This past weekend my buddy and I headed out for an end-of-summer backpacking trip on the east side of the North Cascades. The short story is that it was a 3 day, 27 mile, extremely hot and extremely buggy trip that crossed 3 mountain passes while providing fantastic views and lots of varied terrain. Also, it pretty much beat the hell out of myself and my buddy (who has what has to be a world record number of mosquito bites).
We started out on Thursday by visiting the Marblemount Ranger Station to get backcountry permits before driving over the North Cascades Highway (which is the most beautiful stretch of road I've ever experienced). At Twisp we turned up the Twisp River Road and camped for the night at the South Creek Campground in preparation for an early Friday start. The loop eventually would wind through Okanogan National Forest, Lake Chelan Sawtooth Wilderness, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, and North Cascades National Park.
I spent this morning climbing up Mt. Pilchuck with a buddy of mine. It's a 6 mile round trip climb with an elevation gain of about 2200 feet. We thought this would be a quick hike but we ran into a lot of snow that really slowed us down.
To get to Mt. Pilchuck you follow you the Mountain Loop Highway east from Granite Falls and the turnoff is just past Verlot.
We got started on the trail around 7:45 AM. It was a little later than we would have liked but we stopped to help someone who was having car trouble on the way. We were the only people on the trail for a long time and were the first to the top.
The picture to the left is Mt. Baker from the top of Mt. Pilchuck.