Friday, April 22, 2011
One last post here to round out the week. And, in honor of the fact that both me and mother nature seem to be having a tough time letting go of this winter, I’m going to post another skiing shot. (Sadly, I won’t be making it up skiing this weekend – but my season is far from over!!)
This was taken from the summit of Whistler Mountain, at Whistler-Blackcomb Ski Resort in British Columbia. The normal picture that you’d take from up here would include Black Tusk, but I like this view too. The weather during this particular trip up there was a bit weird though. I took it in January of 2008, but the snow was a lot more like what you’d usually find in April. There was a warm spell that rolled through (that does happen from time to time up here in the PNW), so the snow, while pretty to look at, was kind of grabby and nasty. As in, it wasn’t quite warm enough to be soft and slushy like the *good* stuff you get in the spring (at least, not this high on the mountain, down low it was a lot nicer), but it wasn’t quite cold enough to be fully frozen either. (Yes, I prefer ice and hard-pack to grabby, but both of them are way at the bottom of the list.) Anyway, enough about the skiing. I like the view, and that’s what we’re here for.
Notes: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS (Point and shoot). 1/1000s, ISO 80.
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.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wow, I guess I should apologize to everyone, I’ve kind of dropped the ball these last couple weeks. And February was off to such a strong start, too. Although to be fair, with today’s post, I’ve already matched January’s output, with one more weekday to go.
As you probably guessed by the caption on today’s image (and, umm, the post title), this is a view from the Back Bowls at Vail Ski Resort in Colorado. Those peaks are part of the Gore Range I believe, and if you put it all together, and simmer for a few minutes, you end up with pure awesomesauce. Personally, I really like the shadows of those trees on all that fresh snow down there, it’s one of those sights that just makes me feel sublimely happy for some reason. But we’re not here to talk about me, so…
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/250s, f/13.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 84mm.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
So I was going to start off today’s post by mentioning how I went through some more of the pictures I got at Vail, and even though it wasn’t too long ago that I posted one, here was another one that I thought was nice.
Then I realized, I hadn’t posted one yet! Wow, whoops. So, right, yes, I was at Vail. For a day. I snuck up there with my buddy Trevor to get in some turns when we were out in Colorado to visit my parents over New Year’s. Trevor lives up in Summit County, and he’s got a Summit Pass or whatever, so he scored me a (relatively) cheap day pass. And the weather was pretty fantastic, so it was a great day. And I got a handful of nice shots. None of which you have seen yet. (Unless you’re a friend of mine on Facebook, in which case you may have seen me post this one late last night.)
It wasn’t a total oversight though, I did at least post ONE picture from that Colorado trip already – a shot of Garden of the Gods. And now, Vail too.
I think I took this from somewhere in the Back Bowls, but I’m not quite sure. We went back there for a couple runs, then headed over to Blue Sky Basin, just so I could say I had been there and seen it. (I haven’t made it back to Vail in more than 10 years, not since they had opened that area up.) Although, if your name is Heather and you’re reading this, we spent the entire day on the front side, on the groomers. I would never (Ever!) take your husband who was recovering from somewhat recent surgery on anything but groomers.
Have a great day, everyone!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/400s, f/18.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 250mm.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Welcome back, everyone! Through an unusual turn in the weather this last weekend, we actually got some sunshine around these parts, at least in the northern half of western Washington. I mean, sure, it’s not unheard of for us to see the sun in the winter here in the Pacific Northwest, but to get a day of wall-to-wall blue skies, well that doesn’t happen too often, at least not west of the Cascade crest. So, I decided to take full advantage of it by heading up to Mt. Baker for the day. For those of you not familiar, the Mt. Baker ski area is notable for primarily two reasons. First, it holds the world record for snowfall in one season. That should give you the (correct) impression that they get a lot of storms rolling through, and most of the storms drop a LOT of precipitation. Second, the scenery up there – when you can see it – is UNBELIEVABLE. Seriously, there are few places on this earth that can match the quality of the views up there. It’s truly unreal. The second point there is what made it perfect for yesterday.
The skiing yesterday could probably best be described as “decent, but not great”. We had some fairly warm weather late last week, and a cold front that blew through early in the weekend. As a result, it was fairly icy. But it was great for pictures, which is really the main reason I wanted to head up there. I’ve only just begun going through the shots I got (I really only dipped my toes in just enough to find a picture to use for today), so I’m sure you’ll be seeing plenty of them over the coming weeks, months, and potentially years. So, get comfortable!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/400s, f/10.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 24mm.