National Parks have a way of changing the way we view the world. Getting to see such majestic beauty that is a natural part of our earth helps to put the rest of our lives into perspective. For Alpha Collective member Scott Kranz (@scott_kranz), North Cascades National Park is something extra special. He credits the Park with changing his life, and in 2018, he’s exploring its mountains like never before – and giving back to them.
The late Fred Beckey called this summit the Queen of the Cascade River, which I must say is fitting. A classic knife-edge snow arête that can be a bit “heady,” given the exposure on each side, and the sea of peaks all around you. Classics are classic for a reason! #nc50peaks #northcascadesnationalpark
“In 2015, I left my original career as an attorney and decided to devote myself to my newfound passion – outdoor photography. My treks and climbs in the North Cascades, which I’d discovered just a few years earlier, helped inspire me to take the leap into this new professional venture,” says Kranz.
Kranz’s outdoor photography has taken him all over the world. After completing his goal in 2017 of reaching all seven continents in the span of a single year, Kranz knew it would be a tough experience to top. He was determined to come up with something special in 2018, and he decided that the park that changed his life was the place to do it. Named “My 50 Peaks Project,” Kranz will summit 50 peaks in 2018 within North Cascades National Park, including the 10 highest.
Hard to imagine some places exist on earth, let alone in your own big backyard. With each peak I climb in North Cascades National Park (@ncascadesnps), I’m all the more humbled by what this wilderness has to offer in pristine, rugged beauty. Here, @moonmountainman stands along the northwest ridge of Dorado Needle as part of our 16-hour push covering four peaks. As of today I’m 18 peaks into my 50 Peaks project, and I’m blown away by all the support. I’m raising money directly for the park through @wanatlparkfund – if interested, you can visit my profile link to donate and support this amazing national park! ?? #nc50peaks #noca50 #northcascades
“One of three national parks in my home state of Washington, North Cascades National Park was established in 1968,” says Kranz. “Many months ago when I realized that 2018 was its 50th anniversary, I decided I wanted to find some way to mark the occasion.”
His plan to summit 50 peaks isn’t just for himself, though – he plans on using social media to promote wilderness protection and support for National Parks.
A few days ago I joined a group of my closest friends for an outing in the mountains. The hike and climb up turned out to be fairly strenuous and particularly exciting, due to a powerful storm that swooped into the area. But after reaching our peak, the wind and rain finally settled down, and we all watched the setting sun slip behind this familiar volcano. The sky lit up orange and light rays fanned out over the entire area. It was one of those moments that, even before it was over, you knew you’d remember for years to come. #nc50peaks
“I believe passionately in the protection of public lands,” says Kranz. “I will be calling on people to take action and donate directly to benefit the park and the infrastructure projects that are critical to its future.”