Posts Tagged: Mountain Loop

June 9, 2011 – Headlee Pass

Headlee Pass

Thursday, June 9, 2011

So in the past, I’d go through literally every picture that came off my camera. I’d look at every single one, throw away the real duds, and then go through again and do a little bit of post-processing on all of them that were even a little tiny bit good. Then I’d throw them into a big pile (the Rate Dave’s Photos thing), which I then go through to grab pics to post here. But over the last few years I’ve gotten amazingly far behind. In fact, I’m only halfway through the last day that I’ve gotten to, and it was so long ago that I was still using my old camera and my crappy Tamron 28-300mm VC lens. Thus, I’ve had a huge influx of images of marginal quality that I have to wade through when picking out a picture each day. Some of them are more marginal than others, but this is one of them.

This was taken near Headlee Pass, which is on the Sunrise Mine Trail, off the Mountain Loop Highway about halfway between Stevens and Snoqualmie passes in Washington state. It’s a great hike, blah blah blah, I’ve said all this before. Lake Elan was behind me when I took this picture, if that helps you get your bearings. I mean, it won’t, but it sounds good, and I felt like I needed a little bit more text to round out this post. See? It got me a couple extra sentences, not bad.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm VC lens. 1/50s, f/11.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 92mm.

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February 17, 2011 – Lake Elan Basin

Lake Elan Basin

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hey everyone. This is what the Lake Elan Basin looks like. It’s in the north-central Cascades in Washington State, near the Mountain Loop Highway. (which heads east from Granite Falls, then north to Darrington.) The spot where I was standing is right near Headlee Pass, along the Sunrise Mine Trail. A nice trail, well worth the effort, but keep in mind that it’s covered in snow until fairly late in the season. (This was taken in September, and most of the lake itself was still frozen over.) But, that’s always the problem with the high country, so whatever.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm VC lens. 1/125s, f/9.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 28mm.

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November 5, 2010 – Sperry Peak

Sperry Peak

Sperry Peak

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hey guys, look, it’s the 301st post! Not quite as exciting as number 300 I guess. Oh well. Also, it’s not quite as nice as the last few I posted. I felt that November was off to too good of a start, that I was using too many good pictures and not enough crappy ones. So, here’s one, intentionally posted late on a day when few people come by my site, to help balance it out. This is Sperry Peak. It’s near Monte Cristo, on the Mountain Loop highway. Have a great weekend!

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm VC lens. 1/80s, f/7.1, ISO 100. Focal length: 30mm.

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September 21, 2010 – Vesper Peak and Lake Elan Basin

Vesper Peak and Lake Elan Basin

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I’m still making progress on all of the pictures I took two summers ago. I know, impressive, right? At this rate you’ll see the pictures I took this weekend sometime in the 2020s. I actually posted another picture from this same hike way back in the day. It was the third picture I ever posted, in fact. (Well, I also posted one last week, but whatever.) The takeaway from that is that I often go through and grab images here and there from past hikes and such, but it takes awhile for me to actually take the time to properly parse through the whole set. I’m still only about halfway through the pics from this hike, but I’ve found several decent ones, that I’m sure you’ll be seeing here sometime or another.

You’re looking at Vesper Peak. The spot where I was standing is accessible via the Sunrise Mine Trail, which is sort of near Monte Cristo on the southern side of the Mountain Loop Highway in Washington State. You hike up into a big huge basin, then up and over one of the ridgelines, crossing at a place called Headlee Pass. Then you hike along a ridge over to this spot. The water you see there is drainage from a lake which I’ve seen called Headlee Lake (named after the pass), Vesper Lake (named after the Peak), and my preferred name, Lake Elan (named after the ski company. Duh.) It’s looking like we may actually get 12 hours or so of nice weather this weekend (fingers crossed!) so I’m actually considering coming back and doing this hike again. When I was there, I just stopped at the lake, but this time I want to hike up Vesper a bit, because I think there could be some nice views. But I’d need to get an early start, which may not be possible, we’ll see.

How about you? Any awesome plans this weekend? Hmm, small talk seems a bit awkward in this context. Forget I said anything…

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm VC lens. 1/125s, f/10.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 28mm.

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July 13, 2010 – Big Four Mountain

Big Four Mountain

Big Four Mountain

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Well gosh darnit, I missed Monday again. I hope I didn’t ruin anybody’s day because of it. Oh well, so much for my dreams of going 5 for 5 this week.

Today you’re looking at Big Four Mountain. It’s in Washington, along a scenic drive called the “Mountain Loop”. It’s hard to describe exactly where it is using just text, especially if you have no context, but it’s basically a loop (duh) that lies north of Highway 2 (Stevens Pass) and south of Highway 20 (North Cascades National Park), and isn’t on the way to anywhere. It is its own destination. It’s for sure a pretty road, but as is the case with most mountain roads here in Washington state, it stays down in the lowlands, following the rivers. As a result, you’re surrounded by huge rocky peaks the whole time, but you don’t realize it, because the trees are so thick around you. Once you can get up on the valley walls a bit, you realize how gorgeous the surrounding terrain is, but if you never leave the car, it’s easy to miss.

Big Four Mountain is one of the exceptions to the rule, that you can actually see from the roadway. In fact, there’s a really easy 1-mile-or-so hike that takes you up to the “Big Four Ice Caves”, which I’d highly recommend checking out for all non-hiker types. It’s a very easy trail, with big payoffs. The ice caves themselves form in these huge piles of snow at the bottom of huge granite cliffs. There’s streams that run underneath the piles of snow, which melt them out from underneath, resulting in, well, you know, a cave. Not a cave that you should go into, because they have been known to collapse and kill people, but other than that they’re very friendly. The trail is great for kids, even really little ones. Except for the walking into the caves part. That part’s not great for anyone. But now I’m talking in circles.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/320s, f/9.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 32mm.

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