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Glacier Wilderness

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posted by Sathish J alias A Camera Story on Tuesday 22nd of September 2020 05:40:04 AM

Ever since I had seen this image of Glacier Peak, I knew I had to make it there. It isn't easy to get there: it takes a 44 mile backpack up and down multiple mountain passes to get this vista. The long weekend before smoke enveloped the region proved the perfect opportunity to undertake one of the toughest backpacks I had ever done. But this stretch goal of mine was made more challenging by 1: my water filter clogging up on day 2 (I relied on boiling water/borrowing from other hikers), and 2: a fire triggered by the heat wave on day 3, forcing an urgent 10mi hike back to the trailhead in the dark (for a total of 22mi on day 3). Nevertheless, it was one of the most exhilarating and exhausting treks I had done in a while. On Day 1, I hiked 10 miles from the trailhead ascending 3600 ft, made more tiring by the fact that I had under 6hrs of sleep the previous night. But being the first day of the trek, my spirits were held high by the landscapes I was yet to encounter. I camped by the edge of the cliff overlooking the vast glacial valley, completely burnt out from the long day. 12 miles of hiking on day 2 up and over three mountain passes brought me to the destination I sought for shooting Image Lake. It was probably the most challenging day of the 4-day trek, and yet I was excited to get to this location. I beelined to the sunset spot after dinner, where I found this particular composition was from the colorful sunset that evening, where I framed with a few late-blooming western pasqueflowers. I woke up in the wee hours of dawn on the prophetic Day 3, where we were rewarded with one of the most beautiful sunrises over Glacier Peak. We could not get ourselves to leave the epic scenery, but with 10 more miles of hiking left, I left the place with a heavy heart. After more uphills and downhills, I finally ended up at the destination for the third night, where I set up for a relaxing evening overlooking Glacier Peak. But the evening bliss was not to be. Smoke from a nearby fire soon enveloped the camping area. Fearing fire, the camping area nearly evacuated. I started right at sunset, and that meant hiking 10 miles in pitch black with just the headlamp lighting the way. It was with sheer willpower that I made it back to the trailhead past midnight, notching more than 22mi with a full pack. The sight of parked cars was a welcome relief after close to 5 hours in the dark. As amazing as the photographic opportunities were, the challenges I endured in this backpack were not something I would want to repeat in a while. Glacier Peak Wilderness WA USA



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  • Published 01.25.21
  • Resolution 742x1023
  • Image type jpg
  • File Size 306720 byte.

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