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Photographer's Note

Before posting this I thought long and hard about the negative comments I’d get from the ever-vigilant trek perfectionists that Shuksan is overexposed. But I played with the adjustments and found that “evening it out” with the exposure of the mid- and foregrounds had the unexpected effect of detracting from it. True, the sun was not in a good spot for photos (being about high noon), but the mountain glimmered in its light from where we stood on Herman’s Saddle. I thought it best, finally, not to pretend it didn’t really appear that way, or at least not to toss the photo for its circumstantial imperfections. The valley was beautiful, but the mountain, even distant, was the overwhelming presence in the view. (I understand this is one of the most photographed mountains in the world.)

The lake below is one we passed early on the Bagley Lakes trail, and it looks deceptively like it’s just a short hike up from there. In truth, the trail switches back and forth over some fairly steep terrain, connecting with the Chain Lakes Loop trail, and it was about two and a half to three hours till we reached this spot. (If we didn’t stop for photos every couple of yards, of course, we’d have gotten here quicker.)

The entire loop, from the start of Bagley Lakes, around the Chain Lakes loop up to Artist point and down the Wild Goose Chase trail (which gets you back to the starting point) is about 7.5 miles. It’s a lot of up and down, some of it a bit precarious – there are a few stretches of rock and snow we had to navigate – but every inch of it is beautiful. (The trail is classified as “difficult,” although we did it without any particular hiking expertise.) We started out a little after 9a.m. and finished about 5p.m. My only regret (at least for the following two days) was that we forgot the sunscreen.

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Additional Photos by Lisa Milheim (Lisas_world) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 248 W: 33 N: 258] (1232)
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