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Photographer Mark Van Scyoc was climbing ice & snow covered steps toward the ledge at the top of Shawnee Falls in Rickets Glen State Park. It was getting very late in the day and each step was becoming a real challenge. We took our time and carefully cut foot holds in the ice with our ice axes. We were both keenly aware that one misstep here could be our last one.
Fortunately, this was the last major vertical obstacle of the day’s hike, with just two more waterfalls left to visit. Little did we know that the last few miles would be much more difficult than we had ever expected, due to the deep fresh snow that was covering the Highland Trail and Lake Rose Road. We would have gladly traded our crampons for snow shoes at this point, to expedite our remaining long exit from the park.
This photograph was captured hand-held with a Canon 5D Full Frame DSLR camera through a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L lens at the 36mm focal length. The shutter speed was 1/50th of a second @ f/5. The camera’s ISO was set to 400 to compensate for low light levels.
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This series of Ricketts Glen photographs were captured on December 31st, 2012, during an 8 hour winter hike & shoot with photographer Mark Van Scyoc. Twelve of the twenty-two famous “named” waterfalls in the park were visited during this trip.
Ricketts Glen is located near the small rural village of Red Rock, PA, at the junction of Pennsylvania State Routes 118 and 487. The park is about midway between Williamsport and Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania, in the north eastern region of the USA.
WARNING: Ricketts Glen waterfall trails are extremely dangerous in the winter months! They are closed to the public from late November unit spring. Winter hiking is only permitted if you are a well-equipped hiker with previous icy condition hiking or climbing experience. Each climber must register and sign in before entering the trails and must also sign out after the hike. Crampons, Ice axes and climbing ropes are absolutely required. This is NOT just a “walk in the park”.
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© 2013 Gene Walls
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