cold - the Salmon River Valley, the Wood River Valley, and the surrounding mountains of the Sawtooths, Boulders, and Pioneers are infamous for what is referred to as a "cold snap." Several times in the course of a winter season, the skies will become crystal clear and the thermometer will plunge rapidly into negative numbers over just a few hours, often hitting -15, -20. If you want to "play" up here on the pass, you need to gage when you can, wisely!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, October 24, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #25:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #25:  One afternoon as the the Corvair and I fishtailed our way north on a snowy Highway #75 the storm we were driving around in began to abate. Somewhere in the early approach to the Boulder Mtns. the sky brightened and and the clouds seemed to be lifting, so I thought I would park at the plow-out near the foothills where we had gone sliding (posts #15-#17) and watch to see if the Boulders would "appear." As so often happens for photographers, you may not get the picture you thought you might, but you DO get something great you did not expect at all. That was certainly the case this afternoon. After getting out of the car and slogging around a bit in the new snowfall, the Boulders did not reveal themselves as I had hoped, BUT those smooth hills and valleys we went sliding through sure did. A few years later, after college graduation and my actual move to Ketchum/Sun Valley, I began to sell my best images as signed,limited edition Cibachrome prints and this image, "Bowls and Ridges" was one of the first to sell out - thank you Gail Severn!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, October 17, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #24:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #24:  Over the winter holidays of my high school and college years, there were inevitably days too stormy and miserable to ski, so there were MANY runs made to Galena Summit. I was still shooting both color and B&W, and on one of the other summit runs we made, we arrived at the summit parking plow-out in a howling storm that was spending itself. As the weather began to break-up, the snow stopped, but the wind really picked up. It was freezing outside, so we were happy to sit in the car and just watch. Brutal gusts whipped powder out of the trees and across the road. All the while the sky grew brighter. Until this moment, the view of this frame only included the tree and the dark hill in the near foreground, then the storm suddenly lifted and for many minutes there was a hazy veil of lingering clouds mixed with the blowing snow crystals BEHIND WHICH THE BOULDERS APPEARED IN FULL SUNLIGHT! I would have this happen once again, only at Pioneer Cabin skiing backcountry with friends in the DFC&FC. Follow this blog as it will go on that
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, October 10, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #23:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #23:  Intense snow flurries would blow by my collegue, Tom Work, and me as we wound our way steadily north on Highway #75 headed for Galena Summit, the divide between the Wood River Valley and the Stanley Basin, headwaters of the Salmon River. When we went by the Galena store and the highway began to climb to the 8,700ft pass, we noted the store was closed, and the snow was deepening. The ridiculous Corvair was fishtailing all over the place as we began to climb, and we just tried to keep our forward momentum going. If we stopped without chains, we would be stuck and have to retreat. After several skittish hairpin turns and some serious vertical exposure without any guardrails, we reached the parking plow-out at the summit and stopped to get out. We were afraid that if we started down the other side, would would not get back up, BUT the storm was coming from that direction and we wanted to see it, so we decided we would walk the highway for awhile over to the basin. There was about 12-14" of snow on the ground and it was starting to come down MUCH harder. After I made the image in the previous post, I switched from color to B & W film, which seemed more appropriate to the world surrounding me, and as I walked I just started shooting the constantly changing visible tonalities that were swirling around me as the storm blew in. There was hardly ANY sound except for wind gusts in the trees. Just after a blinding flurry passed over us, there was a brief clearing and this appeared before my lens. I made two exposures, and then the sky closed in and the storm began in earnest. We retreated to the car and back down the summit to the valley, but what had just happened was to become the 1st image in the portfolio, WINTERS: 1970-1980 that I would publish several years later.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, October 3, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #22:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #22:  As we drove north out of Ketchum on Highway #75, we were driving directly into the oncoming storm. By the time we reached the foothills of the Boulder Mtns. it was snowing so hard you could barely see them. The snow was deepening on the highway and we had seen no snowplows working, so we were out here on our own. As I was watching the weather pass through my lens, it occurred to me how unique it was to be photographically functional in these conditions. The 35mm camera was allowing me to create in a place no other camera could accommodate. It also occurred to me that, as in post #20, the "rules" of the landscape image in contemporary photography were NO LONGER RELEVANT. What I was seeing through my lens was more lyrical, less clear and absolute. Increasingly, it also seemed more B & W than color, although I did continue to shoot both. Significantly, I also made note of the fact that Ansel's ideas of the "correct" print having black, white, and 13 shades of grey were laughable during some events in the real world. That many shade variations are simply not present at a moment like this, and there is no black.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, September 26, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #21:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #21:   While I was improving both my camera and my cross-country skiing skills, many of my non-skiing forays involved Highway #75 north to Galena summit. The drive took you to almost 9,000ft and offered stunning views of the the Boulders, the Sawtooths, and the breathtaking Salmon River valley headwaters. With a lot of snow on the road, the white Corvair (seen on the left, here) was the vehicle of choice, and the days of choice for such adventures, were usually when the weather was so bad, no one wanted to ski. As the gods would have it, these drives actually proved very enlightening, and shaped my emerging ideas about the photographic image. At the moment of this picture, there is a big storm coming in and we are getting ready to head for Galena. My friend and UCLA classmate is apparently trying to warm his hands. Note the stylish wardrobe: "rough-out" leather pants and a 3/4 length, faux-fur, hooded jacket. You are looking good TW, but don't light that jacket up!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, September 19, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #20:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #20:   Because I was working with multiple camera formats, some very specific ideas were clarifying themselves about my process. Images such as the last post grew from my interest in how the larger camera/film defined highly detailed subject matter. The larger camera had limits however, and the more I cross-country skied, the more aware I became of the "poetry" of winter, not just the view. It was the 35mm that allowed me to express that simply because it was the ONLY piece of equipment that could be taken to extreme places and kept functional when exposed to terrible weather conditions. That poetry expressed itself one afternoon during a REALLY FIERCE snowfall while touring with Gordon Williams around Triumph. Given the conditions, there was simply no other camera of choice, and I began to ponder what else I might turn to as subject matter that I would NOT be able to address AT ALL with larger formats. Where might this smaller camera take me in pursuit of THOSE images?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, September 12, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #19:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #19:   Cross-country skiing for me was stepping into another world. It took me away from the road, and the sound of cars and people. It took me places few others would ever care to go. It was also a meditative experience as the step-glide-repeat worked best when you concentrated on your rhythm, and that kind of focus also seemed to heightened my overall perceptions. I felt "tuned-in" to everything around me in a unique way. Initially, I toured in the flats with my cameras, while I was mastering cross-country downhill skills, and this is an image made with my Hasselblad that fortells a new direction in my work that would culminate in the published portfolio, "ORDER FROM CHAOS." These images were also an important moment in my life as I was nearing the end of college, during which time I had been photographing rock bands in Los Angeles, and this new subject matter was opening up a very different environment to me that I was starting to "see" in my viewfinder.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, September 5, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #18:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #18:   I am not sure who it first was that suggested I try cross-country skiing, I think it was my Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club (DFC&FC) friend, #GordonWilliams, but it was life altering moment. Except for an occasional sliding foray into the foothills most of my winter experience was on the resort ski mountains of Sun Valley, or driving around on whatever roads that my car could still navigate. Although I first started skiing cross-country by thrashing around on the flats, I quickly realized with climbing skins you could go almost anywhere there was snow, so cross-country skiing opened the entire winter countryside up to being enjoyed just as you might in any other season when you could hike. Here my friend, #JonDavis rounds a slope to take in the view of the Wood River Valley and the Boulder Mountains, and then we will ski back to road!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, August 29, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #17:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #17:   "And they're off!" As in "off-in-their-heads." My innertube ride was first as I wanted to photograph my friends coming down. Because the tube was soft, it was a decent cushion, but a bit sluggish, so my run was uneventful (which is good because crashing with cameras breaks ribs.) Carla was next, and her run suggested a cardboard box with pointy corners was probably NOT a good sliding conveyance. She had GREAT speed coming down the hill, but as the box would catch snow, it would rotate, spinning her around. For awhile she slid backwards. Then, as it reached the base of the steeper part, one of the cardboard corners dug-in, flipping Carla and disintegrating the box, the remnants of which are just behind Andy in this pic. Andy on the other hand is basically on a bobsled run: he "sanded" the toes of his hiking boots trying to use them as a rudder and brakes, AND he slid nearly out to the car. Next day he also had sore ribs and stomach muscles. Was there a better device to slide upon? Indeed! Does anyone remember SAT PARUSH? Along with other boutique stores beginning to open in Ketchum, Sat Parush made large, beautiful pillows for sitting upon and home decoration. We got them to make pillows for us that had vinyl bottoms, and those were fantastic to slide on. We also scouted other slide locations, and found a long, treeless ravine with MANY curves which made for some wild banked turns during the slide.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, August 22, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #16:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #16:   After our view rest at the top of the flats, there was no where to go but up. The question is, "just how far up?" Andy is trying to determine that critical point - "when do I stop climbing and start sliding" AND "how far across the flat will my run carry me (don't want to hit the highway)?" As you can see, the snow has really set up hard. The rolled-up pad is going to be a screaming, hard-bouncing slide, but just how fast and how far remain very unclear... until the 1st run. Carla is beginning to wonder about her cardboard box as the terrain gets steeper, but it all still looks like fun to me. Hey, I have the innertube! Stay with this blog because as it rolls through the years you will see me and members of the DFC & FC on cross-country skis with our backpacks, headed across these same foothills for some winter camping and backcountry skiing in the abandoned historic mining town of Boulder City constructed at 9,500ft and surrounded by the summits of Boulder Basin.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, August 15, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #15:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #15:   On many days in the winter, you may not ski because of conditions or injuries but "cabin fever" drives you outside to do other things. Most days I wandered around taking pictures, BUT in the spring there was another VERY FUN thing to do. North of Ketchum, Highway 93 skirts the relatively treeless, rolling foothills of the Boulder Mountains. The Boulders are quite dramatic when snow-covered and the foothills offer locations for both cross-country skiers and snowmobiles so there are many turnouts for access parking. In the spring, the snowpack on these foothills gets a lot of sunlight as you can see here, so the melt-freeze cycle sets the snow so solidly you can walk across the surface without breaking through. Now, meet my friends Andy and Carla. We have come to the boulders to do some SLIDING. Not yet "professional" sliders, we have arrived with makeshift equipment: I have an innertube, Andy has an ensolite mat, and Carla has a cardboard box
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, August 8, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #14:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #14:   As you can see, there is little vegetation on these hills, so it does not take too much snowfall to literally cover everything except a few tree groves. These smooth hills do make winter conditions more dangerous because of avalanche, but as the year wears on and spring arrives another transformation occurs. Spring wind storms often sculpt and compact the snow in unexpected ways, and the warming sun melts the snow surface each day, sending water down through the snow below, and that refreezes ever more solidly every night. Skiers covet this latter condition, and pray for clear sunny mornings because the first rays of light, rewarm the snow surface causing snow granules known as "corn snow," perfect conditions to ski in. This dense, hard snowpack of spring invites other things than just skiing, however. I did not yet cross-country ski, but as long as the snow has not softened in the sun you could get out and walk on it, AND YOU COULD SLIDE. Boy! Could you slide!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, August 1, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #13:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #13:   The hills around Hailey. Beautiful, simple, clean lines. If you will forgive this old 35mm shot which has not scanned well, you might note that there are few clues to judging the scale of this landscape. The brush in the foreground is still a LONG way from the base of those steep foothills. The tiny black dot just off-center-right is a small tree, and the "sticks" that pop through the snow near the top of the frame are actually a stand of aspen. This is big terrain, and slopes like these that have almost no vegetation to anchor the snow are prone to avalanche and frequently do. As I grew increasingly attracted to getting out INTO this landscape, away from my car and the road, there were risks to consider that were new to me.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, July 25, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #12:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #12:   These early, VERY minimalistic pictures set off an internal dialogue in me that would ultimately lead to one of my first published portfolios, "WINTERS: 1970-1980." What I saw in these images were the simple observations of snow and a snow covered environment. In virtually ALL the other images of winter I had seen exhibited or published, winter was a season - people skied through the snow-covered landscape in magazines, or the picture represented some quintessential view, like Ansel Adams' famous, "Clearing Winter Storm (Yosemite)." No one it seemed looked at the ESSENCE of the winter environment but rather just saw the obvious spectacle and the "setting." What I was seeing was more like a stunning palette of forms and colors that reminded me of Chinese brush-paintings and watercolors.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, July 18, 2016
The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #11:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #11:   My images at this time were constrained by where I could walk or drive THE car. THE CAR was a Corvair Monza that came with the house my parents leased. My parents ALWAYS drove from LA to Sun Valley, in part so my father could transport his 3-month stash of fine wines he intended to drink while eating ducks he shot, so they had a car. The Monza was mine, and an excellent choice it was - regardless that Ralph Nader deemed it "unsafe at any speed" - the beauty of this machine was that it was SO tinny and lightweight, if I/we spun it into a ditch or snowbank, it only took a few people to literally lift the car back on to the road. Best of all, it had AWESOME snow tires, so delusionally, I believed I could drive it anywhere. Regardless, I did not need to go far, as the immediate roads in the Wood River Valley provided ample opportunity to appreciate the simple lines of the hills against the sky. -5 and falling. Cold and clear tonight!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, July 11, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #10:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #10:   Immediately surrounding the Ketchum-Sun Valley area, the foothills of the Pioneer Mtns. and the Sawtooths consist mostly of sage-covered slopes dotted by occasional small stands of evergreen trees. In the winter, snowfall generally covers the sagebrush leaving the hillsides a smooth, pristine white that reflects back the colors of the sky and seems to merge with the passing clouds. Besides putting on a skyshow these rolling hills were a great place to play, especially in the spring as you will see. Ah, but first a bit of the show!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, July 4, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #9:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #9:   If I crossed the property on Wood River Drive and went out the backdoor, I found this. You could fish the river right here, and you are looking up at one of the ridge/canyon systems on Mt. Baldy. Another feature of this view that I feel is iconic to the area and which I photographed often, is the smooth, rolling, treeless slope or foothill. They surround the Ketchum/Sun Valley area and often play with the passing weather in quite beautiful ways as you will see. A final note about this particular view: in the spring, warm, sunny days and cold nights cause the snow to melt, settle, and then refreeze. The next morning, the first sun rays warm the hard frozen snow surface, and it turns to granules called "corn" snow. In these conditions you can quite literally ski anywhere if you just follow the sun on the slopes. One afternoon, seated at the table and view windows of my parents's home and pondering this view, 3 skiers came out onto the ridge above and dropped into that snowy bowl which took them all the way down to the river. Ever wade across a big, fast moving stream of ice-cold water in ski boots?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, June 27, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #8:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #8:  I was a VERY unschooled photographer and so I had not really been concerned with the technical aspects of image-making. Now that I was turning my attention to the landscape and starting to work with larger cameras and film, I began to explore what those techniques might be. I loved the intense foreground-to-background detail that can be achieved by adjusting the aperture of the lens, so I began to work more with a tripod because making the aperture adjustment also causes a much slower shutter speed. With the Sun Valley winter as my subject matter, I was often confronted by brilliant lighting that tested the limits of what the film could record as well. And, I did not have to go far to put all of that into play. The home my parents leased was on Wood River Drive in Ketchum, and the large house and property stretched from the street to the banks of the Wood River. This image was made shortly after sunrise following an all-night snowfall, and I am standing at the edge of the three-car garage, looking through the trees toward neighbor's homes. Depth-of-field? Check! Extreme exposure? Check! Now, run back inside and warm up that pathetic camera.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, June 20, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #7:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #7:  As you can see from the last post, on days when I did not ski I would go out and drive around with my cameras, working with things the road made available to. When I started to shoot the landscape, I had been told I would NEED to use a larger format camera than my 35mm, so I very consciously began to work with the Hasselblad I had been loaned. For those of you who are not camera techies, a Hasselblad shoots 120mm film (about 3x larger than a 35mm slide), and since it was designed as a studio portrait camera, it is also a square format (convenient for cropping in either direction). While I did like the larger film image and knew it would make a better print, the Hasselblad WAS a studio camera and it did NOT like being outdoors in the cold and the dust. It especially did not like the cold because it had a very large, thin "leaf" shutter, and once it got below freezing for any length of time, the shutter would freeze and the camera would not operate until it thawed out.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, June 13, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #6:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #6:  Besides the (bird)shooting I was doing with my father on ranches near the Wood River Valley, I was also doing a different kind of "shooting" in the foothills surrounding Sun Valley, I just did not have a trick one-piece snowsuit like he did. I did, however, have a 35mm Nikon I had been using to shoot bands in LA clubs, AND one of my father's best friends loaned me his Hasselblad 1000F. Until my freshman year of high school, I had never spent time in a snowy environment and then my parents began trekking to Idaho every fall, so visiting them for Christmas break introduced me to skiing and began my appreciation of winter and the cold. As I got older and took up the camera in college, I began to "look" more closely at the Sun Valley environment in which I was recreating. As an artist, snow offered me amazing sculptural and textural forms, a stunning play of light and shadows, and a kind of minimalism that reminded me of Chinese brush paintings. So out came the cameras and I began my life-changing shift from pictures of rock-and-roll to pictures of rocks-and-trees.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, June 6, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #5:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #5:  Again, my father. This time "sneaking" various spots of the open water that might harbor ducks. In the extreme cold, the crunch of our footsteps made it hard for me to believe we would surprise anything BUT when you came upon a group of birds down on the water, they would literally explode into the air in a rush of wings, splashing, and raucous quacking. It made for some very exciting, adrenalized moments of trying to get good shots off... but it only barely made you any warmer. Doing these things with my father were important moments for us because he worked hard and I was away at school so we hardly knew each other and seldom talked. After a morning like this we would rekindle our lost body heat with a huge, long lunch in some local cafe, where he and I not only had time to converse but we would meet many locals who wanted to know how we had been doing and where we had been hunting. I began to understand how my dad grew his network of connection and friends. Once the shooting was over, of course, they drank!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, May 30, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #4:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #4:  As fall gave way to winter in central Idaho, fishing gave way to duck hunting season. The same ranchers my father befriended to fish their property also welcomed him to hunt those same streams and springs in the winter because their open water attracted large numbers of migratory ducks. Here you see my dad in a classic "wait-and-watch" pose. Hiding behind a blind in his one-piece snowsuit, he has one hand on the pump/barrel of his shotgun, and the other in his pocket clenching a hand warmer (LOL). The Wood River Valley is well known for having some pretty cold weather and this morning is one of those. Standing still, waiting, does not help you trying to stay warm. The upside of the cold, however, is some amazing visuals because the open water is warmer than the air so the river is steaming. Some of the steam is turning to prismatic ice crystals in the morning sun and while all of this is constantly shifting around, ducks are flying by you and around you, coming suddenly out of the glare and the mist. You can get a shot off if you see them in time, but ducks are fast and some times they would just appear out of "nowhere" and blow right by us before anyone could move.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, May 23, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #3:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #3:  In the late fall, this was the trophy that my father came to Sun Valley to pursue. Although he and I successfully fished the upper Big Wood River and the small side-streams feeding into it, THIS FISH was to be found further downstream. South of the Wood River Valley lay the more open plains of the prairie and the farmlands leading to Twin Falls. Here the Big Wood River was free to spread out and meander through the pastures and fields, many of which were part of privately owned ranches. Here also was the remarkable spring, Silver Creek widely considered to be some of the greatest fly-fishing in North America. Now Silver Creek is managed by The Nature Conservancy but at the time it was private and you needed someone local - a "guide" - to access the property. My father often hunted and fished with Joe Clements who lived in the area and introduced him to many of the local landowners so he was invited to hunt and fish on their property.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, May 16, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #2:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #2:  My father was a Hemingway “guy.” He hunted, fished, smoked, drank, and whored with the best of them. Inevitably, he took note of Sun Valley. Not only did Ernest Hemingway author a novel while in residence at the Sun Valley Lodge, but he ultimately bought a home and moved into the nearby town of Ketchum because he loved the hunting and fishing (and drinking). Very successful in his business, my father could take time off to do what he wanted, and so he struck up a relationship with a doctor in Boise who had a home on 6th Street in Ketchum on the bank of the Big Wood River at the foot of Bald Mountain. Late fall marked the end of fishing season, and the beginning of duck hunting. My mother and father would leave Los Angeles for Ketchum/SunValley before Thanksgiving, returning in mid-January. I would join them during my Christmas vacations from high school.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, May 9, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC #1:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC #1:  Sun Valley, Idaho is set between the Pioneer Mountains and the Sawtooth Mountains in the central part of the state, north of the town of Twin Falls. Sun Valley was developed by the railroad tycoon and American diplomat, W. Averill Harriman  who wanted to expand train ridership in the West. Harriman believed he could stimulate train travel by offering a winter "destination" resort like Europe's St. Moritz. The world's first chairlifts were installed on Proctor Mountain and Dollar Mountain (6,638'), and a beautiful lodge with an ice-rink and an outdoor, heated swimming pool were built nearby. To help promote the resort, Harriman invited many celebrities and Hollywood movie stars to Sun Valley. One of those was Ernest Hemingway who finished his book, "For Whom The Bell Tolls", while staying at the lodge. The resort opened in late 1937, and as it evolved over the years, Proctor fell into disuse, and Bald Mountain, a MUCH larger summit (9,150') in the Sawtooth National Forest was developed. Here you are looking from the foothills of the Pioneers, across the Wood River Valley (over the towns of Sun Valley & Ketchum) to the profile and ski runs of "Baldy," in the Sawtooths.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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