Heliotrope Ridge Hike

Friday 8/24.  Leaving 8 a.m.  5+ miles, moderate difficulty.  I am limiting the group to 12 just because this will likely be a busy trail, and we may have to negotiate a tricky stream crossing .  If the creek is running too high, I will back track to the climbers route, which also offers nice views of Mt Baker.  Bring your poles, and maybe sandals or sneakers for stream crossings.  Rock hopping may be possible, but not always safe.  No dogs, cats, or other critters.  NW Forest Pass required.  Once I have the roster, I will name a place for car pooling.

Richard Klemm  rpklemm@comcast.net


Trip Report

Maybe I’m just out of shape but the hike seemed steeper than I remember from just a year ago.  I also tied for the lead for most spills on the day.  I almost took the lead, but caught myself just in time.   Eight members and one guest gambled against smoke and rain, and won.  Some haze, some clouds, but otherwise a nice day to view the Mt Baker glaciers up relatively closely.  The trail is in good shape, though we never made it across the third stream crossing.  The water was fast and high, and better judgement ruled the day.  We back tracked to the climbers route, had lunch in a meadow, then Pam marched us up to a nice viewpoint.  The low clouds rolled in obscuring much of the view, so we hightailed it down.  A note of caution:  the climbers route is steep, and much of the trail covered with loose rocks and gravel.  That is where I pancaked.  Be careful coming down.   Other thoughts:  It took about 1 and three quarters hour from the trail head to the third stream crossing.  The hike was about 6.5 miles, and that included a half mile or so up the climbers route.  On arrival the parking area was wide open, but getting busy by late afternoon. The road up, while mostly paved, is riddled with potholes of all sizes.  I think my truck may be due for a front end alignment.  This was my first high country group lead, and I would like to thank those more experienced members along, for their advice and support.