Baker Lake North Trail to Noisy Creek

Four of us played hooky yesterday and enjoyed a 10 mile roundtrip hike to Noisy Creek.  Pre-hike we walked the Horseshoe Bend campground where the MBC is holding a camping trip in July to check out the digs.  Our group campsite is on a point in the Northernmost section of the campground on Baker Lake in a cozy cove.  Recommend that campers bring kayaks if you’ve got them.

We left the car at 10:30 as low clouds hung above us, during the next hour the clouds burned off and we were left with a truly classic Northwest Spring day.  Temps from 60-70 helped our stamina.

Though this trail meanders along the lake without climbing significantly until you begin the hunt for the granddaddy of all trees, we managed to climb (and drop) approx. 1600 feet total and put on 30,000 steps, more for Ms Beason of course.  Many streams and creeks were crossed, some on bridges, some on foot.  Water was flowing with vigor as the snow above melts rapidly thanks to a few warm days.

At lunch at the Noisy Creek campground espanich was espoken exclusively for a while, such a treat to find 4 of us who all speak and understand Spanish.  Defining the words “propina” vs. “idea” became a typical latino conversation rife with emotion and passion.

Over 132 identifiable shades of green were reported along the trail, remarkably different from our Whistle Lake/Mt Erie day where a nearly equal number of shades of gray were reported and logged.

Reports of a large, very large Douglas Fir were proven accurate, the granddaddy of all trees was found near Noisy Creek.  Check out the photos on flickr.  Go to mountbakerclub.org and under “Members Login” click “Mount Baker Club Outing Photos (Flickr).

Dinner and beverages post-hike at Birdsview satisfied.

 

Michael Davis

North Cascades Highway Biking

NOCA Bike Trip Report & Access Update

Rainy Day Greetings Fellow MBC Members,

A group of six members, previous members & guest set off behind the gated North Cascades Highway yesterday and enjoyed a beautiful warm blue-sky cloud-free day.  The sunny warmth released delightful spring scents and the budding deciduous foliage still allowed unique views along the way.  By common agreement we all had lunch at Canyon Creek Trailhead.  Despite the enjoyable rushing waters beside us, we could hear various bird calls in the cool open forests and even from the other side of the stream.  We discussed hiking the trail to see how the two nearby cabin ruins were after yet another winter but decided that the biking was reward enough on this day.  On the leisurely return we discovered several new points of interest as well as lingering at those viewpoints providing dramatic mountain and lake views.   On the drive home we once again had to wait at the long construction zone between Newhalem and Marblemount but thankfully it was much shorter than our morning experience.

Special thanks to Steve and Jennie our official Sasquatch Trackers who found not one but two crossing locations.  Now experienced with what to look for we found a THIRD crossing.  I wonder how many more there might be?  Steve has generously uploaded photos on our club’s flickr page which will give you some idea about the ride and photo evidence of the Sasquatch Crossings.

Further down valley, as we approached Sedro-Woolley on the homeward drive, we saw dense clouds spilling over the foothills to the south.  By the time we passed through Sedro, less than 20 minutes later, they had continued expanding all the way to the north skyline, filling the sky with roiling dense clouds, some tearing themselves apart as they sped over the mountain peaks.  It made us appreciate the beautiful calm day we had been fortunate to enjoy.

Latest report from Wa Dept of Transportation is that the warm weather has brought down much of the snow in the loaded avalanche chutes that have been preventing highway clearing.  The work crews had to retreat several times and set off explosive charges to allow for safe re-entry to these locations where they expect to have to clear the same stretches of road two or more times before it will be safe to allow public travel.  With the variable weather we are experiencing they are still not officially committing to an opening date.

Best Wishes to you all,

Bud

Heather Meadows Snowshoe – Spring 2018

Trip Report

 

Outings Report:  Heather Meadows Snowshoe (Conditions & Avalanche Observations)

Wednesday, April 25th, six members enjoyed a warm sunny beautiful blue-sky cloud-free day wandering the hills and slopes of Heather Meadows.  The snow surface was crusty hard but grippy in the small pools of shade but for the most part was relatively firm with occasionally breaking crust and a shallow surface layer of sun warmed snow.  Conditions seemed perfect for snowshoeing but none of us felt skiing would have been pleasant at this elevation.  The fairly flat former ski runs (the ski resort had finished its season the previous weekend) would have made fun ski touring and skating but the skiers we encountered were all returning from higher elevations and cruising back to their vehicles.  Before leaving we surveyed what will become the various Ski-to-Sea routes in about a month especially the down-hill skiers climb up the north slope of Pan Dome.

We saw our first avalanches spilling off the eastern slopes of Mt Herman as we left the parking area and throughout the day various avy slopes and “tongues” continued to grow but despite our stadium like lunch seat near the center of the basin we never got to enjoy seeing a big climax release.  A large deep recent release off Table Mt had stretched almost across the basin floor and ended somewhere near the snow route and summer trail to Herman Saddle (Chain Lakes Loop).

It was a very enjoyable day and a reminder of how wonderful spring snowshoeing can be but also how important practicing proper avalanche avoidance continues to be whether snowshoeing or early season hiking.  The only spooky part of the trip was driving on the highway past the steep slope just below Heather Meadows.  It still has a lot of snow on it.

Wishing you wonderful Spring outings,

Bud

Mt Baker Highway Litter Patrol

The first of three 2018 litter patrols was held on Tuesday along the Mt Baker Hwy, miles 37 – 39.  The Spring patrol is usually the heaviest, after a 6 month layoff.

The Good:  -A beautiful sunny day.

-Little traffic on the Hwy.

-The brush along the road has not fully opened, allowing us to see all the litter left behind.

The Bad:  -About eight bags of junk, mostly the usual collection of aluminum cans, beer bottles, cardboard, plastic, some clothing, road reflectors, and a few car parts. The worst of the bad…a soggy pamper.    People!!

-Keeping with tradition, nothing of value was found.

-In places, the road was dusty from all the winter sanding.

The Unknown:  -What are people thinking when they throw this stuff out the car window?

The next litter patrol should be in mid July.

The first photo to follow is of my crackerjack volunteer crew.  Thanks to Penny, Owen, and Sue.  The second photo shows me wondering if I was going to make it back to milepost 39, where I started.

Richard

Highway Litter

Ebey’s Landing Hike

April 11 – Wednesday: Ebey’s Landing Hike – Trip Leader: Lori Stelter. Meet at REI parking lot to carpool, promptly leaving at 9:30 AM. Ebey’s Landing is a bluff trail near Coupeville, with fabulous views of the Cascades and Olympics. The first half of the trail is on the bluff, and then descends down to the beach, completing a loop. Elevation gain 250 feet. Total distance roughly 6 miles. This is an easy walking trail with a relatively short steeper section on sand/dirt descending to the beach. The beach is round smaller rock. Perhaps we may spot a gray whale?? It can be breezy, and there is little shade – so plan accordingly – hopefully there will be lots of sunshine! More info at: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/ebeys-landing.

Bring a lunch. Perhaps an ice cream stop in Coupeville afterwards. We will begin our hike at the Prairie Overlook Trailhead (across from Sunnyside Cemetery – off of Sherman Road – free parking). For anyone wanting to meet at the trailhead: Please RSVP so we don’t take off without you.Please be ready to hike by 11 AM if you meet us there. Contact Lori with any questions. 360-223-8637

Rock Trail-South Lost Lake-Double Diamond Loop Hike

April 15 – Sunday: Rock Trail-South Lost Lake-Double Diamond Loop Hike – Approx 6 miles with steep down and up on the ends. We will begin the hike at Cyrus Gates Overlook (top of Cleator Rd) at 1 PM, hike 1200’ and 100+ steps down the steep Rock Trail, meet up with the South Lost Lake trail and follow it around to the junction of Double Diamond, where we will climb back up to the overlook, watching carefully for mountain bikers. Discover Pass Required for trailhead parking. Because there’s no convenient place for a group to stop and eat, this will be an afternoon hike, perhaps followed by a brew pub visit for those so inclined. Those wishing to carpool up to the overlook, which has limited parking, meet in FAIRHAVEN PARK at 12:30. Have an early lunch and join us there. For more information, email Pam atpsbeason@comcast.net

 

Trip Report

Seventeen intrepid hikers and a dog conquered the 100+ steps down the beautiful Rock Trail, and then strolled along the muddy South Lost Lake trail. Finally, we finally burned thigh muscles and calories climbing up the Double Diamond into the growing mist, and thankfully avoided embracing a few mountain bikers crashing down the trail.  Then most of us moved on to take over the fire pit at Stone’s Throw brewpub in Fairhaven to savor the beer we had earned. It was a good hike and great company, both on the trail and in the pub.

Bicycle Thursday & Spring Social

April 19 – BICYCLE THURSDAY & SPRING SOCIAL– Spring Social will be at Chuckanut Brewery April 19, Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Buy your own meals and beverages. Come for fun and to talk about our July camping trip! Please bring significant others and any friends who might want to know more about MBC – we would like to see our membership grow! Think about a trip you might want to lead this summer or fall and we will have a planning calendar on hand. Chuckanut is providing us with their group space, which has outdoor heaters and is quite comfortable. Let’s fill it up with hikers and cyclists!! Organizer: Laura Boynton

Maple Grove Hike on Baker Lake

Apr 21 – Saturday: Maple Grove Hike on Baker Lake

An easy-to-moderate 8 miles round trip at the south east end of Baker Lake. Attractions may include great views of Baker and Shuksan, but if not, it’s a beautiful stretch of forest with lake views and rushing creeks. Forest pass required for trailhead parking.   We will leave from the Chuckanut Park and Ride at  8:30 for the 40-mile drive, almost all on blacktop . Let me know if you need directions: owen.bamford@gmail.com.

 

HOWEVER!  The forecasts for Saturday look awful, either cold and rainy or cold and snowy, depending on who you believe. Either way it’s a long way to go if conditions are miserable, so I am keeping an eye on the forecasts and may cancel unless they improve.
I will decide by Friday afternoon.
Owen
Trip Report
Perhaps because of the last-minute rescheduling and the concurrent Horseshoe Bend hike, it was a compact group of four members and Magnus the black lab that set out from the trailhead for Maple Grove. My mentioning the possibility of ice on the trail may have had something to do with it. Whatever the reason, a large number of members who didn’t come missed a delightful outing. The weather was sunny and cool, the sky was mostly blue, Shuksan and Baker were completely clear and shining white, and the lake was still. Birds were singing, flowers were blooming, creeks were burbling prettily. We couldn’t have asked for more. There wasn’t any ice. But there could have been.
Owen

Horseshoe Bend Hike

Apr 22 – Sunday: Horseshoe Bend Hike – Four to six miles depending on trail conditions.

Not many trails bring you to the edge of the rough and tumble Nooksack River.  This will be a relatively easy stroll, with short bursts of uphill on a possibly muddy path.  I want to stop briefly here and there along the way to enjoy the beauty of the river and moss covered trees. (After all, it is Earth Day)  If you are in a hurry, better to do this yourself on another day.  Those wanting to carpool should plan to leave the Safeway Parking on Sunset Dr at 9:00 (park in the center of the big lot away from store entrances) $5 suggested ride share.  The leader will meet at the trail head at 10:15-10:30 to allow for a pit stop in Glacier for those who want it.  For those members hesitant to drive up a forest road, this is a good opportunity to step up and be a driver.  Your Aunt Betty’s ’65 Buick would have no trouble getting to this trail head.  The parking area is adjacent to the Hwy, just across a river bridge right after mile 35 (opposite the Douglas Fir campground).  The WTA says a Northwest Forest Pass is required.  Bring food and water, and think about hiking poles.  Rain or shine – we are the Mount Baker Club!

Richard   rpklemm@comcast.net

 

Trip Report

The first mile is one of the sweetest little hikes around.  The forest trail closely follows the swift flowing Nooksack as it cascades over rocks and boulders of all sizes.  Mile two gains elevation and at times moves a bit away from the river’s edge, but still within sight.  At about two miles the trail tended to peter out and in places was littered with windfall, making footing somewhat dicey.  After turning around, the twelve of us found some logs in the sun for a quick lunch break, and were back to the parking lot in about two and a half hours.  Chilly at first, the sun was shining bright and strong through the trees, and soon we were shedding layers.  A lovely hike, even if you have only a half hour to spare on the way down the highway.  I and another member completed the local trifecta by visiting the big trees and Nooksack Falls, both in the next ten miles of the Mt Baker Hwy.

Richard