The rugged peaks of the North Cascades mountains in Washington State create a high divide from Mt. Rainier to British Columbia.
The climate and ecosystems vary dramatically, from heavy rain and record-setting snow on the mountains’ west side to dry desert landscapes on the east side. One key feature throughout the North Cascades is an abundance of glaciers with more than 700, the greatest concentration of ice in the contiguous United States. These glaciers, along with the annual snow pack, provide a consistent water supply for aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, buffer the region from drought, and contribute to hydroelectric power. Scientists find North Cascades glaciers in dramatic decline, with an estimated 40% loss in area over the past 150 years.

Hidden Lake Lookout, photo credit: Darin Reid

I am exploring the North Cascades region to appreciate the role snow and ice plays in supporting this regions diverse habitats and the impact of increasing demand on limited resources. Through independent trips and sometimes accompanying scientists, I am building a portfolio of art and stories to share and cultivate environmental awareness.