Antarctica Panorama by Jake Norton.

Massive Panorama from Antarctica’s Vinson Massif

Going through the archives again, I came upon this panorama I shot in 2011 on the Branscomb Glacier in Antarctica. I was down there with Eddie Bauer teammates Ed Viesturs, Peter Whittaker, Caroline George, Seth Waterfall, and cinematographer Kent Harvey, spending a month climbing Vinson Massif and some other unclimbed peaks as well as making turns in the Antarctic heartland.

This was Eddie Bauer’s first official trip to Antarctica since the company outfitted the pioneering (and hugely successful) American Antarctic Mountaineering Expedition 1966/67, which made the first ascent of Vinson Massif as well as the other 5 highest peaks on the continent. For fun, I brought Bill Long’s Alaska Flag back to the summit of Vinson; it sat there for thirteen years, from 1966 until the second ascent of Vinson in 1979. It had recently been donated by climber John Evans to the American Mountaineering Museum, and we decided one more visit to the ice was appropriate. See our “Return to Antarctica” video below:

After our successful Vinson ascent, we did some skiing on the Branscomb Glacier, a massive river of ice flowing from the slopes of Antarctica’s highest point. Blessed with beautiful, clear weather and very good snow conditions, we explored around the rarely-visited terrain surrounding the Vinson Massif.

This image is a 360° panorama, shot handheld on skis. Zoom in and see if you can find the skiers in the image: Seth Waterfall, Peter Whittaker, and Caroline George are skinning uphill somewhere in the image.


About the Author : Jake NortonClimber, guide, photographer, speaker, founder of, and - most importantly - husband and father.View all posts by Jake Norton

  1. Colin Wallace
    Colin WallaceMarch 11,14

    Hi Jake

    Stunning photograph again, I am very jealous! Whenever I have taken photographs in the snow it looks all grey, not white as it should be like yours.


  2. Jake Norton
    Jake NortonMarch 12,14

    Hi Colin,

    Thanks for your note. Yes, getting snow to come out in the right way can be tough. It usually comes down to errors in white balance where your camera misreads the scene, especially if you’re shooting in auto white balance mode. My Nikons usually seem to handle it alright, but at times I do have to go in and shoot a scene with a custom white balance using the Kelvin color temp settings. (And, of course, Photoshop or other post-production editing tools can fix the issue; some better than others.)

    Keep shooting, and thanks again!


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