Saturday, December 08, 2007

Lake of the Angels in December

During winter, a hike to Lake of the Angels can be as satisfying as it is exhilarating.

Road closures, mud slides, trail washouts, and multiple creek fordings add challenges to be overcome and mastered.

Ron, Mike, Cheryl, and myself (Paul W.) experienced these conditions wrought by Mother Nature; we survived nearly unscathed with only one unanticipated trail cartwheel, multiple unexpected "sit-downs", and a blown-out knee.

Please see the following movie for your enjoyment. Click twice on the "play button" - hover your cursor near bottom of each picture to pause, play, and rewind. Following the slide show are single pictures which produce LARGE images when click on.

Click on the following pictures for larger images:

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Camp Muir on Mount Rainier

Today (Wednesday, 8/29) I got a jump on the upcoming Labor Day weekend by climbing up to Mount Rainier's Camp Muir - and yes, it WAS a spectacular day.

Check out the pictures below and, if your computer can handle it, click on a picture to enjoy a full screen view.

Here is a classic late summer view of Mount Rainier, wildfolwers at the bottom and glaciers on top:

This picture, taken at about 9000 feet shows how far the Nisqually glacier has retreated:

The Nisqually drainage is always pretty photogenic as seen below:

I couldn't resist taking this next picture - it points east and was taken three moraine field bumps east and over from the Muir snowfield. Note: The Moraine field was completely dry.

Warning: the next two pictures are of cuddly-looking marmots. If you are not a fan of such wildlife, you may want to scroll down further to the crevasse shots. Make sure to look toward the edge of the grass: two marmots are standing up touching noses.

OK, here is the other marmot shot - unlike the picture above, he doesn't look like a rock: he is basking on top of a boulder.

Powerfull shot of a waterfall shooting off of a massive cliff and into the Nisqually glacier below.

Hey, I thought the Muir snowfield wasn't considered a glacier - the dry crevasse shown here indicates otherwise. I stayed wide of this area (except to take this picture) and tread on a small expanse of the "snowfield" for obvious reasons.

Oh, a little closer up (I know, it was too close) a portion of the crevasse looked like this:

Camp Muir - the buildings blend in with the rock:

Speaking of photogenic, that's me standing at Camp Muir with Mount Adams in the background. Like my new orange cap?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mount Adams

This weekend, several of us from the Peninsula Wilderness Club summited the second highest mountain in the State of Washington - Mount Adams, a volcano, by climbing the southern route, thus christening our first ever attempt.

On this hike it quickly became apparent that we were surrounded by volcanoes as, standing on Mt Adams, we could clearly see Mt Hood to the south and Mt St Helens to the West. At one point I observed Mt St Helens erupting, emitting a great stream of ash and smoke.

From the trailhead on Saturday, we proceeded to hike halfway up Mt Adams, establishing our base camp on a vast, barren, windy shelf of rock called "Lunch Counter". Lunch Counter could easily be re-named "Moonscape": it was about as inhospitable to humans as Saturn's Titan.

From base camp, we enjoyed views of the mountain above and the landscape far below as we hunkered-down behind rock walls, walls which were erected to shelter us from the sustained 35 mph winds, winds which would increase in velocity to greater than 45 mph Sunday on the summit. Although the rock walls helped block some wind, our tents were guyed-down with boulders to prevent these shelters from sailing off of the mountain.

The highlight of this trip was reaching the mountain's summit. A close second however was our descent back to base camp, glissading over 3000 feet down the mountain - two hours slogging upwards followed by ten minutes of sliding back down to Lunch Counter proved to be a pretty good trade off!

Check out the pictures below and, if your computer can handle it, click on a picture to enjoy a full screen view.
Mount Adams

Paul at Base Camp (Lunch Counter)

False Summit with Glissade Path to Base Camp

Glissade Staging Point (Mt Hood in Background)

Paul on Summit

Greg,Nancy,& Paul on Summit (Left to Right)

Mt Adams (Yet Another View)

Mt St Helens Erupting (in Background)

I hope you enjoyed the pictures. Paul

Friday, July 06, 2007

Camp Muir & Comet Falls/Van Trump Park

Today, climbing Mt Rainier to Camp Muir and yesterday, immersing ourselves in the thundering mists of Rainier's Comet Falls, Ron, CJ, and I celebrated Independence Days on "The Mountain".

No, there were no fire-crackers or bottle rockets, only Mount Rainier with its thundering waterfalls, awesome scenary, and critters popping up when you least expect them.

Critters? What critters? OK, we spotted fearless marmots whistling away while sunning themselves on rocks below the Muir snow field; a reddish coyote padding along in the snow; two doe each leading their own fawns to safety, and a greyish fox crossing the road.

Check out the pictures below and, if your computer can handle it, click on a picture to enjoy a full screen view.
Van Trump Creek
Comet Falls
Marmot Pleasently Basking in Sun
Annoyed Marmot Pleasently Basking in Sun

Mount Rainier
Nisqually Glacier on Mt Rainier
Mount Adams as Seen From Mt Rainier
Camp Muir
Paul (me) at Camp Muir

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mount Ellinor

Saturday's hike on Mount Ellinor was exhilerating. After climbing the chute, a thick fog moved in, three mountain goats greeted us, one quite closely - at the summit it began lightly snowing.

Clicking on the pictures (if your computer can handle it) produces an enormous image.
Climbing The Chute
Mountain Goat (Center of Picture on Rock)
Mountain Goat 6-Feet From My Camera
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lake of The Angels

Wednesday we five hiked to an overlook above Lake of the Angels; the lake was in a basin below us situated between Mt Skokomish and Mt Stone.

Trailside scenary included Mount Rainier in all of its glory, Mount Pershing which was facing us from the opposite side of the Hamma Hamma River, and multiple waterfalls. At one point we rose to a basin I will call "Three Falls Basin". As we continued to climb toward our high alpine lake destination, at one point we were surrounded by three spectacular waterfalls.

Incidentally, we met a Naval officer at the lake who, as we watched, climbed Mt Stone taking a route starting at the lake, then proceeding straight up the snow field above the lake. This looked like a fun, practical route to take at this time of year.

The pictures below were taken at overlooks along the trail and at the lake.

Clicking on the pictures (if your computer can handle it) produces an enormous image.

Trailside Waterfall

Mr Rainier and Puget Sound
Peak in front of Mt Pershing
Mt Pershing
Mt Skokomish
Mt Stone
Mt Stone (Summit not seen)
Alpine Pond