Liberty Bell Mountain, Washington

October 12, 2015

Photographer: Stu Witmer
Summary Author: Stu Witmer

October  2015 Viewer's ChoiceWhen driving the North Cascades Highway from west to east you'll come upon this stunning view near  Washington Pass. Liberty Bell Mountain (7,720 ft / 2,353 m) is seen above at the far right. Immediately to the left are Concord Tower (7,560 ft / 2,304 m), Lexington Tower and Early Winters Spires. Each peak separated by small faults in the granite. These peaks formed 49 million years ago in the Tertiary period (Eocene epoch) and are part of the Golden Horn Batholith. The granite evolved to contain over 50 different minerals including rare earth elements (REE). The Golden Horn granite is also unusual in having a rapakivi (Finnish for crumbly stone) texture of pink and white feldspar.

The mountain was first climbed by Fred Beckey and two others in 1946. At that time there was no road to the mountain as there is today and they had to hike 17 mi (27 km) before reaching the start of the climb. Today the mountain is only a short hike from the highway and is one of the most popular climbs of North America. Photo taken September 30, 2009.

Photo Details: Camera Maker: NIKON; Camera Model: E5700; Focal Length: 27.3mm (35mm equivalent: 107mm); Aperture: ƒ/5.8; Exposure Time: 0.0025 s (1/393); ISO equiv: 200; Software: Adobe Photoshop 7.0.