While visiting Mount Rainier this last weekend my goal was to reach an overlook of the Winthrop Glacier, a hike recommended to me the day before my trip. After shooting the sunrise, I had the pleasure of a quiet solo hike for the first 3 miles or so of the hike up the Burroughs Mountain, where I finally encountered a couple others.
This is a popular hike - 3 miles and about 1000ft elevation, and the point at which most hikers stop to take in the views. However, I was encouraged to hike another 1.5 miles (loosing 400ft and gaining another 800ft) to the top of what I believe may be the third Burroughs Mountain, as the views from here are even better.
Once you finally reach that hilltop, the view opens up incredibly as the ground drops off below you some 2000 feet. From here you're looking up at the summit of Mount Rainier, nearly another 7000 feet above you, and at the bottom right of the frame the Winthrop Glacier 2000 feet below.
Not only was the view truly awesome, but I was blessed with crystal clear blue skies - something you cannot take for granted on a 14,000+ mountain.
This was my first time really up close and personal with an actual glacier. The massive crevasses were remarkable to see, and I think the most unexpected thing was the sound - it sounds like a waterfall punctuated with intermittent booms and cracks of ice fractures and rockfalls. Did I mention it was awesome?
I spent quite a while up here taking photos, having some lunch, and enjoying the views. I decided to make an attempt to capture some of the grandeur of the scene by composing a large composite image of the whole scene. I mounted my 50mm lens and took about 20+ photographs to later be stitched. I had to swap memory cards half way through and didn't quite catch where I left off, and ended up with a smaller crop than I intended. Still, I think exploring this 80 Megapixel version is a great way to really take in some of the great details of the mountain, and the glacier.
Nikon D90 | Nikon 50/1.8 | f/8 | 1/1600s | ISO200 | Handheld | Composite Image
All text and images © Tyler Westcott, All rights reserved, Unless otherwise noted.