Patrick Trautfield

“Epic,” a new photography exhibit of outdoor images taken by a Cal Poly rock climber, opened Friday in the Associated Students Inc. Epicenter Art Gallery.

The display features a variety of spectacular landscapes from all over California. From vibrant neon sunsets in Mammoth to a snow covered landscape at Mt. Sill, there is something there for everyone to appreciate.

Outdoor enthusiast and microbiology senior Chris Kornblatt is the man behind the photos. The display represents his journeys in California over the past two years.

“Some trips allow me to ponder the complexities of the environment, but this is rare because there is usually a mad dash to ‘bag’ a peak and return to San Luis Obispo by 6 p.m. on Sunday in hope to finish class work,” Kornblatt writes of his weekends away from San Luis Obispo in the description of his exhibit.

A picture taken at Pear Lake in Sequoia National Park stands out from the rest in the exhibit with the jagged outline of a peak reflected perfectly on the glassy lake below. Of the 14-mile hike it took to get that photo, Kornblatt said, “It could be a day trip, if you push yourself.”

For the best local hike, Kornblatt says Mt. Valencia in Montana de Oro is the place to go, especially before dawn.

“You hear your breath and you hear the ocean,” he said, noting the peaceful quiet of an early morning hike. Then, as the sun comes up, “God turns the volume on” and you can start to hear the birds chirp, he said.

Kornblatt’s favorite journey over the past two years was the trip he took to Mt. Sill in the Palisade Crest over Memorial Day weekend. In late May, the landscape at 14,000 feet is still covered in snow.

A guest book at the event allows students to leave their comments. One student thanked Kornblatt for sharing his experiences and commented that the photos truly were “epic.”

“Enjoying nature with this sense of awe contributes to my quality of life,” Kornblatt said. “Each one of us is connected to the natural world, even in the largest of cities.”

The display also encourages its patrons to get outdoors and see those landscapes for themselves. A table at the exhibit features information on Pear Lake, Mt. Sill, Charlotte Dome, and Cathedral Peak, where some of the photos were taken.

“Epic” will remain on display in the UU until Jan. 31. Call the Epicenter at 756-5807 or visit

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