Trips: Shenandoah Winter, 2014

Shenandoah National Park can be one of the most difficult parks to photograph in winter because it is generally inaccessible except by foot when there is ice and snow. For this past winter, I made a determined effort to make the long hikes in through the snow and ice to experience the Park as very few can see it. There is something deeply moving to be in Big Meadows or along the Skyline Drive or some of its trails just after a snow, and knowing that there may not be anyone else hardly in the Park. Experiencing the silence and solitude of winter this way was deeply moving. Here are a few of the photographs and images I was able to capture along the way.

In winter, Skyline Drive is frequently closed due because of snow.  For those willing to embrace the elements, it is an enchanting...

In winter, Skyline Drive is frequently closed due because of snow. For those willing to embrace the elements, it is an enchanting wonderland, including here just north of the Swift Run Entrance where a large pine guards the Drive. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

In the depths of winter, Dark Hollow falls freezes in the zero degree temperatures.  There is a certain eeriness experiencing...

In the depths of winter, Dark Hollow falls freezes in the zero degree temperatures. There is a certain eeriness experiencing time frozen almost still, yet below that frozen surface, the muffled roar of the falls can still be heard. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Ice coats fall's red berry bushes and tan grasses of Big Meadows.

Ice coats fall's red berry bushes and tan grasses of Big Meadows. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A heavy coating of ice etches every grass, every tree across the expanse of Big Meadows.

A heavy coating of ice etches every grass, every tree across the expanse of Big Meadows. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A blast of snow and ice covers this pine tree along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.

A blast of snow and ice covers this pine tree along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Willows bend from the wind and elements at Old Rag Overlook.

Willows bend from the wind and elements at Old Rag Overlook. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A light snow has fallen and coated the trees below as the fading light of early winter paints the mountain in purple splendor...

A light snow has fallen and coated the trees below as the fading light of early winter paints the mountain in purple splendor. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

School is out.  Skyline Drive is closed.  There is a fresh snow.  It is a beautiful day to walk with your daughters and puppy...

School is out. Skyline Drive is closed. There is a fresh snow. It is a beautiful day to walk with your daughters and puppy in Shenandoah National Park. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

In winter, when the snow has fallen, Shenandoah is deserted.  It is a time to experience the silence and serenity of the Park...

In winter, when the snow has fallen, Shenandoah is deserted. It is a time to experience the silence and serenity of the Park. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Snow and fog begin to obscure visibility along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.

Snow and fog begin to obscure visibility along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Barren trees stand like so many ghosts in a snowy woods.

Barren trees stand like so many ghosts in a snowy woods. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

A single dogwood and small oak are barely visible in the snow and fog along Skyline Drive.

A single dogwood and small oak are barely visible in the snow and fog along Skyline Drive. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Winter Solitude on the Edge of Shenandoah National Park.

Winter Solitude on the Edge of Shenandoah National Park. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Skyline Drive has closed and only a few tracks remain as the snow gets ready to fall again.

Skyline Drive has closed and only a few tracks remain as the snow gets ready to fall again. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

Mountain Laurel planted by the conservation corps in the 1930s stand defiantly along Skyline Drive.

Mountain Laurel planted by the conservation corps in the 1930s stand defiantly along Skyline Drive. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.

This one is for an old friend.   In the clarity of winter, a sense of balance among the contrasting forms.

This one is for an old friend. In the clarity of winter, a sense of balance among the contrasting forms. Photo © copyright by Ed Fuhr.