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La Plata Mountains by Bill Alberts

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Bill Alberts Bill Alberts
Explore score
2.58 Gigapixels
Date added
Oct 02, 2009
Date taken
Sep 30, 2009

The Peak on the left of the photo is Hesperus Peak. It was named Hesperus not because of the of the town of Hesperus but was so named after the poem The Wreck of the Hesperus. It is the Northeast point of the Navajo four quadrants that enclose their world. It is also the highest peak in the La Plata Mountains.
The basin in between Hesperus and the peak to the right is Owen's Basin. It was named after a geologic miner by the name of Harry Owens. He worked for George Andrew Jackson for whom the ridge to the very right of the photo is named.
Jackson killed one of his miner's with a double-barreled shotgun in September 1894 and out of that event I have just completed a book titled Death at Golconda. Golcanda was where Jackson had his camp-where the North and the South Forks of the West Mancos meet. This Photo was taken about a mile from where Golconda was located.
During the 1880s and early 1890s, the La Platas were believed to contain fantastic riches -gold in great quantities. Those stories brought Jackson from Ouray in 1891 on the Rio Grande Southern Railroad to try his hand at uncovering some of those riches. He found enough placer and sluice gold to keep his camp going for three years but the he went for big money which seems to have been his calling card years before in Denver and around Ouray. His calling card was to put the placer and sluice gold he recovered in his mine ore samples. It was called salting your ore and when an employee confronted him about it death became a result.
When I was 14 my father took me to the remains of Golconda and to the placer location which was large enough to have been named Jackson City. He was a prospector at heart and even though he must have realized he would he would never find enough gold to even pay for the trip into the mountains he persisted year after year.
I have climbed Hesperus Peak a number of times and for a thrill of a lifetime you need to climb it. I have always climbed from the west except for one time up the south face. It was early spring and as I climbed up into the gorge rocks began coming down as melting took place that day. Even now it is still a scary memory . So I suggest you go up to Sharks Tooth trail and hike up the talus on the northeast side of Hesperus. It is the shortest and easiest way to climb the peak. The view from the top is stupendous and is like taking a jeep ride into the mountains above Ouray which we did this past weekend.
Sorry, I kinda got carried away.

Darrel Ellis

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Stitcher Notes


GigaPan Stitcher version 0.4.3864 (Windows)
Panorama size: 2575 megapixels (82411 x 31250 pixels)
Input images: 392 (28 columns by 14 rows)
Field of view: 38.4 degrees wide by 14.6 degrees high (top=0.5, bottom=-14.0)
All default settings
Original image properties:
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: Canon PowerShot SX10 IS
Image size: 3648x2736 (10.0 megapixels)
Capture time: 2009-10-01 02:54:55 - 2009-10-01 03:15:52
Aperture: f/5.7
Exposure time: 0.002
ISO: 80
Focal length (35mm equiv.): 565.2 mm
Digital zoom: off
White balance: Fixed
Exposure mode: Manual
Horizontal overlap: 16.3 to 31.0 percent
Vertical overlap: 13.4 to 41.8 percent
Computer stats: 3574.98 MB RAM, 2 CPUs
Total time 9:30:22 (1:27 per picture)
Alignment: 1:39:38, Projection: 49:55, Blending: 7:00:47

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