When I first hiked the Teton Crest Trail in 2014, Hurricane Pass was unquestionably my favorite spot on the trail and one of the more impressive views I had thought I have ever seen.
I stand by that. It’s gorgeous.
But when when I had passed through that spot five years prior, it was mid-day (poor light for photography) and we couldn’t linger and enjoy it because of some impending storms. I had always been a little bummed I hadn’t been been able to appreciate that spot more and hang out for a little while.
So when I got the invite to hike the Teton Crest Trail again this year, I had two main reasons for doing it again and experiencing and shooting a sunrise on top of Hurricane Pass was one of the two.
All I really remembered from 2014 was how incredible Hurricane Pass was, but in my thought process for this sunrise, I unfortunately didn’t really think of how “photogenic” it may or may not be.
As soon as I composed my first shot, I realized my mistake… I was in the right place at the right time, but I had forgotten just how much more towering the Grand Teton was compared to everything else surrounding it. At 13,776 feet, it rises a full 971 feet above the Middle Teton next to it and an even more incredible 3,438 feet above where I stood on Hurricane Pass.
The scale, combined with a lack of cloud coverage where I could have used it, just created an incredibly lop-sided composition – Heavy on the right-side with the harshly back-lit Grand and light on the left side with some measly 12,000-foot peaks…
Don’t get me wrong – It was a beautiful morning and I’m incredibly glad I experienced it. I just didn’t get the absolutely epic shot I had envisioned.