Hiking to the Jumbo Mine in WSENP

jumbo mine alaska painting kennecott

Back from the Wrangell St. Elias National Park.  I painted some in the park this summer all plein air, as I was in the process of creating my indoor painting studio while I was there.  My wife and I had the most amazing summer camping out and building our little hut that will be a painting studio with a little sleeping loft.  One of the best experiences we had in the park was when we hiked to the Jumbo Mine.  This is the first and only time I have had the opportunity to climb up into this part of the Bonanza Ridge, to the ruins of the Jumbo Mine.  Not much left of the buildings and I decided to hike to the top of the ridge.  I was a little bit ahead of the others and sped quickly to the highest point under the cliffs on the ridge.  With a few minutes to spare as I was waiting for the crew, I painted this painting looking back towards the Chugach Mountains.  While on the ridge, I found lots of green rocks, (Chalcocite with Malachite) a whole vein up on the mountains!  It feels so great to be on the top of these amazing bodies of metal.  I was glad that I made it down with minimal damage to my painting.  Hiking 10+ miles with a plein air kit is not too difficult, but making it successfully home with a wet oil painting is more difficult that most people might imagine, so I always sigh a breath of relief when I get home successfully with a new plein air piece.

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