Another day fades over the jagged peaks of the North Cascades Range. The last sunrays enchant a thin cirrus cloud shield in deep pink while the landscape below is already shrouded in the shades of dusk. Mt. Shuksan is a glacial horn that rises to an elevation of 9131 ft (2783 m) and intercepts the moisture-laden winds coming in from the Pacific ocean. Hence, annual precipitation reaches 110 inches (2,8 m) with a snow accumulation up to 46 ft (14 m). This nourishes glaciers, streams and lakes. Glaciers of the last ice age gouged out hollows in the lava bedrock of the neighboring Mt. Baker volcano that are today occupied by lakes. During the summer months soil washed down by creeks is filling the lake by slowly transitioning it into a meadow where mountain hemlock and Pacific silver firs are growing. The North Cascades consist of very old oceanic and continental terranes of different origins that arrived here as microplates in late Mesozoic and early Tertiary time. Young volcanoes are superimposed to this mountain range as a result of the ongoing steep subduction of the Juan de Fuca ocean plate under the North American continent.
Canon 20D, Canon 10-22mm, f/16, 4 sec, ISO 100, tripod