We have no shortage of them in Washington state. And during the winter especially, they can be a barrier. The passes from east to west were closed often during the recent winter--sometimes only for a short time, sometimes for entire afternoons. This one, by the way, is Mount Stewart, which we see north of Ellensburg when we travel to Seattle over Snoqualmie Pass.
If you have visited this blog before, you have likely seen Mt. Rainier from more than one angle. This picture was taken from the home of our daughter's in-laws, and gives a totally different point of view than from our side. Mt. Rainier is fifth highest in the continental US, after Mt. McKinley in California and three others in Colorado. It stands out much more than the others because it rises 3000-4000 feet higher than most others in the state, while McKinley and those in Colorado are just a little higher than those surrounding them.
Mt. St. Helens lost about 1000 feet of its elevation on May 18, 1980 when it --well, blew its top, sending ash blowing for many miles. One small Eastern Washington town has a sign near its freeway exit inviting visitors to "Drop in. Mt. St. Helens did."
The snowpack in our mountains over the winter is important to the state's agricultural economy. Melting snow fills our reservoirs and provides irrigation water for the summer's crops. Here in the Yakima Valley that includes apples, cherries, peaches, prune plums, apricots, asparagus, wheat, grapes, hops, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, corn, carrots, and many others. Washington has a reputation for being a rainy state, but that is west of the mountains. The Cascade Range, including Mt. Adams here, provides a barrier that stops oncoming clouds and lets them dump their remaining moisture, and as a result, here on the east side of the mountains it is literally a desert, having only about ten inches of precipitation a year. Irrigation makes the desert bloom. That snowfall which sometimes blocks our travel in the winter, is well appreciated in the summer. This winter has been a good one, and this summer there will not be a shortage of water for the crops.