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Mountain Goats at Gibbon Pass # 9234

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Date: 2006.07.08
Vantage Point: From Gibbon Pass Trail

Caption: A small group of mountain goats climbs the slopes of Storm Mountain above Gibbon Pass.

PhotoDescr: The mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) is common in the higher elevations of the Canadian Rockies, and they are often found in small groups.

When we spotted these goats, they were just small moving dots in the distance. With the electronic viewfinder of my digital camera, I was unable to determine whether they were sheep or goats. I had to use landmarks to make sure they were included in the view when I zoomed to the maximum magnification. This shot is a testimony to the wonders of image stabilization technology; it was taken handheld. With the cropping of the photo, it's the equivalent of an 850mm lens on a 35mm film camera, at a shutter speed of 1/640 of a second.

Gibbon Pass was one of the stops on a 31.5 km day hike for seven members of the Grant MacEwan Mountain Club. Since most of the hike is on trail through montane forest, we took a break whenever the views opened up, as they do at Gibbon Pass.

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