chris wilhelm photography
chris wilhelm photography

Central Cascades

12:50am August 15, 2013

Hiking in the Pacific Northwest is sort of like living in a Nature Valley commercial, and now that I have a car, I've been giving myself a taste of it. The past couple weeks I've been out in the Central Cascades on the weekends, and my camera has been along for the ride.

Last weekend was the beautiful, aquamarine Lake Blanca. In the morning the fog was thick:

But the lake itself was awash in bright sunlight, utterly serene (until dayhikers showed up later in the day!):

I set up camp early and wandered to the north end of the lake, bushwhacking, trekking over snow fields, and wading in the knee deep glacial melt water along the lake's shore. Up a rock scramble following waterfalls to the Columbia Glacier that feeds the lake. Part of me wonders how much it has shrunk in recent years:

At dusk a thick rope of fog came shooting up the lake's outlet stream, rapidly penetrating into the basin with an almost purposeful speed and direction:

I had come to shoot the night sky, so when the entire basin became fogged in, I retreated to my tent a bit disappointed. Fortunately, it cleared up within a couple hours, and I was able to shoot off some photos before my lens dewed up:

Having whetted my appetite for the Cascade Mountains, the Lake Blanca trip encouraged me to go out again this past weekend. This time it was Lake Ingalls, a much craggier and more exposed environment.

It was also full of mountain goats:

And snow algae (good old Chlamydomonas nivalis!):

Sunset saw a shaft of red light beam across the face of Mount Stuart to the northeast:

And after dark, I spent an hour and a half watching the height of the Perseid meteor shower while taking my first stab at photographing shooting stars:

In a couple days, I'm off to eastern Washington with a photographer friend to shoot the Palouse region, so stay tuned for more.

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Mike said:
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Which part of you wonders how much the glacier has shrunk?

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