Celebrate the release of “The North Cascades: Finding Beauty and Renewal in the Wild Nearby” by Braided River with all three authors in downtown Mt. Vernon, just blocks away from the mighty Skagit River.
Date and Time: Wednesday, November 5 at 7:00pm
Location: Skagit Station 105 E. Kincaid Mount Vernon, WA. 98273
This new conservation title explores the natural and cultural history of the North Cascades in lyrical words, informative maps and inspiring photographs. It features new work from Pulitzer Prize–winning author William Dietrich, prolific guidebook writer Craig Romano and interviewer and essayist Christian Martin, as well as a foreword by Richard Louv, fire lookout journal entries by Gary Snyder and photographs from Paul Bannick, John Scurlock, Andy Porter, John D’Onofrio, Brett Baunton, Ethan Welty and Art Wolfe and many others.
I will be there and provide a short slide show at the end!
Admission by donation. Co-sponsored by Skagit Land Trust. Photo by Steph Abegg. Learn more at http://www.wildnearby.org.
Here are the 13 images for the Washington State Scenic Calendar!
The Calendar is printed on thick (80#) White Linen Paper. The exact calendar size will be 8.5 x 11″ when it is closed, 11″ x 17″ when open. It is Wire Bound. The calendars is printed on 13 sheets, both sides, and the binding is in the middle.
The printing is magnificent, all of the images are very sharp.
The cost is $20.00 each with a $5.00 shipping cost (for shipping anywhere in the US, if you’d like it shipped overseas, email me for prices)
Send in your payments (checks or money orders only, please!) to:
440 Nelson Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284
The calendars are now being printed and I can start shipping them no later than Oct. 27th.
NOTE: The calendars will be for sale in Sedro-Woolley at The North Cascade Veterinary Hospital on Highway 20
In Mount Vernon the calendars are for sale at the Skagit Running Company at 724 South First Street
Soon I will have more locations in Skagit County, more details coming!
I am not a very lucky person, in terms of winning stuff. I’ve never won any big sums of money in the the lottery or a car or any of that, but I have entered and won the Enchantments Lottery two years in a row! And really, that’s pretty damned good!
The Enchantments are a part of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, (which is itself a part of the Wenatchee National Forest) located near the town of Leavenworth, along Highway 2, in Washington State.
The Enchantments area is actually very small, making up maybe 10 square miles. Packed in to this wondrous world there are scads of small lakes and tarns of fantastic hues of blue and green surrounded by stark jagged peaks.
Autumn brings fantastic colors. Because of the high elevation of the Enchantments Basin (between 7,000 and 8,000 feet) there are dense stands of larch. These trees have needles, and come fall they turn a bright orange color, and look like they are aglow from inside.
I spent some time reading about the trail and lakes, the approach and parking and all that. There are two routes in to, or rather up to, the Enchantments Basin. One is very long (12 miles)with a lot (more than 6’000 feet) of elevation gain. The other route is a little shorter, and has a little less elevation gain, but it includes a hike up Aasgard Pass (more than 2,000 feet up in less than one mile).
Last year I’d tried the long route, and so opted for the “shorter, easier” route this time.
I recruited two of my friends to help me use the 5-day permit I’d won. I gave them fair (sort of) warning about the hike.
Sometimes I am guilty of recruiting companions by omitting to explain any of the hazards of the trip. I figure that we are all on a need to know basis and the way I interpret this, as it relates to backpacking, is that all they need to know is that all will be glorious!
The first days short hike took us up to Colchuck Lake. We arrived late in the day and from the lake could see the gash of Aasgard Pass soaring above the lakes far edge.
Late morning finds us clamboring over the boulder fields along the lake at the base of the trail up.
The morning light flares behind the larch atop the pass.
I am not sure of the weight of our packs, we had a lot of food, a heavy 4-season tent and I have a lot of photo gear, I would guess maybe 40 to 50 lbs each.
Its hard to describe what its like, struggling up this interminably long steep slope…as a comparison, if you’ve ever done the hike up to Sahale Glacier Camp, the last part of that hike is a very steep scramble up scree slopes to the camp at the base of Sahale Peak. Well, Aasgard Pass is like doing 15 of these sections, in a row!
A positive minded person (or one trained in the Magic of the Marketing Apocalypse) would maybe describe the hike up as challenging, or strenuous; trying to put a positive spin on the trail.
I would describe the trip up Aasgard pass as insanely grueling, ridiculously steep, painful, murderous, masochistic and plain torture. If you fancy hiking straight up a steep mountain with a huge pack, then, you’ll love the trip!
Okay, enough bitching. Once you manage to crest the pass your arrive in a wonderland of rock and ice. Dragontail Peak’s serrated edge rips the sky asunder above Isolation Lake.
Ice fields dot the lake’s edge. A cool wind and a long drink from the icy stream revive me. along the lakes edge.
There are several inviting tent spots here and we quickly set up our portable North Face fortress and prepare food.
There are a smattering of larches up here in the alpine zone, but mostly its rocks and water.
The light starts to fade and the colors glow along the lakes shore, the blues, greens and pinkish reds don’t look real at all. Late at night I manage to drag myself out of the tent and capture a few shots of the stars and the tent in this moon-ish looking landscape.
The next day as we start hiking I tell my two friends that this will probably be one of the best days hiking ever. We set out excited to see what the day has to offer.
Skirting a low ridge we drop into a new basin filled with countless ponds. We cross a small snow field as we make our way gently down the trail. Our goal for the day is to establish a new camp on a ledge above Crystal Lake and then hike down to Perfection Lake. From there the plan I have is to make our way up to tiny Gnome Tarn for some wonderful views of Prussik Peak reflected.
Each turn of the trail elicits a new sense of wonder. The larch thicken as we descend.
Overlooking Crystal Lake our new camp gloriously commands a wonderful view. Below us the ridges are crusted in orange larch, offset by the blue skies and green lakes.
Once camp is set up we (now with out heavy packs!) set out for Perfection.
This basin is on fire with orange. As a true color junky I am juiced to my eyeballs with sensory overload.
I feel like I’ve been teleported to a new world, like Avatar, or a scene from Middle Earth.
Finding the trail junction amid an orange forest, we branch off and start the easy climb up to Prussik Pass, in search of Gnome Tarn.
A little searching and gawking later were there. The place is as promised, nestled at the base of Prussik Peak, exquisitely framed by larch and water. I enter a photographic trance state.
It’s a perfect day, sunny and warm, a cool breeze refreshes us as we bask in the glory of nature.
Lingering for lunch we new set off again. Ambling my way back up to camp I encounter a few hikers who report mountain goats ahead. I arrive back at camp and there is a Mom and her young kid, looking for grass and munching away.
A new photo frenzy starts I circumnavigate the goats several times as they make their way about.
Finally tiring of goats and picture taking I go fire up the stove and make some coffee. My friends return and we marvel at all around us. Dinner is served and eaten just in time for the sunset.
The small ponds make wonderful reflections of the sky.
Early the next morning the skies are dark and we head back to to the Pass and start the slow descent to Colchuck Lake. Taking a break on a huge slab precariously perched above a stand of larch I capture one last image of larch and lake.
Yes, I’ll be entering the lottery again next year!
This October I spent 5 days in the Enchantments, we hiked into Colchuck Lake, camped, and the next day hiked up Aasgard Pass to Isolation Lake. Here are a few images from the trip!
The Enchantments are a small series of peaks and lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, near Leavenworth, Washington. Here are a few images from last weekends encounter with mountain goats while hiking!
Prusik Peak in the fall is an alluring sight. The larches turn bright orange and if the weather co-operates the blue skies punctuate the landscape.
I luckily won the lottery for a permit this fall and last week I spent 5 days in the Enchantments, exploring and ogling the colors.
I have created a new Photography Course and it starts on October 8th! The new class is actually two days, Day One of Wed. October 8th at 6pm and Day Two is the following Wednesday, October 15th, at 6pm.
This class is for anyone with any type of camera.
Here is what will be covered in the two days:
How to Compose an Interesting Image and How to do Basic Image Editing
On Day 1 we will cover the rules of composition. Once you have become familiar with how to use your DSLR the next challenge is how to compose your picture. Having a striking subject is part of an interesting image, but the way you, as a photographer, compose the shot is what makes all the difference. We will discuss subject placement, use of the horizon, reflections, leading lines, the Rule of Thirds, framing and much more. At the end of the class you will leave with a photo assignment and a simple way to upload your images before our next class.
On Day 2 we will review your composition assignment images, giving and receiving feedback on your compositions. Then we will delve into the basics of photo editing. Using Photoshop, Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw we will cover simple and intermediate techniques for making your image look stunning. We will cover how to crop an image, change exposure, saturation and a LOT more. IF you have a laptop with any of these photo editing programs, please bring it to class. But having a laptop is NOT a requirement to attend the class.
This exact same class will also be held in November, Saturday November 1st and Saturday, November 8th.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. email@example.com
Last two nights and two sets of photos, first on Friday night, Sept. 19th, at the Diablo Lake Overlook, on the North Cascades Highway…
and then on Saturday night at the Samish Overlook near Blanchard Mountain.
We don’t often get the confluence ot no moon and clear skies here in Western Washington so I am counting my blessings!