New North Cascades Images: In my last post I spoke of how I was looking forward to going back to my photographic roots in the Northwest by spending some prime time along the North Cascades Highway. Now that I’m back and all the new images have been edited I can safely say that it was time well spent! It was wonderful to return to several spots in the Washington and Rainy Pass areas that I haven’t seen for almost twenty years, places that made me giddy with excitement and wonder in my not too distant youth.
One of these places was Wing and Lewis Lakes beneath the imposing faces of Corteo and Black Peaks. I’ve been up to nearby Maple Pass many times in the past and even made one short summer trip to Wing Lake, but I always wanted to come back in the fall and see the display of golden larches ringing the lake. Like many destinations it got put on the back burner in favor of more exotic locations that tempted me. Hiking up all the way to Wing Lake on a rough route is a bit of a grunt over massive bolder fields and a final steep ascent on a moraine, but the beauty and solitude is definitely worth it.
Kangaroo Ridge, Washington Pass Meadows 50257
Wing Lake North Cascades Washington #50003
Subalpine Larch at Wing Lake #50037
Another spot that I’ve neglected for too long was the Washington Pass area with it’s small subalpine meadows and classic views of one of the North Cascades icons, Liberty bell Mountain. Over the years I’ve passed by this area many times on the way to other destinations in the N. Cascades, saying to myself that someday I need to spend time here and make some good photos when the light is right. To be fair I have done this a few times but never really came back with the images I wanted. On this trip not only did I get the photos but I also saw a bull moose, only my second moose sighting in the Cascades!
Washington Pass Meadows 50244
Finally I returned to a place that had me aroused my curiosity every time I drove by. This is the short climbers trail up to Kangaroo Pass. Starting at the hairpin turn beneath the east side of Washington Pass this sweet little area rarely sees a visitor, and if it not were for the sound of traffic on the road you’d swear you traveled back in time before the highway was built when not many even heard of the North Cascades. It’s less than 2 miles and 2000″ elevation gain to the pass and the last ascent over the headwall is viciously steep, along the way you’ll view a new perspective of Liberty Bell and Early Winters Spires, small quite meadows, and a dry lake (in fall) in a basin just below the pass. Early on you can spot the long forgotten crash site of a small single engine plane, everything but the fuselage seemed to be carried out.
Checking the weather just now it looks like there may be a brief break in the weather, hmm, maybe I can run back up there…
You can view more images from this trip at the following links:
Early Winters Spires 50282