How the Art Happens - Early Snow on East Beckwith Mountain

October 02, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Early Snow on East Beckwith Mountain

Early Snow on East Beckwith MountainEarly Snow on East Beckwith MountainAutumn usually brings vibrant fall colors to the base of the Beckwith Mountains near Crested Butte, Colorado. It's an added bonus to get early snow and a perfect blue sky during the peak of fall color. The Beckwith mountains are located on the famous West Elk Loop in western Colorado.

Did you ever have one of those days that you just had to get outside and go for a drive? October 5, 2013, was one of those days. Actually, to be honest, living high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, we have quite a few days that force you outdoors.

The previous day had been ugly. An autumn storm had blown into the mountains with cold, wet winds and rain. It was, kind of, the opposite of the day to follow. But, the following morning, a Saturday, was crisp and clear with fresh snow on the mountain peaks surrounding Crested Butte. It was time to go to work!

I spent a fair amount of time chasing peak fall colors against a perfect, blue sky that morning before I decided to drive over Kebler Pass to our west. Being a Saturday with outrageous fall color, I was not looking forward to dealing with the leaf-peepers and crazy drivers on a narrow, muddy, road. As it turned out, it was worth the drive.

Coming over the pass I could see that the West Elk Scenic Loop drive was going to be crazy in good ways (visually) and in bad (crazy drivers). After fighting the traffic and messy, dangerous, pull-outs along the road I decided to turn around at the road to the Lost Lake campground. Did I mention that the mud was 6" deep in places? I had some great pictures but it was just not worth fighting the road and the traffic. I had to wait in line to make the left turn to Lost Lake but I could tell I had reached my ultimate objective for the day. The scene above was filling my windshield with gold, white, and blue love.

I made my turn and pulled as far to the side of the road as I dared without getting stuck in the deep, sticky, mud. I climbed out of the truck, grabbed my tripod and camera, and went to work. I had to dodge the flying mud of every vehicle that followed me up the road, but I eventually got my photos.

I decided to capture the scene as a panorama since any other format would just include a bunch of uninteresting blue sky with no clouds or a bunch of muddy roads. Neither would have added to my photo. The sky was so blue. The trees were so golden. The snow was so white. It was so muddy. It was so worth it! I even like the road leading into the scene although I usually try to keep roads out of my pictures.

"Early Snow on East Beckwith Mountain" is the result. I've only made two prints of this image so far, one for my next-door neighbors from Texas and one framed version for myself. They both look great over beds in the master bedrooms. I hope you like it too!

Muddy truckMuddy truckMy muddy Nissan Frontier after chasing photos over Kebler Pass in western Colorado.

I told you it was muddy!



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Crested Butte, Colorado photographer, Dusty Demerson creates fine art photography displayed as prints and canvases and provides private photo tours in and around western Colorado.

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