Belize Pt I – Dark Seas

There’s a place in paradise with a little casita along its shores. Here, the whole world slips away.

visit www.CameronKarsten.com

The Last Great Wild Place

The Olympic National Park is in my mind one of the last great wild places on earth. It’s absolutely remarkable with thick rich flora and fauna, and some of the last largest stands of trees. To venture into its rivers is an experience in and of itself, especially when you’re walking with two great anglers. Dylan Tomine and Nate Mantua are highly educated about the remaining wild fisheries around the world, especially the great steelhead runs along the West Coast. With Sage and Patagonia, I had the opportunity to spend two days wandering up and down the tributaries with them, and a host of other wildlife.

 

logo_blackTrajan_NEW

STORMR Deer Camp: Into the Hoh Rainforest (Pt. IV)

STORMR_Deer-859

When there is a river nearby, there must be fish. Always bring your fly rod, seek the thrill and reel in those steelhead. Somewhere up the S. Fork Hoh River on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State on a Stormr assignment.

STORMR_Deer-863

STORMR_Deer-829

STORMR_Deer-838

STORMR_Deer-825

STORMR_Deer-846

logo_blackTrajan

Life by Water: Ambergris Caye, Belize

CayeCaulkerSail-168-Edit

And this was a lot of fun!

BelizeBoneFishing-111-Edit

CayeCaulkerSail-30

CayeCaulkerSail-119

BelizeReefFishing-277

BelizeBoneFishing-125-Edit-2

BelizeBoneFishing-113

BelizeBoneFishing-98

BelizeBoneFishing-18

BelizeBoneFishing-146

CayeCaulkerSail-157

BelizeReefFishing-52

BelizeReefFishing-211

BelizeBoneFishing-90

BelizeReefFishing-398-Edit

Cameron Karsten Photography

STORMR Campaign: Olympic Wildness Pt. III

_N9A4726After a night’s rest, the men returned to the waters, this day wading into the flowing waters of the Olympic tributaries. Their STORMR foul-weather gear proved protective and durable as fishermen Simon Pollack and Skyler Vella threw flies before returning steelhead and salmon.

_N9A4689-Edit

_N9A4791

_N9A4665

_N9A4350

_N9A4334-Edit

_N9A4432-Edit

_N9A4439

_N9A4537

_N9A4545

_N9A4636-Edit

_N9A4598

_N9A4461

_N9A4311

For a complete portfolio, please visit www.CameronKarsten.com

logo_blackTrajan

STORMR Campaign: Olympic Wildness – Pt. II

_N9A3916

Fishermen Simon Pollack and Skyler Vella reload and reseek the elusive steelhead within the Wild Olympics on a recent campaign for STORMR foul-weather gear.

_N9A3940

_N9A3946-Edit

_N9A3934-Edit

_N9A3971

_N9A4198-Edit-Edit

For a complete portfolio, please visit www.CameronKarsten.com

logo_blackTrajan

STORMR Campaign: Olympic Wildness – Pt. I

_N9A3703-Edit

 Walking into the Olympics of western Washington is a step back into time. Undisturbed and wild America – a land of the tallest trees, isolated mountains, rugged coastline, and an epic run of salmon and steelhead. Here’s a sneak peek at a recent campaign for STORMR foul-weather gear with fishermen Simon Pollack and Skyler Vella.

_N9A3330

_N9A3375

_N9A3824

_N9A3773

_N9A3579-Edit

_N9A3634-Edit

_N9A3636-Edit

_N9A3645-Edit

_N9A3641-Edit

_N9A3646

_N9A3639-Edit

_N9A3675

For a complete portfolio, visit www.CameronKarsten.com

logo_blackTrajan

Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area (B+W)

AlpineLakes2-29The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area north of Interstate 90 in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State.  The land of 700 lakes.

AlpineLakes-41

AlpineLakes-58

AlpineLakes-160

AlpineLakes-128

AlpineLakes-470

AlpineLakes-213

AlpineLakes-169

AlpineLakes-181

AlpineLakes-295

AlpineLakes2-3

Cameron Karsten Photography

Washington State’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness (Cascade Mountains)

AlpineLakes-6

A short week of city work and then we were out.  It was 6pm and we were stocking up, eating, forgetting things, stocking up again, getting licenses, and then heading east up and over Interstate 90.  Seattle – Snoqualimie Pass – Roslyn – Salmon La Sac.  It was dark by the time we reached the trailhead, about 11PM, and we were beat from the seemingly endless dirt road that only became visible through the truck’s headlights.  Everything else was black as the sky above.  We took swigs of whiskey, unrolled our pads and bags, and slept like babies under the canvas’ cover.

From Deception Pass trailhead, we enjoyed the wide path to Hyass Lake, before a slowly inclining climb got us sweating.  Simon and I were conditioned.  It had been too long since we were on the trail, so our mind’s excitement took up the body’s slack.  In less then three hours we reached the pass, an uneventful merging with the Pacific Crest Trail.

We had no plans except a start date and the last day we needed to be back down heading home.  We pulled out the topo maps and traced lines with our fingers.

AlpineLakes-12

AlpineLakes-13

AlpineLakes-66

AlpineLakes-74

Our pace didn’t slow, it quickened with ease.  We couldn’t contain the thrill of being out, winding north from Snoqualimie Pass in Washington State’s Cascade Mountains to Steven’s Pass.  The area we were exploring was the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, a land nestled between I-90 and Hwy 2 with enough lakes to last you 10 lifetimes.  And at high altitudes, many cresting above the timber line, they were quiet, and well stocked.  Fly-rods: check.

AlpineLakes-83

AlpineLakes-97

AlpineLakes-198

AlpineLakes-236

AlpineLakes-457

In less then 5.5 hrs from the trailhead, up to Deception Pass and north along the PCT we reached our first night’s destination: Deception Lakes.  And they were exquisite.  Two glistening bodies of water with long shallow shores that dropped into deep emerald hues.  The fish were going crazy.  Set up camp, pull shoes, rig the rods and throw some line.  But there was one problem.  These rainbow, brook and cutthroat trout were tiny, skipping across the water as they emerged for a vast array of insect life the size of gnats buzzing around your wine.  We had nothing, they had everything.  Hooking one small brook did not afford us the glamorous backpacking dinner we hoped, but the excitement to be here and how far exceeded expectations.

AlpineLakes-124

AlpineLakes-140

AlpineLakes-380

AlpineLakes-399

The next day we rose and kept camp at Deception.  With light packs, food, water and fly gear, we headed up to Mt. Surprise for a summit before dropping down further north to Glacier and Surprise Lakes.  More fish, more action, but the same small size.  But what made the day was the Saturday morning spent atop Mt. Surprise.  With a thick rolling cloud cover the temperature of a warm bath and nobody within eyesight or earshot, Simon and I sat, played a deck or two and sipped our libations.  Nowhere else was more accommodating before dropping down through Piper Pass onto Glacier and Surprise Lakes.

AlpineLakes-247

AlpineLakes-264

AlpineLakes-271

AlpineLakes-308

AlpineLakes-328

To return to camp that evening, we continued along a loop, rejoining the PCT south to Deception Lakes, trying to never walk the same path twice.

With sunrise, oats, and full water jugs, we packed camp and headed west down to Deception Creek, a small tight valley that originated at the base of Mt Daniels.  Simon and I hiked south toward Deception Pass, taking a new less-traveled trail that brought us through a rich land of moss and wild mountain blueberries.  The trail was minimal and our eyes were awake for lingering bears.

AlpineLakes-484

AlpineLakes-490

AlpineLakes-501

AlpineLakes-510

AlpineLakes-491

By noon we were back at Deception Pass, before turning west along Marmot Trail to Marmot Lake.  And beyond that, a Shangri La called Jade.  It was a long afternoon hike as we took side routes for smaller excursions to ampitheatres of rock and screen.  The views were vast, as if we could reach out to the trails we were on just days prior.  Shortly before the late afternoon, the thick blue waters of Marmot met us, but it was the Jade that took our breath away.

AlpineLakes-522

AlpineLakes-553

AlpineLakes-564

AlpineLakes-569

Jade Lake was an additional mile above Marmot, a steep perilous hike under darkness, but just manageable with light packs and three days of hiking under our feet and within our knees.  Jade Lake with it’s hushing sounds of wind screaming through the pass just south, was all to ourselves and the large trolling trout that could be seen beneath the surface, careless about our imitation flies.

AlpineLakes2-9

AlpineLakes2-48

AlpineLakes2-59

One more night, one more morning before the trail descended beneath our boots back to Salmon La Sac (after a morning fish of course).  Beers and billiards at The Brick in Roslyn washed down the 4 day/3 night dream to mere memories.  Next summer will be just as beautiful.

AlpineLakes2-69

AlpineLakes2-80