A weekend at El Nevado

A weekend at El Nevado - student project

It was a sunny saturday morning, we grabbed our backpacks, took a bite, took the dogs and headed to El Nevado de Colima to try my new friend's pick up truck. We picked up a couple of folks and drove straight to the mountain. After getting delayed because of a couple of unexpected stops, we finally reached the campsite. We did a quick camp set up and gathered some firewood, the we took a nice mountain meal. So before wasting any more time we went on a short hike before the day ended. With a strong stomachache and very little motivation, i took a few unpleasing shots along the way. But as soon as my buddies spotted a boulder so nice to let it pass, they had a go with it, while my pain was starting to go away, and so did the sun. I had this great moment of a guy struggling against a rock and a colorful sky, so i took out my camera and wide lens and started shooting, until i got some nice shots which captured the esence of this moment. 

A weekend at El Nevado - image 1 - student project

A weekend at El Nevado - image 2 - student project

A weekend at El Nevado - image 3 - student project

Sadly this wasn't my sharpest or fastest lens, so i got some motion blur (could correct this boosting my iso), still i like this pictures for a small print. So i finally got something nice, but it was getting late and dar, and without the moon, it took us about 2 hours and a couple of detours until we reached our camp. There we started getting the wood ready for the fire, while i noticed my friends had this nice set of colors in their jackets forming a good composition (red-yellow-red). This time i pulled my cheap tripod and 17-50mm f/2.8 lens, and started shooting long exposures, with not so good results and a lot of motion blur. Then i remembered i had my speedlight in my bag, which i took out to compensate this lack of light and reduce my exposures to 1-2 secs. So i finally got this.

A weekend at El Nevado - image 4 - student project

I put my camera aside and sat down with the guys to grab a few beers... i think they were to many, i forgot to wake up for sunrise... anyway it wasn't late and we had a long day ahead. After breakfast we started hiking to the top, again stoped only a few times to take some shots, got nothing that really pleased my eye until this moment.

A weekend at El Nevado - image 5 - student project

After reaching the top with no accidents or adrenaline, on the descent, somehow me and my buddy got split from the other 2, with us the dogs, after taking a couple of wrong turns we were heading down to our doom through a quite vertical and exposed wall (wet wall). At the worst point we were trapped with the dogs crying and frozen in fear, me and my friend trying to figure out how to end up with a broken leg or arm only and not a single of our dogs badly wounded.

A weekend at El Nevado - image 6 - student project

Yeah that's me trapped with the 2 dogs, and about to fall.

A weekend at El Nevado - image 7 - student project

As the moment got to it's worst point, our other friend heard the dog's cries, so he rushed to aid us and after doing some unprotected climbing, the 3 of us could manage to come unharmed with both dogs. After that heavy moment i lost all my motivation to take pictures for the rest of the day, got back slowly and relaxed, thinking about the dangerous moment we left behind. But as we reached the truck and headed back to town, we saw a cougar crossing the road really fast, we got off the truck to see if we could see it, but to late, it was gone. This was a signal because when i turned my head back, i had this beautiful sunset, and this was my way to say good bye to the mountain.

A weekend at El Nevado - image 8 - student project