Ends of the Earth

February 28, 2010 | Filed Under Uncategorized 

One minute, it’s minus twenty and the only sound is the scratching of the crampons on ice and the thin whistle of the wind blowing straight in from Siberia. The next minute, you’re in Borneo on ancient volcanic slab above a rainforest teaming with life.

Life is good, but it leaves little time for verbiage.


16 Responses to “Ends of the Earth”

  1. Martin Rye on February 28th, 2010 11:58 am

    Few words where needed for those photos tell of the sheer wonder and beauty of the landscape – your photos are a joy to see.

  2. Hatsuo Adachihara on February 28th, 2010 12:51 pm

    Amazing landscapes and amazing photos. It’s hard to believe there exists such a frozen world above the tropical jungle of Borneo. Great work.

  3. NaughtyFerret on February 28th, 2010 1:15 pm

    Where is the snowy wonderland, in Japan? Catching the starlight reflecting of the snow crystals in that 8th pic from the top is wonderful/magical.

    In 1997 I passed up a chance to hike up Mount Kinabalu and regretted it at the time – these pictures are re-opening old wounds! In a good way, of course.

  4. Hendrik M on February 28th, 2010 4:35 pm

    I’m jealous, Chris! Excellent photos, I think I need to take a (really heavy) tripod on my next trip, for some night photos =)

  5. hanameizan on March 1st, 2010 12:43 am

    Splendid pictures as always, Chris. Were these photos taken yesterday with the fresh snowfall Saturday night? Did you camp at Gyoja-goya? (I recognize that branch on the left in the third photo as a prop for a self-timed photo.)

    And I’m glad you had good weather on Kinabalu so we can enjoy the photos.

  6. David on March 1st, 2010 10:49 am

    Yay!!! Your pictures made my day brighter!!

  7. Mikael on March 1st, 2010 10:55 am

    Sometimes words aren’t needed. Your pictures easily carry themselves without explanations as well.

  8. Joe on March 1st, 2010 12:25 pm

    We hear nothing from you for a while then BOOM! you hit us with this collection of images. Wow. Thank you for sharing Chris.

  9. Jason Collin Photography on March 1st, 2010 7:24 pm

    Maybe your best photography work to date Chris.

    Like NaughtyFerret, I was in Borneo but did not hike up Gunung Kinabalu. I had never thought about it in my loose preplanning for traveling in Borneo nor even after I arrived, plus I did not have proper footwear for such a hike. And trips to the top book up fast and cost a pretty penny.

    I stayed in a hotel walking distance from the national park and enjoyed hiking in the rainforest around its base and getting educated at the various lectures given in the park.

    I hope to see more images from Borneo. It’s a great place that is going to disappear in our lifetimes most likely, unfortunately.

  10. Vladimir on March 2nd, 2010 10:09 am

    More than a month without a post, I was getting impatient… But what you did here is just outstanding. Probably the best photos here (but I am biased, I like snow:)
    And while your writing is definitely captivating, sometimes I wished for a photo or two more… and then you come with this!!
    Thanks for the inspiration (to move my …) and for the few moments in which we can see through your window.

  11. CJW on March 2nd, 2010 11:50 am

    Martin – the words will be back soon enough, I think. But I’m happy that the photos can stand in for a while!

    Adachihara-san – welcome! And thank you for your comment. But, in fact, the first shots are of Aka-dake in Yamanashi. I rolled the two trips into one post – sorry for any confusion…

    NaughtyFerret – the snow is on Aka-dake, in the Yatsu-ga-take range in Yamanashi. The moon was just incredible that night. I was tempted to climb to the summit under it.

    Hendrik – the perpetual conundrum, “should I take the tripod?”… I’ve got the lightest full size I could find at 400g, but even that gets taken out less often than it should. I imagine a man of your ingenuity could come up with an ultralight tripod?

    Hanameizan – these were taken about a month ago, in fact. We did indeed camp at Gyoja goya. It was Yuka & the OE’s first winter mountaineering experience – a good time was had by all!

    David – glad to hear!!!

    Mikael – that’s a relief. I was worried people would think I was getting lazy…

    Joe – aye, it’s been a busy couple of months. There’s more to come, just as soon as I find a moment to put fingers to keyboard..

    Jason – that’s high praise, thank you. Unfortunately I shot the first half of the Aka-dake day on ISO 800 by mistake.. I’ve started shooting in RAW and using Lightroom to sort the results out – I quite like the results! Unfortunately, that’s all the photos from Borneo. I was only there over a weekend with the guys from work. It is beautiful, though, maybe I’ll make it back there for longer next time.

    Vladimir – I wasn’t sure about doing an all-photo post, but I knew that if I didn’t get something out then the trips were going to start piling up on each other & I’d never get anything done. I’m a big fan of the snow, too, as you might have guessed :-) There’s more coming soon!

  12. Casey Bean on March 3rd, 2010 1:56 pm

    beautiful pictures…i particularly like the second one and the first of the two night shots…nice

  13. Mustapha E on March 4th, 2010 12:34 am

    Great Pictures

  14. Peter Skov on March 4th, 2010 5:02 am

    You had me thrown there. I was reading your few words thinking that the reference to Borneo was a metaphor for a sudden warming of weather as we have experienced two or three times recently. I didn’t know that the last photos really were from Borneo. I was thinking Yatsugatake all along and suddenly I was wondering where those cool rocks were. i have never seen anything like them in Japan.

    Well, great shots overall. Once again, I’m envious.

  15. satoshi213 on March 5th, 2010 8:37 am

    Your blog always remind me how beautiful Japan really is.
    I wish I can take picture like you do though!

  16. Clint Koehler on March 27th, 2010 10:41 am

    I have been meaning to get my act in order and check out your blog now that I am settled in.. I had seen a few shots on flickr of your Kinabalu climb, they are all quite stunning, but so are the shots from the Aka-dake climb at the beginning of your blog!

    Was cool to see your take on Kinabalu, I was still marching around with my D40 at the time and loved ever moment of it even though the altitude really kicked my ass for some reason. I packed up my heavy tripod and ended up never taking the damn thing out and then leaving it at the hut due to said altitude sickness setting in before the final ascent.

    Did you happen to explore much else of Borneo? We felt like we didn’t have enough time to properly do that trip, looks like an awesome place to stay for a while!

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