The initial start of my position has been very exciting and agonizing all mixed into one emotion. Every morning I wake up to come to work, I’m dying to start a project on my own. So far, there have been many meetings and learning events, but I was finally given my first project last week. The project is in the final stages of completion, which was a 16 mile round trip climb/hike up the crater glacier viewpoint of Mount St Helens. The objective of this climb was to film and post awareness on social networking sites, that this is an actual guided climb that people can sign up for. The Crater Glacier Viewpoint is on the North side of the volcano where it erupted in 1980. This was not only a beautiful hike, it was also unique from what is normally done at this time of year. Outside of my legs killing me after the hike, the only disappointment of it was not being able to use all the amazing footage that I captured.
On average, the Crater Glacier View is not accessible during February. In fact, it’s not even open until later in the summer, but this winter has been abnormally warm and we saw an opportunity to safely climb to the viewpoint. The day started with a 6am meet and greet with my guide and from there, a one and a half hour drive to Johnston Ridge Observatory (where the hike began). It was hard to not start filming right out of the gate since every view of the mountain looked uniquely gorgeous compared to the last, but I somehow managed to find the restraint of saving my camera’s battery and memory. After about 5 hours we made it to the crater glacier view, where I was finally set loose to video everything I possibly could. I went from filming different angles of the mountain, to filming 11 different mountain goats.
I didn’t realize how amazing the footage of the mountain was until it reached my laptop, but I did have an “in the moment awareness” of the amazing wildlife I was capturing on film. The first two mountain goats that I spotted were across a ridge from where I was filming. I was able to capture video of these goats digging in the dirt for food and doing their regular routine of what appeared to be walking up and down a hill repetitively. Then, I started filming the creek that drained off from the glacier and BAM, nine goats were towards the bottom, jumping through the creek. My guide told me to start packing things up at about 4pm in order to at least make it off the mountain before dark. I was relieved he enforced that; I filmed a pack of elk running down the mountain, about an hour after we started our descent from the crater.
The following Monday I sat down in front of my computer and uploaded the videos. Finally I had a chance to view everything that I saw and show it to an audience. The views were even more phenomenal than I had thought and I was able to take pieces from every scene that I found suitable for what I wanted my viewers to see. The only problem was picking through over two hours of amazing footage and taking small pieces to put into a 45 second film. As the camera guy and editor, it is devastating to not get the chance to share every piece of footage that showed what I had just gone through. The most important thing for me to keep in mind for this video is to not share my own story, it’s to inspire people to create their own story.[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTjG0sfUKfM&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]