Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Sunday Walk

Sunday was a lovely day for a walk in the mountains. . .

2 - Chain Lakes Trail Mt Baker

Chunlin and I returned to the vicinity of where we met, three years ago this month: Mt. Baker.

8 - Mt Baker Wells Creek Basin

We hiked the Ptarmigan Ridge trail, which is the hike I did three years ago on that Mountaineers Lodge weekend, but Chunlin and her friend opted for a less snowy hike, so we didn't really start getting to know each other till later that day.

13 - North Ptarmigan Moss-scape

There was quite a bit less snow this year. We may have had a cold, snowy winter, but we've had a hot, dry spring and summer.

16 - Chunlin North Ptarmigan Peak

So we were stuck walking on dirt most of the way. So sad. Not to say that we didn't get to cross several snowfields on the way, however.

23 - Mt Shuksan Ptarmigan Snowfield

We had wonderful views of Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Baker, and the rest of creation for almost the entire hike.

25 - Chunlin Mark Mt Baker

The trail gains 1000' over five miles, so you hardly notice the hill at all.

42 - Coleman Pinnacle Trail Chunlin

If you keep following the trail past five miles, it will take you all the way to the top of Mt. Baker. We didn't go much further than this meadow.

46 - Mt Baker Portals

Sunday was quite a bit hazier than when I hiked the trail three years ago. Numerous forest fires dotted the landscape, apparently, although we didn't spot any. But three years ago, the clouds rolled in before we hiked the first half of the trail, so I never had this view then.

49 - Chunlin Snowfield

Chunlin learned to enjoy walking on snowfields, especially going down.

54 - Table Mtn Wells Creek Valley

On the way up the ridge, I stopped at one point and took a photo of Table Mountain. On the way down the ridge, I stopped at a point just three feet different and took a nearly identical photo of Table Mountain (shown above). The lighting was better in the afternoon.

59 - Mt Shuksan Kulshan Ridge

Soon we were back at the trailhead. Okay, the last mile dragged on a bit. We were hot and tired. But at least we still had glorious scenery!

More photos on flickr.