Northern Ogilvie Mountains


Returning to the Yukon from the Northwest Territories, down the Dempster, you see the northernmost extent of the Ogilvie Mountains from a ridge of tundra. These are very old mountains and are so worn that they are gigantic piles of smooth gravel. They are difficult to climb because there is just so much scree and loose stones.

All of the trees you see here are very short because of the harsh climate, most are less than 2m high. They are only found in valleys this far north. The tundra in the foreground has turned to its fall colour.

When we visited this area, we had generally sunny skies north of the mountains. Looking south, the direction we needed to go for our night's shelter, there was a thick looking band of dark cloud and rain that is shown in the picture. Thinking that there was nothing but bad weather to the south, we prolonged our stay in the sunshine. We were very surprised to find that these clouds were a narrow band of 10 to 20 km and there was sunshine on the other side as well.

Kodak Royal Gold 100 was used for this picture. We used a digital camera for most of the pictures (about 800) on our Yukon trip, but made a number (about 200) on film largely as backup. While this scene was also made with the digital camera, the clouds just happened to cast a better looking pattern of light and shadow on the mountains in the film image. A 80-200mm lens was used but unfortunately we didn't record the other exposure parameters.