Dawn Over Mount Index

Star trails in night-time sky over Mount Index, Central Washington Cascade Mountains, Snohomish County, Washington, USA (Copyright Brad Mitchell Photography.9601 Wall St.Snohomish, WA 98296.USA.425-418-7279.brad@bradmitchellphoto.com) Star trails over snowy Mount Index, Washington Cascade Mountains

It’s 5:00am and pitch black when I leave the trailhead for Heybrook Lookout Trail.  A screech owl is yammering away as I leave the car and begin the ascent into the creepy darkness.

30 minutes and 1.3 miles later, I’ve climbed 850 feet and arrive at the Heybrook lookout tower.  Climbing the seven flights of stairs provides a fantastic, but still very dark, view over the Skykomish River valley and across to Mount Index.  The idea is it to shoot some pre-dawn and sunrise photos of Index while it is packed with snow from recent storms.

With down jacket on now, I try to frame up Mt. Index in the camera viewfinder to catch some star trails before they fade away into dawn light.  A 6 minute exposure at f/5.6 and ISO 400 catches some of the brighter stars against a bit of color in the night sky.

But as the 7:01am sunrise approaches, a light overcast begins to form.  Sunrise is a dud, as shown in the series below.

Star trails in night-time sky over Mount Index, Central Washington Cascade Mountains, Snohomish County, Washington, USA (Copyright Brad Mitchell Photography.9601 Wall St.Snohomish, WA 98296.USA.425-418-7279.brad@bradmitchellphoto.com)5:48am
6min, f5.6, ISO400
Star trails in night-time sky over Mount Index, Central Washington Cascade Mountains, Snohomish County, Washington, USA (Copyright Brad Mitchell Photography.9601 Wall St.Snohomish, WA 98296.USA.425-418-7279.brad@bradmitchellphoto.com)5:56am
6min, f5.6, ISO400
Dawn sky over Mount Index, Central Washington Cascade Mountains, Snohomish County, Washington, USA (Copyright Brad Mitchell Photography.9601 Wall St.Snohomish, WA 98296.USA.425-418-7279.brad@bradmitchellphoto.com)6:21am
30sec, f5.6, ISO400
Dawn sky over Mount Index, Central Washington Cascade Mountains, Snohomish County, Washington, USA (Copyright Brad Mitchell Photography.9601 Wall St.Snohomish, WA 98296.USA.425-418-7279.brad@bradmitchellphoto.com)7:12am
1/6sec, f8, ISO100

On the way back down, I notice this friendly face with fern bangs looking out at me from around a boulder.

 

One Response to “Dawn Over Mount Index”

  1. Ann Rientjes says:

    Beautiful photos, Brad! The star trails are really lovely. Love the smiley face – reminds me of Forest (Gump!)

    As usual, you bring back rare treasures :)

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