Mount Rainier Photography – Risking the Weather

With a busy weekend coming up and a forecast for mostly rain and some snow, I decided to slip down to Stevens Canyon Road and scout around a bit for shots.  The road was supposed to open on Friday so I was really eager to get on it and see how things looked.  I really prefer the 410 approach as I find Puyallup and Meridian to be depressing in a sociological sense.  I like the drive through Enumclaw, stopping for some coffee, getting supplies and gas at Safeway and then slowly approaching my favorite parts of MRNP via 410 and breathing easier with every mile.

I sidetracked up to Tipsoo to see how the lake was melting out.  Rainier itself was in the clouds and the lake showed a lot of promise.  Then down 123 to the Entrance at Grove of the Patriarchs.  To make a longer story shorter, I drove around Stevens Canyon Road until about 7pm, watching clouds fly by, occasional snow flurries, some rain, but never a really clear shot of the mountain.

Brief glimpse of Rainier amongst fast-moving clouds. Zeiss 85mm Otus

Brief glimpse of Rainier amongst fast-moving clouds. Zeiss 85mm Otus

The Castle, along the Tatoosh Range. Zeiss 100-300mm

The Castle, along the Tatoosh Range. Zeiss 100-300mm

Stevens Canyon Ridge Details

Stevens Canyon Ridge Details. Zeiss 100-300mm

Driving back to Seattle, a lot of traffic was heading out of town.  After about an hour on I-5, any sense of backcountry relaxation was gone.  I meandered along in the slow lane, watching others soar by.  Passing through the city, my mellow self was giving way to the irritated, curmudgeonly Seattle native in me.

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