A winter hike in the North Cascades 12/9

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Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 3,957
A winter hike in the North Cascades 12/9

I recently bought an EM-1 II, but for hiking (most cases) the EM-1 I will continue to be my camera because it is a bit smaller, plenty good enough, and will cut down use on the EM-1 II - which I purchased for birding.

Yesterday I did a winter hike in the North Cascades to 5700' with beautiful December sun. The snowpack this year is very meager to this point - perhaps three weeks behind where it should be at this time of year. The greatest snow depth was maybe 2-1/2'. Figure, though, that a typical end of season Cascade snowpack probably averages 160-240" at this elevation and can approach 300". But more normal snow-producing storms appear likely for the next ten days, with 25-30" the next 60 hours.

The trail was about 1/2 snow-covered and icy in many places, requiring the use of "Microspikes" which attach easily to boot soles. It is a popular hike and well-packed out, and nearly a three hour climb.

The best opportunity was towards magnificent Sloan Peak with it's huge granitic west Face, but unfortunately some guy just hung around at the wrong location and the shot suffered. I did, however compose a different image without the guy in the frame.

The microspikes. Like low-grade crampons for trails.

Dome Peak along the highest crest of the North Cascades. It is about 21 miles in to climb Dome Peak.

The 7000'+ Monte Cristo group is not super high, but extremely rugged, and well-glaciated .

5800' Sperry Peak puts forward an imposing front on it's southeast and north sides. The rock is an interesting meta - quartz conglomerate, probably the peak in the Cascades with rock most like the Belt Group quartzite of the Canadian Rockies - super hard rock. Notice the two small pocket glaciers despite the very low elevation.

This is the framing I wanted for Sloan Peak, but the guy just continued to hang out in this location.

The magnificent 3000' granitic (high grade gneiss) west face of 7815' Sloan Peak in rather late December afternoon sun. Sloan is often referred to as the Matterhorn of the Cascades as it presents a heavily, glacially-cut triangular summit horn viewed from many locations.

 Gary from Seattle's gear list:Gary from Seattle's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro +1 more
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