Wednesday, March 5, 2014
I’ve probably posted this one before, but I was too lazy to check. This is the backcountry at Mt. Baker Ski Area in Washington State. That big mountain in the background is Mt. Shuksan.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Turns out it’s still ski season here in Washington, which is awesome. Although no, this picture isn’t THAT recent, it’s from earlier this year, end of January I think. Remember how I said that I headed up to Mt. Baker that one particular day to take advantage of the sunshine? It’s still true! And this is from then!
The terrain you’re looking at (which is part of the Mt. Shuksan massif) is all out of bounds, probably inside the National Park boundary (and I’ve mentioned all this before.) Nice little slide right there on that little hummock. It’s not clear if those people you see in the picture caused it or not. I have an earlier picture two of them are standing on the top of the ridge above it, and the third guy is well below it on the next hummock down. By analyzing the ski trails, it looks like there’s a decent chance that he did start it. But, all three of them look pretty relaxed, which is definitely *not* how I’d look if either me or my buddy just narrowly avoided being buried in a slide that I/he/she had triggered way in the backcountry. So, I’m going to just say it’s “unclear” and leave it at that.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/500s, f/10.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 250mm.
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.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Mt. Shuksan, seen from Yellow Aster Butte. It’s worth noting that Yellow Aster Butte is not actually yellow. “But,” you might say, “the name doesn’t reference the Aster Butte that is Yellow, it is instead the Butte of Yellow Aster!”. And it’s true, there is some yellow stuff out there. But is that aster? I don’t know. I just don’t know.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm VC lens. 1/60s, f/9.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 55mm.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I don’t like this picture. I mean, I *really* don’t like this picture. The foreground is all muddled up with a shapeless mess of green stuff, and not only does it not nicely frame the mountain in the background, it actually partially blocks it. I really really don’t like this picture. But for some unknown reason, it seems that everyone else does. At the time I’m writing this, it’s got 53 votes, with an astronomical average of 8.96!! What?!? I mean, I can understand the odd high vote here and there, but normally by the time a mediocre picture gets 53 votes, sanity has prevailed and the average rating has fallen to a more reasonable level. But not with this one.
Am I wrong here?? What do you people see in this picture that I’m missing? There’s got to be something, right? Anyone??
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, 18-55 mm kit lens. 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 100. Focal length: 22mm.