The snowline on the Olympic Mountains has crept lower lately. Usually this is transient and the lower reaches — down to about 2,000 feet (roughly 610 meters) — don’t stay blanketed for long. But the upper mountains are building up a substantial snowpack. For this time of year it’s the highest in any of Washington state’s mountains. Based on water content in the snowpack, the Olympics are at 268% of normal, a great running start for providing summer and fall water for fisheries, recreation, and local municipalities.
We joke that we could happily sit in front of our window, eat popcorn, and watch as the mountains change throughout the day. Case in point: within about 15 minutes of this shot the mountains were hidden behind clouds and it was raining.
Winter arrived early. Last week, in fact. It snowed early Friday morning, all the way down to sea level, though most lowlanders got a mere dusting. And it snowed again on Sunday morning. The mountains are well dusted. A friend tells me that this is the earliest Sequim has gotten snow in 45 years.
Whether there’s snow accumulating, melting, or just dusting the ground I can attest that it’s been plenty cold.
It was hazy on Tuesday and on days like that the mountains blend into greys. The contrasts were so subtle when I took this photo that the profiles almost blended together. I did some work in Photoshop but this color shot still appears almost black and white.
We’ve got smoky conditions again. When I took this photo yesterday we could still see the mountains. Today they’re gone and our skies have a thick, yellow-grey pallor. As Houston emerges from epic floods some of our western states are on fire. There seems no end to the miseries some people have to endure.
Port Angeles, Sequim’s neighbor to the west, nestles like Sequim at the base of the Olympics. Its location offers a different perspective of the mountains. At this point in summer there’s not a lot of snow left on the peaks.
We camped at Fort Flagler recently. The backdrop of the Olympic Mountains along the shore of Port Townsend Bay is always a beautiful sight. And it’s only an hour from Sequim.