Portage Lake, Alaska, Frozen in Winter

Taken at Portage Lake, Alaska, on January 6th, 2014

On a mildly windy, 25 degree day toward the end of a three-week winter trip to Alaska my friend and I decided to check out Portage Lake to see if it was frozen over or not. We arrived under overcast and slightly wet conditions to find the main body of the lake frozen, but the ice near shore broken up. The lines that the cracks and leads in the ice made intrigued my photographer’s eye and I waded out in the lake to the very tops of my boots. I wanted to get just a little bit farther out though, so I stepped up on the nearest hunk of ice to test its stability. Stable enough at first, the ice began an almost imperceptible shift under my weight and gradually began to capsize. Thanks to its slippery surface even that tiny bit of movement was enough to send me sliding into the water. Thanks to catlike reflexes and some ensuing comedic antics I was able to catch myself before I got completely soaked. But that little bit of instability was still sufficient to keep me nervous and glued to the shore from then on as I shot.

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