Posts Tagged North Cascades National Park
Friday, July 8, 2011
Well, three posts in one week. Not my worst ever performance, so I’ll take it. This is a view from just below Heather Pass in North Cascades National Park. And, those are larches. I’ve talked about them a bunch of times, but for review: they are pine trees that change color in the fall. They are awesome. I have run out of interesting things to say.
I’m not going to post anything Monday, I’m warning you ahead of time, so plan accordingly.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 400. Focal length: 11mm.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
This is Diablo Lake (I’ve also heard it called Emerald Lake) in North Cascades National Park. It’s not a natural lake strictly speaking, as it is the size it is because it’s dammed (which you can just barely see on the far right edge of the frame), to generate power for the city of Seattle. Whether or not it was a (much smaller/shallower) lake before it was dammed is not something I know. Actually, it’s dammed on both ends, as the next lake up the chain, Ross Lake, which is a long, narrow lake that extends just over the Canadian border, is also created via dam, and spills into Diablo.
And yes, it really is that color. The water is primarily glacial meltwater, and as such it’s filled with all sorts of silt and mineralage, which is what makes it look all milky like that. We get a fair bit of that here in the PNW (like the White River which comes out of Mt. Rainier National Park – it’s only a little tiny river, but the water looks like diluted milk, kinda weird.)
So, have a great rest of the day and all that.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/8.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 11mm.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Man, when I fail, I fail hard. Remember back in the day when I was all talkin’ up a big game about how I was going to put up a post every (week) day of the week? And remember how I was all high on myself when I made it all the way up to Wednesday and was shooting 3 for 3? Yeah, well, not only did I miss Thursday and Friday, I failed to put up any posts **for the entire next week**. Eesh, that’s the last time I try to hold myself to any kind of goal.
So, anyway, we’re back, at least for today. To celebrate, here’s a shot taken near Cascade Pass in North Cascades National Park. No, this wasn’t taken this weekend. Life got in the way this weekend, and I didn’t make it out anywhere to take any pictures, which is the same story for the rest of this year. At some point in the past, I posted another shot that looks really similar to this one, but no, it’s not the same picture, and in fact it wasn’t even taken the same day. I took one of them on the way up and over the pass, and I took the other the next day, as we went up and over the pass again on the way home. And no, I don’t remember offhand which one this was. Not really important, I don’t think. I wasn’t trying to take the same picture twice either, it just so happened that both times I was standing there, I noticed that it was a nice setup for a shot. And, it just so happened that the light was pretty similar on both days, so the resulting images came out pretty similar. Kind of an interesting experiment, really. Shows that, at least within a 24 hour period, my photographic instincts are pretty consistent, that given the same inputs, I’ll probably produce the same results. I’d be curious to see if the same held true over a longer period, like a month, 6 months, a year, whatever. But, we’ll never know. So don’t hold your breath. Probably a safe bet to not hold your breath about when the next post will appear here either, we’ll see.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-300mm lens. 1/250s, f/14.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 35mm.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Quick post today, just to show I haven’t forgotten about you. This is yet another picture taken at the Diablo Lake viewpoint in North Cascades National Park.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/400s, f/11.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 39mm.
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.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Today’s post takes us back to last fall, and to North Cascades National Park in Washington state. The North Cascades contain some of the most rugged terrain I personally have ever seen, and consequently it’s pretty ridiculously beautiful. It’s not one of the most visited national parks, and as such access to it is somewhat limited. Meaning, you can’t get to the huge majority of the park without hiking for several days. There are definitely some cool places you can get to via a simple day-hike though (like this spot), so it’s well worth a trip even if you’re just visiting the area for a weekend.
The day this picture was taken worked out really well, it was one of those perfect, crisp, sunny fall days. I mean, I make it sound like I just got really lucky, but that’s not quite right. I mean, it turns out there’s this thing called the internet that has all sorts of information on it, like weather forecasts and movie times and pictures of naked people. The internet told me that it was going to be nice, so that’s why I spent the 3-ish hours driving to the trailhead that day. But the area in which I WAS lucky was that sky. I mean, holy crap, look at that sky. That’s the kind of sky people like me DREAM about. Toss a polarizer on your lens and your jaw will just drop. I love it.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 200. Focal length: 20mm.
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.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Today’s picture comes from North Cascades National Park, which is (as you would imagine) located along the northern part of the spine that is the Cascade crest, in western-ish Washington state. Somewhere very near to where I was standing when I took this picture is a spot called Maple Pass, which is accessible via a day hike that’s only moderately strenuous. Driving to the trailhead (at Rainy Pass) and back is probably more difficult than hiking to this spot. Really, the only problem with this plan is that the stuff you’re looking at is all covered in a whole bunch of snow until really late in the season, probably into August. So there’s a very narrow window of time when you can head up there without special equipment. But it’s totally worth it.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/250s, f/14.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 44mm.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
There, see? Something mountainy. Yesterday, I promised a picture of a mountain, and today I delivered. Gosh, I’m so reliable and honest. Sadly though, this is the last picture that I’m going to post until next week, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. So, I sure hope you like it. Otherwise you’ll be left with nothing but a sour taste in your mouth over the entire long weekend. You may even have to go elsewhere (oh, no!) in search of your photographic fix.
This is, as the post title would suggest, a picture from North Cascades National Park, a few hours northwest of Seattle. Sometimes people call the North Cascades “The American Alps”, which always makes me chuckle a little bit. Because people call a LOT of things “The American Alps” or “The Switzerland of America” or variations on the theme. (Are you listening, Ouray, Colorado??) I just love the implicit inferiority in a statement like that. It’s like you’re not even trying to claim that you’re an interesting place on your own. It’s like you’re agreeing with whoever you’re talking to that sure, the Alps are the greatest thing ever and nothing could ever compare, but hey, this is kinda the closest thing we’ve got to it, so I guess you’ll just have to deal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disagreeing, the Alps are really fantastic, and I’d LOVE to live there. But, well, I don’t. So I guess I’ll just have to deal with the American version. How sad.
That’s it, folks! I’ll see you next week!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/320s, f/13.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 44mm.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Speaking of larches… These guys were just below Heather Pass in North Cascades National Park. I’m mentioning that solely so that Google will notice. Hi, Google!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/6.3, ISO 200. Focal length: 45mm.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Wow, it’s Friday already?? That week went quick. To celebrate, here’s a shot that I took while hiking a couple weeks ago. I realized a couple days ago that, as happy as I was with the pictures that I got from this hike, I’ve so far only posted one here on the blog. So, here’s number two. Yay! In the interest of full disclosure, this one wasn’t my favorite shot that I got from the day, not even from that general part of the hike. But, this is the one that got the most comments of “ooo, I like that one.” Personally, I think it’s messy, since I didn’t do a great job of not having random little branches poking into the frame. Now that I’ve pointed them out, you’re probably all focusing in on them, which is probably getting in the way of you enjoying what you previously probably thought was a nice little picture. Ah well.
This was taken from very near Maple Pass, which is in North Cascades National Park, accessed via the trail that has the somewhat obvious name of “Maple Pass trail”. I don’t know what the name of that mountain is, but my best guess (based on looking at the map) is Black Peak. As you can probably tell, the fall colors that day were stupendous. Although, it’s not the same kind of color that you see elsewhere (like in New England, where I was last weekend..) At least in this part of the state, in the high country – it’s all pine trees. But, there’s a lot of little bushes and such that change colors pretty dramatically, and once you get really high, you start to see more and more of these larches, which are pine trees that actually change color and drop their needles. I knew there would be some along this trail, but I thought we were a couple weeks to early to see them this colorful. Apparently we nailed it right at the peak. Go us!
Have a great weekend, everyone! Try to get outside to see some color if you can. Out here, I’ll be hunkered down due to weather. But I’d bet you’ve got some good color going on where you are, I want to see pictures!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200. Focal length: 29mm.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Wow, I just realized just before I wrote this sentence that I haven’t posted a vertical picture in exactly one month. That’s… not really that interesting, but it’s definitely statistically anomalous. So, given that… umm.. *this* is the picture I chose to break the dry spell? Hmm.
Some days I have a pretty clear idea of the picture I want to post ahead of time, or at least the general theme I want to go with. But other days, I have no idea. On those days, I generally just start flipping through my pictures seeing if anything catches my eye. (Generally I do this by just flipping through Rate Dave’s Photos just clicking on the “see next picture” link, until I find 5 or 6 decent candidates, then I pick one.) This one floats by from time to time. It’s not my favorite, but I do like the colors. So, I decided to go out on a limb today and toss it up on the wall.
This was taken on the Seattle City Light tour of Diablo Lake. Diablo Lake is up in North Cascades National Park. It was formerly a river, but now it’s got a couple dams on it that provide a decent amount of power for Seattle. (Ross Lake, the one that stretches just over the border into Canada, is formed by the dam at the top of Diablo Lake, for what it’s worth.) On the tour, they toss you on a boat and take you from one dam (at the bottom of Diablo Lake) up to the other. It’s fairly interesting, definitely worth the time to do. Plus, the views are really nice, although the tour takes place right in the early/mid afternoon, when the light is the absolute worst for taking pictures of those views. But it’s fun, and it gives you an excuse to hang around in the park for the day.
And yes, the water really is that milky green color. It’s all glacial meltwater, so there are tons of minerals and stuff dissolved in it. Depending on the time of day and angle of light, it can really be striking, it can look really strange if you’re not expecting it. I have run out of things to say today.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm VC lens. 1/60s, f/6.3, ISO 100. Focal length: 42mm.