Extreme Mountain Videography

One of the great things about living and working in Tahoe as a video professional is just how spectacularly photogenic my own back yard is. I am working on a video project for Heavenly that needs some unique views of the mountain…at night. Meaning I would need to spend the night alone on the mountain.

Specifically, we were looking for two night time shots. First, one of the stars moving through the sky against the back drop of the mountain. Second, video of the amazing Heavenly groomers doing their work at night, with the effect of their lights streaking up and down the mountain.

I have been hunting around the south shore to find the right locations to shoot this  night time video of Heavenly and soon realized the top of Stagecoach after a short hike afforded me the best views of the Comet & Dipper area. On thursday, the 9th, I headed up to the top of Stagecoach Express, hiked the knoll, set up my camera and dug out a little shelter that I would hunker down in for the whole night!

It was a cold night with winds whipping across the peak I was set up on. But I came prepared with my sub zero sleeping bag and cold winter gear. I set up my camera and got comfortable for what was sure to be an interesting night.

Sleeping outside in Winter

The sunset that night was epic with fire red clouds moving through the sky.

lake Tahoe sunset

Soon though I started to worry those clouds that create the amazing colors in the sky might ruin my chances of getting some good star shots. After darkness fell, the groomers started up and down the NV trails and after the second hour passed the clouds burned off and the sky.

heavenly mountain at night

It was quite an amazing moment – being up on top of Heavenly Mountain in the middle of the night all alone watching the stars move through the sky and the grooming machines streak up and down the runs.

I ended up letting the timelapse run for 5 hours. Although it was quite a bit of work to get one shot that will show for seconds in a video, it was definitely worth it! Staying out all night in the beauty of Tahoe ends up being the most fun and rewarding part of the whole experience.

Keep on the lookout for our starry night timelapses in a Heavenly video coming soon!



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