My September 2013 Photo of the Month is Mt. Baker Sunset, taken in the North Cascades in Washington.
Mt. Baker Sunset Background
This was my second attempt to photograph the beautiful Park Butte area of Mt. Baker National Recreation Area. The previous year, on a hike by myself, I failed to locate it due to incoming weather. I walked right past it and made it all the way to the Park Butte fire lookout. At that point, visibility was about 10 feet. Because I was concerned if the clouds/fog would become more inclement weather, I had to quickly turn back and head down the trail to the car before it got too late.
This time, I went with my friend Nick Spencer-Berger. While the trail is in very good shape except for the major creek crossings (which would be huge rivers in Southern California), it was a steep uphill climb to a location of which we were not certain.
As it turned out, we found the best location for this image pretty easily, and the scene was a true delight. It got dark very quickly, but with Mt. Baker looming above at over 10,000 feet, it was still lit from the setting sun. The tarn and the area around it were in darkness. We met another guy there was very nice, and he had visited all of the tarns. He even mentioned having wilderness camped in the area on occasion. He also said he once visited when Mt. Baker had a lenticular cloud directly overhead. Now, that would have been a treat.
This area is incredibly fragile. While we were able to locate this area on our own, further publication of its location and the increased traffic can hurt a fragile ecosystem. I don’t want to say more that would reveal too much here.
As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the image.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.