Thursday, September 17, 2009

YOU might be a model!

American Alpine Institute has selected some photos from a few of my snowshoe trips to use on their website for showing off the potential views in the area.

AAI is headquartered right here in Bellingham, WA (well, Fairhaven for those of you who are local). They do trips world-wide, not just here in Washington.

I went in there sometime in the past to meet them and to talk about trips & avalanche training courses. Very nice folks. Right at home here in Bham.

It is a bit quirky that the website page says "Mount Baker" but the pics are actually from Steven's and Snoqualmie Pass.

A few of these people are people who were snowshoeing with me. A few others just happened to make good scenery for my photo, so I don't know who they are.

AAI's Snowshoe page (with my pics)

AAI's home page

The pay isn't much... but I'm OK with that. For now. You never know what these things could lead to.

It's already more exciting the accounting. :~)


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Park Butte View (kind of)

Here is a short video I took while at the Park Butte Lookout on Saturday.

It's less than 1 minute long and just gives a quick peek of the Lookout interior and the limited views that existed at that time.

If you missed the Trip Report, click HERE.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Three Tree Tarn ~ 09/05/2009

Somehow, despite the never ending TV News reminding us that it's going to rain all Labor Day weekend, I managed to recruit two hiking buddies for the day.

Our destination today was to visit the Park Butte Lookout... and conduct some additional aimless wandering as energy, weather, enthusiasm and blueberries allowed.

This would be Steve's first time in the Schriebers Meadow area and it would be John's first time here without a snowmobile.

The weather started off as promised. Cloudy and wet. But not too wet. Then it did get too wet. Then it got windy. Then we reached the Lookout where we hung out for about an hour, watching the view change from zero visibility to infinite visibility... over and over again, within minutes of each other.

Eventually, the rain completely stopped (about 1:30pm or so), the cloud ceiling started to lift, the sun came out and we peeled off our damp layers to maximize our Vitamin D absorption.

We visited 3-tree-tarn, peeked over the Railroad grade edge and ate blueberries on the trip back out.

Total distance was about 9.3 miles and 2,500 feet of elevation gain.

There were very few people on the trail - especially for Labor Day Weekend.

Blueberries are everywhere. The berries in the upper meadows are much more sweet than the ones found in the lower meadow, FYI.

Easy creek crossing both coming and going.

Thanks you very much, Steve and John, for coming along today. It was a wonderful day in the mountains and I'm glad you were both able to see something more than fog.

Here are the pics:

Labor Day Hike Gang:

Creek Crossing:

The Views Can Only Get Better:

Pocket Lake:

I was out of ear shot, but I'm pretty sure I knew what they were talking about:

Let's try that shot again. See the Lookout in the upper left corner?

Ready for the final stretch to the Lookout:

Man In The Mountains:

Easton Glacier (full zoom from the Lookout during a break in the clouds):

Clearer photo of the Lookout:

Three - Tree Tarn Pics:

Deming Glacier runoff (full zoom):

Rock & Mud Layers along Rocky Creek:

Grass & Pond at Shrieber's Meadow:

Back to the Meadows:

Route Map:

Thanks for reading along. Next hike could be Mt. St. Helens, in October!


PS: Added a video on Sunday. Click HERE to view it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Itinerary for Sept 5, 2009

I was holding out, praying for an improvement in the weather forecast so I could visit Winchester Mountain... but alas, that will have to wait for another day.

Here is the current plan:

Departing Mount Vernon about 8:30a.m. with Steve Gilles and John Cline for a day hike on the south side of Mount Baker to visit Park Butte and the Railroad Grade. There is a chance we might swing down along the Scott Paul trail (clockwise) just to cross the suspension bridge or possibly continue up RR grade beyond high camp to get up close and personal with the Easton Glacier.

The weather forecast is for rain.
Just plain rain.
Unless you're above 6,000 feet in which case it will likely be snow.
I doubt we will exceed 6,000 feet, but if we do it will only be for a short while. Park Butte lookout is only at 5,450 feet, but RR grade does go above and beyond that.

Yep, a summer full of excellent weather and I get to hike on the rainy, cloudy, snowy days. Hardly seems fair, but in reality the weather variations really play a huge role in making each trip a unique experience; even if you've been on the same trail twenty times before.

With a little luck we'll come home with a ton of blueberries and maybe we'll get a few breaks in the clouds to enjoy the scenery as well.

I heard there was going to be a WTA/Skagit Alpine Club work party at the Park Butte Lookout this weekend, but then I also heard it was rescheduled to next weekend. Combined with the wet weather, it could be a quiet day on the trail, even though it's Labor Day Weekend.

We anticipate being back to the vehicle before sunset.

Look for a Trip Report and pictures to follow in the next few days.

Happy Trails!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Nex outing: Labor Day Weekend!!

Originally scheduled to be the following weekend, my September hike date is being moved forward to Labor Day weekend.

Sat or Sunday (5th or 6th)... not sure which one yet and hopefully the weather will cooperate so I can get in at least one hike with fantastic views this summer.
Give me a call if you think you would like to, and are able to, tag along either of these days.

Destinations could range from endurance training on Mailbox Peak or visiting a new destination along the Mount Baker Highway. Of course, it's also about time for me to head back to Railroad Grade/Park Butte, too.

So many trails and so little time available to enjoy them.

While you contemplate your schedule, you might enjoy reading Rainrunner & Durante's blog about their PCT trip.

Happy Trails!