Photo of the Day Contest
Mountaineer’s Dream by Michael Kittell
Sunday, 18th August 2013

Mountaineer’s Dream

by Michael Kittell

My second trip into the Ishinca Valley, Peru, yielded far different results than my first. Two years ago, we came to climb in the Ishinca Valley but encountered only rain and more rain and clouds and cold. This time, our team was greeted by the brightest night skies I ever remember seeing... and great climbing. The Milky Way was so bright that I often thought it was lights reflecting off of a cloud. On our first day, we sprinted in and climbed Urus (~17,700 ft), followed by Ishinca (~18,200 ft) on the second day. We slept in and then moved up to Tocllaraju high camp, at ~16,500 ft., on the third day. I knew the sky was going to explode with stars that third night, so I positioned our tent south-facing, overlooking the Tocllaraju massif for the sole purpose of capturing this image (not an ideal spot for wind). My wife sits inside the tent, reading her kindle. A couple hours after this image was taken, we left camp for the summit of Tocllaraju (~20,000 ft), seen in the upper left of this image. We summitted in bitterly cold and windy (but clear!) conditions early the next morning, returned to camp and packed, and descent back to the trailhead and out to the city of Huaraz. An amazing trip!
Equipment: 5D Mark II, 16-35 Canon 2.8 L
Michael Kittell
An alpine climber and photographer from Oregon, USA. For recent photography, please check out (and "like"!) MK Wild Photo on Facebook.

Mountaineer’s Dream by Michael Kittell was photo of the day on Sunday, 18th August 2013. It is tagged . You can leave a comment below.



18th August 2013 at 8:20 am

Stunning photo and it sounds like an unbelievable amazing experience.

lokesh chormare

18th August 2013 at 9:10 am

Excellent photograph Michael. You won’t be able to forgot this trip in your lifespan.

18th August 2013 at 9:20 am

wonderful image. looks like a magical place

18th August 2013 at 9:57 am

Wow it must be a great experience to camp in such a beautiful place.


18th August 2013 at 12:24 pm

What an interesting looking pic! Love the yellow glow plus the beautiful sky, very nice!!

Truman Sharp

18th August 2013 at 12:35 pm

What time of the day did you take this photo? I see the shadow of the mountain on the left, so it can’t be night…?


18th August 2013 at 1:01 pm

What a nice surprise! This is MY country. THANKS MICHAEL for your visit and the wonderful picture.


18th August 2013 at 1:53 pm

Moonlight!!! SuperShoot!!!


18th August 2013 at 2:12 pm

Brilliant. Love the photo.

18th August 2013 at 3:19 pm

Nice story and a wonderful shot, you do well to carry a 5D2 and 16-35mm up mountains.

Anne Egli

18th August 2013 at 4:28 pm

Wow, what a stunning picture, what an incredible place to be! Thanks for sharing this, it’s one of my favorites, but also for sharing your story, just adds so much to the picture.


18th August 2013 at 4:43 pm

So amazing!

Laura Milholland

18th August 2013 at 5:18 pm

Could not ask for a prettier view! Thanks for sharing the story to go with this incredible shot.

18th August 2013 at 5:40 pm

Looks like an amazing evening. Fantastic detail

18th August 2013 at 7:11 pm

Incredible shot! Wish I was there.


19th August 2013 at 1:31 am

I wish I was in Peru photographing up there under all those stars!! Great image Michael!

19th August 2013 at 5:41 pm

Beautiful picture Michael!

20th August 2013 at 9:14 pm

Love the shot and especially the story!


21st August 2013 at 12:15 pm

Wow! What a stunning shot.. I love the shot and the story. That Picture is really a Mountaineer’s Dream.

Stan Garus

3rd April 2014 at 12:20 am

I watched your video: “Peruvian Andes: Climbing and Other Nonsense” and I have to tell you have done an amazing job making that movie. The music, stills, mix of B&W, and color, sun-sets, some visual effect (not too much). I don’t think that I have ever seen a better movie, better graphic images than in your movie. I alway thought that I am pretty good with editing of my videos but I can carry your bags for you, hold the tripod, and serve you coffee anytime you need to because comparing to you I am just a beginning amateur. Please make more movies, take more pictures and put them all on your website, you are genius, and we want to see some more of your work, please.

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