Shuksan Moonrise

posted in Wilderness

Shuksan Moonrise

Share this post!    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

When I heard that the August 10 full moon was going to be the biggest of the year, and with a perfect weather forecast for the weekend, I thought that it would be fun to go try and catch it rising over Mt Shuksan.  After a little mission planning using The Photographer’s Ephemeris, I figured out that if I scrambled up onto the shoulder of Mt Herman, on the opposite side of the Mt Baker Ski Area from Shuksan, I could catch the moon rising just to the side of the summit pyramid right at sunset.  Since I had previously hiked up to the same spot looking for a lost ski, I knew that it was a pretty reasonable scramble, though it was likely going to involve downclimbing in the dark through a few steep spots with loose slippery rock, so I convinced my friend Aaron to climb up with me.  Safety in numbers!  It didn’t take us too long to find a great perch from which to watch the show. As sunset drew near, we waited and enjoyed the view, and I wondered if I had figured out everything correctly- would the moon rise in the right spot?  I was excited when it came up exactly where I had hoped it would, at exactly the right time (ok, 1 minute later than than predicted), and I was able to grab a bunch of fun shots with both the moon and the alpenglow illuminating the scene.  Beautiful.  When I looked at the shots back at home, it was neat to notice that there was a group of climbers camped up on the Curtis Glacier below the summit pyramid.  It’s difficult to see their tents, but their trail up through the snow is clearly visible.  Must have been an amazing view from up there.

Aaron Fitts on Mt Herman, with Table Mountain in the distance.

Aaron on Mt Herman, with Table Mountain in the distance.

 

Mt Baker, just before sunset.

Mt Baker, just before sunset.

 

In the distance, you can see the Lookout Mountain fire looking glinting in the sunlight.

In the distance, you can see the Lookout Mountain fire looking glinting in the sunlight.

 

The first appearance of the moon.  Right on cue, 10 minutes before sunset!

The first appearance of the moon. Right on cue, 10 minutes before sunset! Notice the climber’s trail ascending the glacier in the lower center of the shot.

 

Moonrise over Mt Shuksan.

The color shift in the alpenglow in just a short span of time was incredible.

 

Moonrise over Mt Shuksan.

A closer look.

 

The full moon rises over Mt Shuksan.

Parting shot. Such a great night to be up in the mountains!

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply