Winter's Sunrise

March 08, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Frozen Sunrise | Cottonwood Canyon, UtahFrozen Sunrise | Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

Wednesday morning I drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon to try and get a photo that I've had in my mind for a couple months. At the beginner of January, I scouted this location along the Cottonwood River and bookmarked it for the perfect winter scene. I wanted to get fresh snow and no snowshoe tracks since this is area is frequented by snowshoers. I also wanted a gorgeous sunrise, but we can't always plan for those so it took a little bit of luck.

Well, we haven't had much snow in Salt Lake this winter so I kept waiting and waiting. I drove up once in early February but found that snowshoers had hiked all over, ruining the shot I had planned in my mind. I don't blame them for anything though, it's their land to enjoy as well. I just needed to get there first.

I drove up the canyon on Tuesday after work hoping to find some untouched snow after the storm we got last weekend. I was in luck that a clean blanket of snow was ready to be photographed. I woke up at 5am the next morning and packed up my gear and drove up the canyon.

I arrived to a brisk 10-degree landscape and was happy I had layers upon layers including a balaclava to hold back the snotsicles. Geared up with my headphones and my tripod, I ventured out to the area. I didn't have my snowshoes with me and was forced to trudge through 3 feet of snow to get here. I had to cross a small part of the Cottonwood River as well. Thank goodness for Gore-tex boots.

The sunrise was more beautiful than I could have hoped for. Warm light spilled over the frozen landscape and perfect snow. Orange rays were caught by the frosty tips of bare branches and the river reflected the striking colors in the clouds. As the light surged brighter and warmer, it spilled over the tops of trees and onto the other side of the hill in the background like a broken dam holding back a reservoir of light.

I almost didn't get out of bed that morning, having been woken up at 4am by Charlotte who is still getting used to sleeping on her own in her own room. I was this close to rationalizing staying in my nice warm bed. I'm glad I didn't miss this for a couple more hours of sleep.

 


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