Climbing Denali - Day 1

Matthew Stein on Jun 24, 2021 4:15:00 PM

"You don't climb up Denali, you camp up it" - 2-Sleep Mike.

What does that mean? This mountain is not climbed quickly. We had to take our time, working up from camp to camp. Shuttling gear, food and fuel to higher camps while giving our bodies time to acclimatize. Furthermore, camping on a glacier, especially in Alaska is no easy task. Snow camping has some great advantages. There are no bugs to swat. Everywhere is a fridge, so you can bring better food. You also have to stay warm, learn to sleep on snow and get comfortable using the bathroom in windy blizzard conditions. Learning to not just survive, but thrive in the Alaskan backcountry was the most important lesson we learned. 

This is not a post on "How to climb Denali." While I was climbing, I journaled each day. I wrote about the experience, what we did each day, what we ate each day and how it felt to be isolated and focused solely on one goal. Many hours were spent in our tents, waiting for the weather to clear or resting from a big move. I also took a lot of photos. A lot. 

Our group had 6 climbers and 3 guides. We chose Alaska Mountaineering School as our guide service and I have to say I was super impressed. "2-Sleep Mike" Mike Gardner was our lead guide, along with Clark Henarie and Peggy Fluvin. All three of them are legit bad-asses. The other folks on my trip included Dave "Rhude Dog" Rhude (my tentmate,) Canada Mike, Brad "Doctor Strange" Cobb, Brian "California" Giangardella, and Sam Sidiqi. 

Here's the tale of us climbing "The Great One."

Climbing mexican Volcanoes

Matthew Stein on Apr 22, 2021 10:04:31 AM

Here are some photos from my trip to Mexico in 2018

Oatmeal Molasses Rye bread recipe - simplified

Matthew Stein on Mar 19, 2020 9:01:49 AM

Inspired by The Rye Baker by Stanley Ginsberg, my interest grew in learning how to handle this grain. Rye is a temperamental mistress, she forces you to work at her pace. If you mix up the temperature or pH, then she will reward you with a brick instead of bread.

Once my wife got sick of all the rye bread I was baking, she asked for an oatmeal loaf. I made a few of those, and then started looking for an oatmeal rye combo. The internet provided nothing. So, I set to developing my own recipe.

To keep it simple, I had 3 goals:

Funny pictures from the UK

Matthew Stein on Sep 3, 2017 12:44:14 PM

Walking around I'll often find signs and other items that make me smile. We recently spent two weeks in England and Scotland. England, to visit family, and Scotland to drink whisky.

Flashing routes at Brooklyn Boulders for New Years Eve

Matthew Stein on Dec 16, 2016 11:55:17 AM

Sometimes the last minute shoots are the most fun. No time for prep, just grab your go bags and head out.

Leica Underwater

Matthew Stein on Oct 2, 2016 11:52:24 AM

"It's waterproof up to 60 feet" he said. That sounded like a challenge. 

Taking pictures outdoors means weather. Adventure photography usually means I'm outdoors for a long time, exposed to far rougher weather than some headshots in a park. My two main digital camera options these days are a Canon 5d, and a Sony A7. The biggest issue with my Sony a7 is the lack of weatherproofing. The Canon 5d, while very well weather sealed, is a heavy beast. 

Leica Boston - Leica on Loan and photowalk

Matthew Stein on Sep 18, 2016 11:27:56 AM

Yesterday the new Leica store opened in Boston. This is bad news for my wallet. So many beautiful objects of temptation. 

Company headshots and team photos

Matthew Stein on Aug 2, 2016 3:52:13 PM

Style matters. Actors and lawyers both need headshots, but the images convey very different messages. That's why I always ask my clients how you're going to use these photos. 

When you need new company headshots, or a team photo of everyone, consider these points to make sure the photos match your company's brand identity and story. 

Baby bump progress pictures

Matthew Stein on Jul 31, 2016 1:27:11 PM


This year has seen a lot of changes in our family. While Cathy was working on Cora, I was renovating the 3rd floor of our house. We needed a nursery, and we were on a deadline.

Naturally, I had to shoot a baby-bump progression series. The soon-to-be nursery made a great backdrop.

Photography tips for Pokemon Go

Matthew Stein on Jul 18, 2016 6:18:30 PM

Love it or hate it, Pokemon Go is everywhere. If you hate it, then you're probably not reading this. You also don't care how to take better pictures within the game. But, if you're like over 65 million other people, then you're trying to catch 'em all.