It feels like ages since I’ve managed to post some new images, but I finally was able to get outside with my camera again this week. Winter has arrived in the Northwest, and I’ve already been out skiing four times! Photographing the winter mountain landscape can be tricky, as there are more factors that need to align than in the summer season. Typically winter scenes are best photographed with fresh snow, but traveling in steep terrain can be hazardous at those times due to avalanche dangers (Northwesterners should of course be aware of the incredible resource NWAC). This week a special opportunity came after just enough fresh snow fell to create a winter wonderland on an otherwise incredibly stable snowpack. My girlfriend, Aubrey, and I took advantage of the conditions and went out for our first ski-tour of the season to the Tatoosh Range in Mount Rainier National Park. Some unfortunate delays caused us to miss the absolutely spectacular sunset (we were putting the skins on are skis in the parking lot as pink mist swirled above our heads).. oh well, there’s always a next time!

We followed a faint skin track up into the Tatoosh range in the dark aided by our headlamps and the half full moon. Exhausted, we finally set up camp below The Castle, 1,000 feet above frozen Reflection Lake. Although the storm had completely cleared out by now, half an hour after we crawled in the tent the winds started. A soft breeze at first, and then howling 50-60 mph gusts. My new Bibler/Black Diamond Fitzroy tent hardly budged. That wind of course knocked all the fresh snow off the trees, so at sunrise I decided I might as well enjoy the view from my sleeping bag!

Click image for larger view!

Mt Rainier winter camping

"Cozy Morning" ~ Mt Rainier National Park, WA
The Tech: Canon 5D2, Nikon 14-24mm, tripod
Exposure: iso 200, f/18, 1/13th + 1.3 sec
Processing: Manual blend of two exposures.

After a leisurely breakfast we skinned up to the ridge and were greeted by a 4-volcano view: Mt Rainier to the North, Mt Adams, St Helens, and even Mt Hood far away to the south – that’s over 200 miles of visibility! Normally I don’t do much people-photography, so I apologize to those that aren’t interested in it, but Aubrey’s such a good skier I couldn’t resist having her kick up some powder for the camera! Hopefully my next trip will offer some more ‘landscape’ opportunities.

Click image for larger view!

Backcountry skier in the tatoosh range

"Sun Skier" ~ Tatoosh Range, WA
The Tech: Canon 5D2, 16-35mm mkII, handheld
Exposure: iso 400, f/22, 1/400th

Comments are closed.