"A 318-Mile Morning Mountain Adventure"
Jack, Hozomeen, Castle, Cathedral, Wine Spires, Silver Star, Snagtooth Ridge, Kangaroo Ridge, Early Winter Spires, Liberty Bell, Cutthroat, Goode, Logan, Torment, Forbidden, Eldorado
FEBRUARY 5, 2012
First we photographed the first rays of morning sun on two inaccessible great walls of the North Cascades: the snow-fluted east side of Jack Mountain and the sheer rock east face of South Hozomeen. We then flew along the US-Canada border to the Pasayten Wilderness’s Cathedral Peak, well-known for several rock climbing routes. After a brief stop at the Methow Valley Airport, our aerial mountain adventure continued. We circled the iconic climbing areas around Washington Pass (such as the WIne Spires, Silver Star, Liberty Bell, and others), and then on our way back to Concrete we weaved at summit level around Cascade greats such as Cutthroat, Black, Logan, Goode, Forbidden, and Eldorado. The round trip flight formed a loop around the entire heart of the North Cascades, 2.5 hours and 318 miles long. Google Earth shows our nearest approach to the border at Cathedral to be 1285 ft laterally, and at Castle, 2700 feet.
Aside: On this morning, we initially had grand plans to do some aerial photography of the remote Mt. Waddington of the British Columbia Coast Mountain Range. However, winds and clouds to the north caused us to postpone this aerial adventure to a later date (this later date ended up being seven weeks later, click link for spectacular photos). Flying a 318-mile circuit through the North Cascades was a pretty darn good consolation prize.
The flight path is shown to the right. (This flight line is made with actual GPS data.)