Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sun Mountain, McMillan Park

After sweeping the last 50km of the Sun Mountain 50m on Saturday, Ethan and I were planning on doing North Twentymile Peak early Sunday morning. The well-covered east-side storms dashed those plans and we headed back over Highway 20 and settled on getting some miles and vert in going up to McMillan Park from the Canyon Creek trailhead. This is the first climb of the Devils Dome loop.
Aunt Janie's cabin, overlooking the Methow River Valley
With Gardner
Aspens on the Sun Mountain course
Lupine and Balsamroot on the Sun Mountain course
Storey Peak and Gardner, from the Sun Mountain course
The upper Methow, punctuated by rain and sun; Devils Peak, Robinson Mountain and Beauty Peak
The afternoon storm, from Patterson Mountain on the Sun Mountain course
Fellow sweep Mike, descending Patterson Mountain
Sunrise Peak, Sherman Peak and the Craggy Peaks, from Patterson Mountain
Crater/McMillan Park trail
I love the Pasayten...
Chocolate Lily and Indian Paintbrush
Winter skiers missed their footwear transition? 
"Spring in the North Cascades?"
Small cat print (lynx?)
Crater Mountain West (left), from lower McMillan Park
Stream crossing at 4500' is no issue
Majestic Mountain (l) and McKay Ridge 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Teanaway loop with Navaho and Earl peaks

A number of recent Teanaway-area trail reports showing melted-out high country piqued my interest, and Ethan was keen to join.

We took Stafford Creek up to Navaho Peak (7,223'), then the Standup Creek trail over to the SW ridge of Earl Peak and took the boot path to the summit (7,036'), exited via Bean/Beverly Creek trails and looped back on the forest service roads to the car. 

No real issues getting to Navaho Peak, however expect light-to-moderate cross-country snow travel from west Stafford Creek all the way over the pass SE of Earl and down to the trail on the west side of Standup Creek (climbing to the pass is deep, soft snow on moderately-steep terrain). Trail to the summit of Earl is snow free, with some steep patches of snow remaining from the SW ridge of Earl maybe 400' vertical on the way down to Bean Creek.

Lower Stafford Creek trail
Glacier Lily
Setting moon above the ridge SW of point 6459'
Meadows at 5600' on the way to Navaho Pass
Stafford Creek basin, with Earl Peak and the pass to get there below-left of the moon
Climbing to Navaho Pass
Some snow low on the way to Navaho Peak
It's a lot to take in from the summit of Navaho Peak at 7223'; with McClellan Peak, Little Annapurna, Dragontail, Colchuck, Argonaut, Sherpa, Stuart, Ingalls and Alpine Lakes Wilderness peaks beyond
Rainier, Goat Rocks and Adams

Descending Navaho on our way to Earl, upper left
Climbing up to the pass SE of Earl
Big cougar print
Headed up Earl Peak

Little tarn east of Earl Peak
Stuart from the summit of Earl Peak
Upper Bean Creek basin
Earl Peak summit register
Bean Creek
Ethan beginning the fast descent down Bean Creek

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Suiattle River-Miners Ridge, Glacier Peak Wilderness

Another glorious day in the North Cascades...

Suiattle River trail is in good shape with the recent WTA/PCTA work. Miners Ridge trail has 20+ blowdowns with the majority being no issue. Patchy snow started at 5200' with most of the larger sections at 5700'+. The ridge is completed snow covered, soft and melting fast.

Kevin's first adventure in the Glacier Peak Wilderness!

Kev is like 6'4"...
Suiattle River trail
Suiattle River
Canyon Creek suspension bridge

Bad photo of  fairy slipper orchids, which were everywhere
Our third wheel who wanted to shuffle with us

Bad limbo form; Miners Ridge trail
Patchy snow on Miners Ridge trail ~5500'
Me climbing up to Miners Ridge, with Fortress Mountain
Kev, about 200' below Miners Ridge
Miners Ridge
Miners Ridge lookout at 6210'

Someone getting some good views (plane at center left)

The magnificent Glacier Peak Wilderness, from Lime Ridge (r) to Bonanza Peak in the far back-left
Agnes and Sinister, behind the Bath Lakes high route
Chiwawa Mountain (center) and Fortress
Buck Mountain over Buck Creek Pass; Helmet Butte on the left
Clark Mountain in the back

Suiattle River and Dusty Creek
Bonanza Peak behind Sitting Bull (?)
Spire Point (?)
He thinks he's so funny...
Kev calls this glissading