For the past month, I’ve been exploring a new range, living on the euphoria of new experience and feel like I’ve discovered a piece of something I’ve been looking for my entire life. It may be obvious that I have a love for the mountains, but have barely left the relatively small Wasatch Range for almost 5 years… it seemed like the right time to direct my stare at something new… point my lens in a different direction. This is a series of images I’ve gathered in an attempt to capture my first impressions of this wildly complex wilderness.
This is the coolest guy in the Cascades. I keep seeing him on scenic stretches of highway… this time in the middle of nowhere over 100 miles from the last time I saw em. If he was thumbin I’d give em a ride but he just waves and smiles.
Travel through fern gully…
And just like that… a 300 inch base.
With the occasional occupation of snowcaves… this spacious 3 bedroom apartment was our best effort. A great place for retreat after all the relentless goose feather storm riding.
The beginning of my experience started with this photo. On my first day touring, I skinned up solo in a blinding storm, just trying to find some powdah in the trees. As the clouds slowly let up and I gained my first alpine ridge, I tried to orient myself, looking through the patchy clouds, trying to locate the massive ice-clad volcano I’ve heard so much about. All of the surrounding ridges and alpine peaks appeared to be at eye level until this small window of sun let me get a view into the lower glaciated slopes of Mt Baker. I never imagined it to be towering so high above all else.
… then the peak came into view. The actual summit is a 35-acre nearly level mound that hides the 1,300 ft ice-filled summit crater.
To the Lummi tribe of Puget Sound, the volcano was Koma Kulshan meaning “Great White Watcher.” When haze, clouds or smoke shrouded the lower levels, Mt. Baker was likened to a colossal island of ice and snow floating on denser air.
“I look up, knowing that I do not know a fraction of what there is to know about myself. In the long silence in between avalanches I wonder whether my unknown interior contains bravery or cowardice, strength or weakness… I am sure that alpinism can reveal everything I need to know as a human being.” – Steve House
“Such a wild, inhospitable place, a place where long term survival is impossible. Even our temporary residence is an extreme gamble.” – Steve House
“The line between waking and dreaming flickered.” – Jefferson Ives
“Even the shadows seemed to stretch their arms around me, and all my weariness dissolved in a sense of solace, a sense of awe” – Jefferson Ives
Josh Jarvis makin one last adjustment to the gogs.
Can’t forget to warm the bones with a beachside climbing session for sunset.