Friday, March 4, 2011
Hey, guess what!! I posted a picture today! I know, I know, I’m awesome.
This is another view from Mt. Baker Ski Area, in northwestern Washington state. I specifically chose the words “view from Mt. Baker” as opposed to “this is Mt. Baker Ski Area”, becasue the area you’re looking at here is strictly out of bounds. The ridge in the foreground is in a designated wilderness area, and I think the peak in the background (it’s actually just a little pointy part on the ridge that leads up to the actual summit of Mt. Shuksan) is inside the bounds of North Cascades National Park. So while technically possible to ski it, it would take quite a hike to get there, through some really gnarly (and extremely avalanche-prone) terrain. Maybe that’s your cup of tea, but it sure ain’t mine. But, I was totally standing inside the bounds of the ski area when I took it, so it totally counts.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll stand by it (and then I’ll caveat the crap out of it): Mt. Baker has the most jaw-droppingly incredible scenery of any ski resort anywhere, hands-down. Okay, now, hands back up, because here come the caveats. A lot of the time (most of the time?) you can’t even see the scenery, because, duh, the ski area that holds the world record for snowfall tends to have crappy weather. Bluebird days are almost non-existent, and often you can count the total number from an entire season on one hand. Sometimes on one finger. That’s not an exaggeration. It’s a haul from Seattle (3.5 hours), so the only reason we even went up there on the day I took this picture is because we knew it would be sunny with some reasonably fresh snow. Next, I can only really fairly compare the scenery here to other places I’ve actually been. Which limits it pretty severely. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to some places that are decent competitors (Vail, Whistler, Whitefish, heck, even Snoqualmie), but I still think Baker wins out. I have *not* been to anywhere outside North America, at least not in the winter. And, I’ve only actually been to one European ski resort at all (Zermatt), so the odds are good that those may actually be better. And, finally, the last caveat to that statemen…
Wait, who the eff cares which one is truly “best” in the scenery department? That doesn’t even make sense. Views, just like photos, aren’t something that can be compared, judged, and stack-ranked. It just doesn’t make sense. Beauty, and the related quality of views or pictures can’t be quantified, and thus can’t be labelled “winner” and “loser”. It’s like asking “Which is greater? The number 532, or a chair?”
So, sit down, stop asking questions, and look at the pretty picture! And, optionally, go to Mt. Baker Ski Area, because, seriously, the views are incredible.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/160s, f/16.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 250mm.