Not much to say about this one. It's probably my favorite "close-in" hike and it's tough. This was my 3rd time up Teneriffe (this hike occurred on 6-21-2014). I didn't have any photos other than the obligatory pic of Mt. Rainier. I grabbed the selfie from a video I had apparently recorded up there.
Video says it was before 9 AM, I'd made it in 2 1/2 hours, and I was all alone. Looks like it was a beautiful day and as I stare out my window at gray skies I'm about jealous of me from back then.
I do remember this was the first time I'd encountered goats up close. Coming up the spine I stumbled across a mountain goat and a kid and before I could even react they bounded off over a cliff. I was also told by some hikers that showed up about 30 minutes later that they'd seen me on top and there were goats on the cliffs just underneath where I'd been standing when I made the video. Very cool.
Anyway, more details can be found at my prior reports of this trail here and here.
If you have Craig Romano's "Backpacking Washington", take a look at trips #52 and #53. We merged elements of those trips into our own loop from *I think* Sept 7-10 of 2013. Starting from the Sloan Creek Campground off of the Mountain Loop highway, we climbed up the North Fork Sauk River Trail, explored Red Pass, White Pass, Ward's Pass, and Blue Lake before returning via the Pilot Ridge Trail. The photo below was taken from the PCT looking south. Trail on the left takes you to White Pass. Trail on the right takes you to Red Pass.
The date of this post is 4/3/2017. However, the metadata on these photos tells me I actually did this hike way back on 7/28/2013. From my memory, you start at Barlow Pass on the Mountain Loop Highway headed towards Monte Cristo and then cut up the hill to the right near the bridge washout. I don't remember much about the climb up. I do remember being awe-struck when I got there. The views were amazing. If anything I'm reminded that I need to get back this summer. These pictures don't do it justice.
3 years, 6 months, 4 days.
That's the elapsed time since my last post. At that point, I was really busy with work, school, 2 growing boys, a house, and all of the other stuff that goes on in life. I'm still really busy will all of those things but school will be coming to an end soon and I'd like to get back to recording my hikes.
So you may have noticed that I updated the theme of this website. In the coming days, weeks, and months I'll be going back through my photos to remind myself of what hikes I've done in that last 3 1/2 years. I hope to get posts up for each of those hikes and then going forward post my new hikes as I did previously.
Stay tuned to also see photos of backpacking trips in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, Seven Lakes Basin in Olympic National Park, Spyder Gap and the Lyman Lakes, and the Copper Ridge Chilliwack River Loop in the North Cascades.
That's it. Short and sweet.
I would like to say a big thank you to anyone who ever read my blog and especially to anyone who ever expressed gratitude for my reports. It was always my goal to give others a sense of how amazing, how beautiful, and sometimes, how physically demanding the mountains around my home are. I love these hills. I really do. They have become a part of me, or maybe I have become a part of them.
Though I haven't made a report since July, I've continued to hike and backpack and have experienced some great adventures in some wonderful locations. I especially loved Gothic Basin near Monte Cristo off the Mountain Loop Highway. That place was absolute heaven. The picture above is me (with Glacier Peak in the background). It was taken just off the PCT (Ward's Pass) in the Glacier Peak wilderness in early September. Another beautiful piece of country.
As time goes on, my two boys are getting bigger, my family, my job, and just my life in general is allowing less time for hiking and even less time for blogging. Therefore I have decided to give up the blog (but not the hiking) to focus on other pursuits. This blog should stay live until probably May of 2014, but this will be my last post.
So again, thanks! Get out and explore, take the 10 essentials, be safe, and have fun. I hope to see you out there!
Extremely busy week at work and at home. All work and no play makes lemArts are very dull boy. Time to get out. Where to go? Needs to be somewhere new. Somewhere with distance. Somewhere more remote. Somewhere without crowds. Pull out enormous collection of maps late in the week and start scouting. Got it. Green Trails Maps #175. West Fork Foss River and Lakes. Starting from Forest Road 6835 south of Hwy 2 just east of Skykomish, WA. Trail is roughly 14 miles round trip from trailhead to Big Heart Lake. Several thousand feet of climbing. On the way it passes Trout Lake, Lake Malachite, Copper Lake, and Little Heart Lake.
Two notes. (1) My hiking buddy is vacationing in Iceland right now so I'm on my own. (2) My in-laws are in town and I have to be at Anthony's in Edmonds at 5:15 PM for dinner, which means I need to be on the trail early if I have any chance of doing all 14 miles.
Lately the sky has been clear, the temps have been hot, and A-man has been begging me to take him hiking. So this morning I dragged him out of bed pretty early and we drove out I-90 to climb up to Mason Lake. A-man's only other prior hikes were to Rattlesnake Ledge and to Cherry Creek Falls. He is growing fast and has an abundance of energy so I thought he might be capable of this 6 mile round trip hike including over 2500 feet of elevation gain. I had previously taken this same trail up to Bandera Mountain as well as to Mason Lake and Mt. Defiance. It's one of my favorites.
My prior reports contain better descriptions of this trail. Today it was dry and hot but in fantastic shape. The pictures below show a strong and willing A-man man making his way up past the Bandera/Mason split to the high point before descending into the lake basin. Mt. Rainier was out in all its glory. No matter how many pictures I take of Mt. Rainier I always feel the need to take more.
So what do you do when you've had a solid week of "June-uary" in Seattle and the forecast shows just one good weather day on the weekend? You beg your wife to watch the kids and let you hike! Fortunately for me, my lovely wife (best mother in the world, of course) agreed. So early (as always) my buddy and I headed out I-90 all the way to exit 47 to take a crack at Granite Mountain. Driving directions and a brief description of the trail can be found in the first picture below. Make no mistake, this trail is not for the faint of heart. Like a lot of other hikes in the region, this one starts climbing pretty much right from the trailhead. Green Trails map #207 has this hike pegged 3.1 miles. With over 3800 feet of elevation game it's a serious workout.
Funny thing about Granite Mountain. It was the very first hike I ever attempted in Washington during my very first summer in Seattle way back in 2001. A guy I worked with organized after work hikes and invited me along. I had no idea what I was getting into. Young, dumb, and unprepared, I followed him up the mountain. It damned near killed an out-of-shape 24 year old me and I hadn't ever gone back until now.
We found the parking lot mostly empty before 7 AM (but a few people had beat us there, some who we'd later learn started as early as 5!) . Later in the day cars would be parked almost all the way back to the interstate exit. The pictures below show just a bit of the trail up to the junction of the Granite Mountain trail. It's about 600 feet over 0.6 miles in this stretch - the easiest section of trail by far. It's just touches the first avalanche chute for a couple of feet. From there you can see a waterfall and the ridge of the upper mountain. It's a nice glimpse of what is in store. At the junction you can stay on the main trail and head for Pratt Lake (which can also be reached from the Talapus and Ollalie lakes trailhead). We of course veered right up the hill.
A new trail! Well not really new, but new to myself and my hiking buddy. We were determined this morning to hike something we hadn't done before and decided to see what Talapus and Ollalie Lakes had to offer. They can be reached after a winding drive up the somewhat potholed but passable Forest Road #9030 off Exit 45 just short of Snoqualmie Pass (coming from Seattle). Actually, they lie just to the east and northeast of Bandera Mountain, Mason Lake, and Mount Defiance, all of which I have previously hiked. They are, however, much easier to get to than my prior hikes in the area.
We arrived at the trailhead just before 7AM and found an empty parking lot. We'd have the trail to ourselves all the way to Ollalie Lake. A map of the area from the trailhead can be found in the first picture below.
Pretty short post today. I don't have a lot to say that I didn't already say when I first did this hike almost exactly two years ago. This time I took my hiking pal who had not been there before. We were half way to the trailhead before we realized that we'd forgotten our Northwest Forest Pass. Luckily we found a Chevron open in Sultan and were able to buy one. Then, just as we were about to depart the car for the trail, I realized I'd left both of my water bottles in my refrigerator. The morning didn't seem to be starting out the way we'd hoped. Luckily my buddy had a spare Nalgene to loan me and I had my water filter in my pack.
We were on the trail right at 7 AM and had the trail to ourselves all the way up to the falls. They were roaring as normal. It's been said before but it's worth mentioning again. To fall into the water would mean certain death, so be very careful.