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The Magic of the Equinox: Photography by Buff Black

20_Sunrise over the Mt Baker Wilderness, Fisheye Pano from Winchester 4714_© Buff Black

Of the two equinoxes – spring and fall – it’s the time around the autumnal equinox that I seem to photograph more.  As summer hands off to fall, and the kids are back in school, my ’backcountry brethren’ and I head to the North Cascades for our annual backpack adventure. It’s an egalitarian time of the year, with all the world having the same ... Read More »

The Wildflower Gardens of Skyline Divide

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Each summer there are a few weeks when Skyline Divide may be the most beautiful place on earth. It is at this time – the apex of summer – that the wildflower gardens carpeting the Divide burst forth in a display of alpine color that is among the best in the North Cascades. The trail meanders along the ridge, offering ... Read More »

Shi-Shi Beach: Shangri-La on the Olympic Coast

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I’ve hiked pretty much the entire Olympic coast and can say without reservation that my favorite spot on this beautiful coastline is Shi-Shi Beach and Point of Arches. The Point of Arches is the dramatic highlight, thrusting out into the Pacific from the south end of the beach. On a spring backpacking trip, I was fortunate enough to enjoy several ... Read More »

An Advocate for Wilderness: The Photography of Ethan Welty

A young man is reflected in a tarn above Lake Ann, Mount Baker Wilderness, Washington.

Raised in Seattle, I’m thankful to have once called these mountains home. These shy and beautiful mountains inspired me to rope up, make a career of photography, and go back to school for glacier science. Now I regularly travel back from Colorado to satiate my appetite for their granite faces, tree-drenched valleys, and lofty alpine basins on a life-long quest ... Read More »

A Winter Walk in the Olympics

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This was our third attempt to explore the Olympic Mountains in mid-winter. The first two tries had been thwarted by storms and we had ended up on the beach instead. Not this time. After procuring our permits at the Wilderness Info Center in Port Angeles, we drove up the Hurricane Ridge Road in a thick fog, emerging above the cloud ... Read More »

A Celebration of Wonder: The Photography of Sue Cottrell

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I delight in using my camera in unusual ways to discover scenes in nature that may not stand out at first glance. I enjoy taking long exposures while moving my camera; discovering art that the ocean left behind; shooting from an unusual angle; or finding detail in a flower that when isolated from the whole, presents a little world unto ... Read More »

A Mirror on the World: The Evocative Photo Mandalas of Lance Ekhart

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Lance Ekhart is seeing things. Amazing, beautiful, complicated things. The Anacortes, WA.-based photographer has been capturing the beauty of Pacific Northwest (and other) landscapes for many years (his images of the San Juan Islands graced the pages of our Spring 2013 issue). But recently, Ekhart started experimenting with a completely new way of interpreting the landscapes that he loves, creating ... Read More »

The Many Moods of Winter: The Photography of Mark Turner

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Northwest winters have many moods. Gray on gray blizzards famously dump deep snow around Mount Baker, but then we awaken to magical sunshine. Blue sky reflects off sparkling snow, revealing trees morphed into Seussian forms and accessible only by ski or snowshoe. Down near the Salish Sea I find frost the morning after a cold snap. Cottonwood buds and rose ... Read More »

Autumn in the Canadian Rockies

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When a freak autumn storm blew in to the Cascades, dumping snow and packing winds in excess of 50 MPH, our long-anticipated eight day backpacking trip to the Enchantment Lakes was suddenly not looking like such a great idea. After a series of long-distance phone calls and a flurry of e-mails, we shifted direction and headed to the Canadian Rockies, ... Read More »

Autumn Colors: The Photography of Floris van Breugel

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Autumn is perhaps the most wonderful time to be in the mountains, especially the North Cascades. Many of the sub-alpine hillsides (between 5,000 and 7,000 feet or so) are covered in berry bushes, and around mid- to late-September the berries ripen into heavenly little treats. These are Cascade Bilberries. They have one of the more appropriate Latin names I’ve come across: Vaccinium ... Read More »