• Carl Battreall


Just returned from a much needed ski trip in the Kenai Mountains. After being sick and mostly bed ridden for the holidays, it felt great to spend a few nights in the backcountry.

On June 5th, 2019, a lightening strike would be the beginning of a long, smoky summer. The smoke would engulf much of South Central Alaska, with the air quality reaching dangerous levels for much of the summer. The Swan Lake Fire would eventually consume over 168, 000 acres of tundra and forest.

This was my first time visiting the burn area. These two images were taken near Juneau Lake, along the Resurrection Trail. I have skied, hiked and bike through this area many times, but I had trouble recognizing it, the new landscape was unfamiliar. I was attracted to the stark beauty of the destruction and the graphic quality of the burnt trees protruding from the bright, white snow.

I only had one day to spend making photographs. The short day and high winds made image making difficult, but I enjoyed the challenge. The other days were spent skiing, including breaking trail through 18 inches of fresh, heavy snow. A much needed adventure and recharge of my soul.