Montana Outdoors

September 22, 2010

Above the clouds

Today’s outing was not what I had anticipated, but there was still plenty of nature’s beauty for those who love clouds. I visited the lookout on Eddy’s Peak although it is now closed for the season, and hiked from there way back along a trail into the Cherry Peak roadless area. The trail was not what I expected and the weather was, well, different. I shot (and will probably post) far too many photos like this one: there’s just something about a sea of clouds.

Above the clouds

The photo was taken looking toward the west from Eddy Peak in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains. On the right side of the photo, the Clark Fork River valley is about four thousand feet below those clouds.


  1. Oh my goodness!!! This is absolutely incredible!!! You’re right, there’s something about a sea of clouds… & being up high to see it ALL!!!


    Comment by Tricia — September 22, 2010 @ 10:35 pm

    • This is the time of year when views like this occur. Later it will not be possible to even get up there.


      Comment by montucky — September 22, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

  2. This is, quite possibly, the most stunning photo yet. I actually thought that was snow at first. How do you ever come down off the mountain with a view like that.


    Comment by Robin — September 23, 2010 @ 5:43 am

    • Sometimes going back down is hard to do. Yesterday though I covered nine miles and spent 7 hours on the trail soaking up scenery, and when I approached the trail head, my truck was a welcome sight. I will likely return there another time.


      Comment by montucky — September 23, 2010 @ 8:43 am

  3. Only one word for that photo…. wow! It’s a view we don’t get here in the Adirondacks as our peaks aren’t that high. Stunning shot.


    Comment by Cedar — September 23, 2010 @ 10:09 am

    • Most of the time a view like that does take a tall peak. That sea of clouds was about three thousand feet thick, starting about a thousand feet above the valley floor and topping out nearly a thousand feet below the peak. That was the view to the west of the peak and high ridge; to the east there were scattered clouds with openings in them and a brisk wind was blowing those that remained low over the ridge.


      Comment by montucky — September 23, 2010 @ 10:40 am

  4. Hi Montucky, Ooh, that is such a stupendously gorgeous photo!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — September 23, 2010 @ 10:35 am

    • Views like that are the rewards one gets for making the effort to go up into the high country. The folks in the valley just thought the day was dark and cloudy with short periods of rain. There was a whole other world up above.


      Comment by montucky — September 23, 2010 @ 10:47 am

  5. Wow, wow, wow!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Comment by Barbara — September 23, 2010 @ 11:38 am

  6. Wow! What a contrasting view of rough and soft! Stunning… so very beautiful. How breathtaking to be there to see this!


    Comment by Anna — September 23, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

    • I’ve seen scenes like that many times over many years… and remember every one of them!


      Comment by montucky — September 23, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

  7. What a beauty! I don’t get to see the view from the top very often, so always am glad to see your hiking photos.


    Comment by Sandy — September 23, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

    • I’m trying to take advantage of the good weather while it lasts. In winter I just can’t get that far up into the high country and I’ll sure miss it.


      Comment by montucky — September 23, 2010 @ 9:08 pm

  8. wow, amazing. nice when something unexpected is so beautiful!


    Comment by silken — September 23, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

    • It sure is. I know there will be something beautiful out there every time I go, but sometimes there is a special surprise.


      Comment by montucky — September 23, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

  9. That’s great!!!

    I love that photo because it is relieving the scenery in its splendor so mighty. I have been very seldom above clouds and I admire this photo so much. Those rocks at foreground are interesting. They are so sharp looking, not worn out by the tooth of time.


    Comment by sartenada — September 23, 2010 @ 11:16 pm

    • It’s a pleasure to be above the clouds. We have the chance this time of year. I will post more photos taken that day. It was quite windy that day and the cloud scenes were constantly changing.

      The rocks are very characteristic of these Rocky Mountains which are very new mountains geologically speaking. They have not been exposed to the surface long enough to have been worn down.


      Comment by montucky — September 24, 2010 @ 12:01 am

  10. What an impressive picture, it looks so vast ! I wonder how high was the point where you took the picture from ? I love those various layers or clouds, sea of clouds, forest and rocks. Beautiful scenery !


    Comment by isathreadsoflife — September 24, 2010 @ 3:48 am

    • The photo was taken from the top of the peak at 6,957 feet. It is on the northern edge of a 57 square mile roadless area which contains four more peaks of that elevation.


      Comment by montucky — September 24, 2010 @ 8:34 am

  11. Beautiful, Terry! When I interned at Olympic National Park in the Cascades mountain range, views like this were seen daily on Hurricane Ridge. Oh, to have had a dSLR back then!

    Yesterday, I worked beneath the clouds and waited long enough for some later afternoon light to peak through the clouds.


    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — September 24, 2010 @ 7:04 am

    • I also have memories of places and scenes that I just wish I could have photographed too. I’m so happy for the cameras that we have now!

      I saw the photo you posted today. Hope you’re having a great trip!


      Comment by montucky — September 24, 2010 @ 8:37 am

  12. Spectacular! I’ve only ever seen clouds from the top from an airplane and that’s not nearly as breath-taking as this.


    Comment by Candace — September 25, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

    • I know what you mean, Candace. Being on the peak does add a dimension to the experience. I think of it as providing a different insight into the surface of our planet.


      Comment by montucky — September 25, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

  13. That is amazing, like you are looking into a frozen lake.


    Comment by kateri — September 25, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

    • You know, there is a rive here that freezes over in mid-winter and the ice does pile up on the banks much like those clouds do at their interface with the mountains.


      Comment by montucky — September 25, 2010 @ 10:34 pm

  14. It must be a fabulous feeling to be out of doors looking out at or above clouds for as far as the eye can see. I expect most people have only had that view from a ‘plane or in photos. Lucky you!


    Comment by Val Erde — October 4, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

    • It is quite a feeling, one you wouldn’t forget. I remember some of those times from when I was quite young. The conditions are right on a few days this time of year and if you pick the right day the scenes are beautiful. They occur later too, but in this area snow will close the access roads usually some time in December, although sometimes you can see the clouds in the valleys from the ski slopes an that’s very pretty too.


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

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