Sunday, May 31, 2009

Itinerary for May 31, 2009

Getting a late start today, but am planning on hiking to Lake 22 to enjoy the scenery (and the shade). Depending how fast that goes, what time it is and how I feel, I may also head out to Heather Lake since they are close together (along the Mountain Loop Highway at the base of Mount Pilchuck).

It's possible I might also head out to Deer Creek Road to see how it looks for snow levels -- see how far I can get up that road in the car. Not planning on hiking here, just checking out the snow levels. Might also head out to the Big 4 Picnic area to see how that new bridge is coming.

Hope to have a trip report and pics up in the next few days.

Happy Trails!


Friday, May 29, 2009

Next Hike: Sunday, May 31, 2009.

Short notice, I know.

The girls are busy with a birthday party shindig so I'm looking for someplace to play outdoors. Hopefully the weather continues to be as nice as it has been around here.

If you're available and interested please let me know ASAP.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Green Point and Thunder Creek 05-23-2009

Beautiful weather was my buddy for the day. Everyone else was busy with other Memorial Day plans.

Enjoyed a leisurely departure from Mt. Vernon at about 8:15am and cruised out Hwy 20 to the Ross Lake/Dam trailhead. Traffic was lighter (and faster) than I was expecting, which was a pleasant surprise.

Loaded up the new pack (testing an Osprey Stratus 40) just as the ranger showed up to do 'facility maintenance' and presumably check for forest passes.

Hiked down to Ross Dam, took some pictures and talked to a group of three hikers headed out to Big Beaver Campground. The lake is approx. 40 feet below the spillways on the dam.

Started hiking along the west side of Ross Lake just to see what there was to see. Stopped to take some more pictures. Realized the ISO was set to 1600 instead of 80 and took some pictures... again. The trail along the lake generally stays pretty high above the water, even when the reservoir is full.

Hiked past the turn off to Ross Lake Resort (not open until June per their website) and continued onward to the turnoff for Green Point Campground.

I had been to Green Point Campground once before, but had arrived via boat and only to pick up some buddies for a day hike up to Desolation Peak... back in 2004. Ever since, I've been wanting to hike out to Green Point and here was my opportunity.

As you descend and progress toward Green Point the trail offers a nice viewpoint of the resort, the dam and numerous peaks.

This segment of the trail was quite interesting as it traverses across a pretty steep slope, made predominately of slate or shale... I don't know, but it's a little loose. I'd hold on tight to any little ones. Then the trail crosses directly below a couple cliffs that tower 100 feet or higher above. One section of the trail actually goes underneath a portion of the cliff that is hanging out over/above the trail. While it didn't make me stop or turnaround, I did count my blessings and pray that gravity keeps looking the other direction until I'm well clear of the area.

Once at Green Point Campground I was shocked to see that every one of the campsites was vacant. I had the place to myself. Whoa. So, I scouted around just checking things out. The lake is still pretty low so the dock is still high and dry. There was a group in canoes (likely the boy scout group that was rumored to be in the area) heading northward.

After satisfying my curiosity at Green Point I began the return journey, meeting numerous groups head in to camp for the rest of the weekend. The last couple I talked to before arriving back at Ross Dam indicated they had picked up the last backcountry permit for Green Point that morning.

Spent some time standing in a creek along the trail for a few water works snapshots.

Crossed the dam again and headed down to the guard station where I had a nice comfortable shaded shelter to enjoy lunch.

Poked around a bit more and then ascended the final mile back up to Hwy 20, stopping for one more picture at the creek crossing:

GPS claims 7.3 miles total distance.
Elevation is debatable as walking across the dam caused some wide swings in the elevation readings.

I had a lots of daylight to spare, but was a bit tired and felt the need to be home for a dinner party at our house doh.gif but really wanted to get a sample of the Colonial Creek Campground and Thunder Creek Trail since I've driven by there so many times but never stopped.

Drove through the campground twice (looking for a parking spot) and then made a no-frills speed hike out to the 1.1 mile mark where the trail crosses the creek. Snapped some pics, returned to the car and hustled home for socializing. Some of our guests are hikers and they completely understood my tardiness.

The day was the perfect temperature and bugs were almost nonexistent.

Love this weather!!

Happy Trails!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Itinerary for May 23, 2009

Planning on spending the day, solo, in the Ross dam area between Ross Lake and Diablo Lake.

Likely park at the Ross Dam Trailhead, head down to the dam and head on out to Ross Lake Resort and Green Point. My go beyond Green Point campground toward Big Beaver campground or may backtrack to the bottom of the dam to follow the Diablo Lake trail for a ways.

Other sightseeing stops may include a visit to Colonial Creek Campground to check out the beginning of the Thunder Creek Trail or see what the Thunder Knob trail looks like (if I can find it).

Might also swing through the town of Diablo and possibly hike the trail from the power plant/town up to the top of the dam or see if there is anyone I know on the Sourdough Mtn trail.

All in all I'm just looking for a casual day on the trail to test out my new backpack and enjoy the sunny weather.

Happy Trails!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Avalanche off Johannesburg Peak

Before anyone starts to go ballistic... this isn't my video and I wasn't on this trip.

Here is a 3 minute video of a recent avalanche off Johannesburg Peak, recorded by a group heading up to Cascade Pass / Sahale Arm. The Avalanche starts about 45 seconds into the 3 minute video.

Here is a link to more first hand details and pics:
Adventures of an Introspective Vagabond


Now... back to me. I'm still looking for a buddy on Saturday... and no, it won't be anything like the above video.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Next Hike: Saturday May 23, 2009

Check your calendar and let me know if you are up for a fun day of hiking on Saturday, May 23rd. It's the first day of Memorial Day weekend so I understand everyone is probably already booked up... but you never know.

Really, it seems I'm free all three days (at the moment) but the Ski To Sea is happening on Sunday, so Mt. Baker is going to be well populated and heading south on Monday probably means lots of traffic on the way home. So... I'll start with plans for Saturday and see what the weather forecast does.

Recently I found the time to take a couple of short hikes. One was to the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve located near Lake Whatcom/Sudden Valley and the other was along the east side of the northern Chuckanuts, just north of Lake Samish.

Neither were too exciting but both had some unique features that I may get around to sharing in the next couple weeks.