know you've arrived in the high alpine region of the Cascades
when you encounter the whitebark pine. These venerable trees
cling to the highest slopes of any tree species in the Cascades,
and specialize in making a home out of a small crevice or crack
in the volcanic rock. This specimen is no more than five feet
high, yet could easily be 200 years old. Whitebark pines can
grow as upright trees in less exposed areas, reaching 50-60 feet
in height, or as a low mat on the most severe slopes.