Monday, October 20, 2014

Spider Gap-Buck Creek Pass loop, Glacier Peak Wilderness

Last weekend was so good that another Sunday weather window had me craving more of the same. The Spider Gap-Buck Creek Pass loop is another Washington classic, whether done as a backpack or a long day run, it is phenomenal.

We took one wrong turn up on Middle Ridge, but got to see a beautiful basin at the top and the bushwhack down was actually quite manageable, not losing too much time. We still were able to finish before dark and thank goodness the 59er Diner is open late. I feel like I've had my fill of the Chiwawa River Road for the rest of the year though...

Thanks to Ethan for coming along and putting up with me taking 200+ pictures!

Lower Phelps Creek trail
Upper Spider Meadow, headed toward the turn off for Spider Gap (above-left of Ethan)
Looking down at Spider Meadows
Steep climb up

Larch knob before Spider Glacier 
Spider Glacier with 2-3" of recent snow
Cold and windy at Spider Gap, 7,100'

Descending north from Spider Gap
Ethan heading down toward Lyman Lakes, with Cloudy Pass, eastern half of Plummer and Sitting Bull mountains
Sitting Bull, Dome, and Sinister above Cloudy Pass

What's left of the Lyman Glacier
Bonanza Peak 9,511' in the clouds, highest non-volcanic summit in Washington
Ethan and Bonanza, descending to Lower Lyman Lake
Above Lower Lyman
Lower Lyman and the north ridge of Chiwawa Mountain
Looking back at Chiwawa, Lyman Lakes, Spider Gap just in the clouds, and Dumbell Mountain
Zoom of Lyman Lakes, the glacier and descent from Spider Gap
Plummer Mountain and Sitting Bull
Ethan with Sitting Bull, Dome, Sinister and Gunsight
Sinister, Gunsight and Agnes (Saddle Bow in foreground) 
Hiker shortcut to Suiattle Pass 
Plummer Mountain and Miners Ridge 
Looking west to Glacier Peak, from before Buck Creek Pass
Approaching Buck Creek Pass; "only" a little over ten miles down to the trailhead

Monday, October 13, 2014

High Pass loop with Sir-Hikes-a-Lot, Glacier Peak Wilderness

A real treat to get out with Sir-Hikes-a-Lot for some ultra hiking in one of the areas I didn't fit into the summer running schedule. Fresh snow between Buck Creek Pass and High Pass made it feel even more alpine and wintry.
Buck Mountain, from the Buck Creek trail
Upper Buck Creek basin
Looking at where we're headed; Liberty Cap (r) and the ridge toward High Pass
Saw a few deer throughout the day
Liberty Cap and ridge toward High Pass; trail contours on the backside
Getting into snow around 6200'; ridge south of Fortress in the background
Traversing toward the saddle south of 7276'
Looking back at the traverse below 7276'
Climbing up the shoulder of 7625' 
Basin to cross before High Pass
High Pass in the upper left
Looking down the basin to Triad Lake, below 7529'
Sir-Hikes-a-Lot takes in High Pass, Clark Mountain dominating the backdrop

Descending the High Pass basin
Descending the High Pass basin
A couple of Clark Mountain's extensive glaciers

Heading down the Napeequa River valley, larch on Chiwawa Ridge
Louis Creek Falls
Looking northwest up the Napeequa toward where we came from; taken just below Little Giant Pass
On the east side of Little Giant Pass, looking south down Chiwawa Ridge




Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stetattle Ridge, North Cascades

I think Parson Smith got it right...

I have roamed in foreign parts my boys,
And many lands have seen,
But Columbia is my idol yet
Of all lands, she is Queen.

The North Cascades continue to impress me every time I visit. Whether it's the eastern edge in the Pasayten Wilderness or the massive valleys, rugged peaks and striking glaciers along the crest and western side. 

How lucky we are to spend time in these mountains...

Taking the direct approach to Stetattle
An old overgrown trail on the very southern end
Brush shower

Steve on southern Stetattle Ridge, looking south
From right to left, some of the notable peaks: Pyramid, Pinnacle, Snowfield, Colonial, Primus, Tricouni, Boston, Buckner, Logan and Red
Moving north along the ridge, with point 6495' showing as the high point center-right; McMillan Spire, Degenhardt and Davis Peak to the west
From north to west (left), taken from point 6495' on Stetattle Ridge; zoom photos of prominent peaks below
Redoubt (l). Mox Peaks (center, partly obscured by clouds), Spickard (r); in the foreground is the northwest-trending ridge from Prophet
The uniquely-shaped Luna Peak, with the saddle between Stetattle and Elephant Butte in the foreground
Elephant Butte (r) and Fury; northern Pickets in the center background 
McMillan Spire (r) and Degenhardt, and the beautiful ridge to the south
North/east face of Davis Peak
Infinity tarn, with a pair of Jacks
Jack Mountain rising almost 7,500' feet above Ross reservoir; Pasayten peaks beyond 
Sourdough Mountain lookout, Golden Horn prominent in the background
Thanks for joining, Steve