Hidden Lake Lookout Hike

12 members and 1 ex member joined the trek to Hidden Lake Lookout yesterday, arriving at the trailhead just before 10am to find plenty of parking.  Nice to see a light load of hikers after counting 155 cars at the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead last Saturday afternoon post Winchester repairs.

Smoke was at a minimum though we could see large plumes of beige smoke rising from multiple locations in the distance.  Cloud cover was non-existent so the sun and heat were a challenge to deal with the moment we exited the trees, about ¾ of a mile into the hike.  The consistent and considerable uphill trek up the mountain proved to be challenging for all, even the most experienced club members.  Fast elevation gain and high temps were the name of the game yesterday, everyone dealt with these elements with maximum attention to their personal condition.  Some made it to the saddle below the final climb to the lookout and others made it as far as their bodies could handle it.  Nobody reached the lookout.

No matter where we all turned around we were immersed in the beauty of this hike all day, every step, whenever we lifted our heads to look around we were inspired by the Cascades beauty.  Boulder fields aplenty at midmountain and upper mountain.  The mountains we passed through are truly a geologic marvel that our resident Geologist was happy to discuss.  You know the guy, he’s also good with our club funds numbers. 

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page..  Congratulations to all the fine individuals who spent the day challenging themselves on Hidden Lake Lookout trail!

Michael Davis

Cutthroat Pass Hike 

Don’t you love it when you get a perfect autumn day for your hike? Crisp, crystal clear air, blue sky, the trail partly frozen from the night before and slowly warming up by the bright sunshine. The fall colores a starting to appear in the high mountains. Three MBC members experienced this yesterday with their 11 miles Cutthroat Pass hike. Debra and I decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail starting from Rainy Pass up to Cutthroat Pass and then down the other side to the Cutthroat Lake trailhead on the east side. We missed Angela at our meeting point in the morning but caught up with her at the Pass. She hiked on her own the PCT up and down the Pass. It was another great day in the mountains. Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Fritz

Racehorse Landslide & Racehorse Falls 8-21-22

Eleven club members and one guest gullibly believed trip leader George Mustoe when he promised an easy day hike to an interesting geological site. He failed to mention a stretch of trail that is so steep that it requires a rope for access, or all the various rocks and logs and bushes that make the hike memorable. As a reward for our efforts we got to see 50 million year old tracks of giant ground birds, three-toed horses, tapirs, and some small crocodiles. And there were lots of fossil plants, including spectacular palm fronds. 

The leader was mostly interested in eating his expansive lunch, but he now and then interrupted the gluttony to mumble comments a time long past when the region was a subtropical forest that existed long before the uplift of the Casacade Range. As a closing event, three of the hikers had the ambition to follow George on a “short, easy” hike to Racehorse Falls. He failed to mention the need to clamber over logs and rocks, and to ford the creek on stepping stones, but the participants appreciated the mini-adventure that led to a very scenic destination.

George

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Lake Ann Hike

Oh well, every good hike needs a good sweeper. On this hike the strength of the hikers was pretty uneven, which resulted in a long drawn out line of hikers in the group. I really hope everybody had a good time anyway. Lake Ann is a beautiful place to hike and it seems everybody knows about it. This was by far the busiest trail for me this year. Yes, we had to park along the road again at 8:45 am and when we finished the hike I checked out Artist Point and I have never seen it that busy before – cars along the road up to Artist Point as long as the eye could see. Anyway the hike was great, the cloud cover provided us some cooler temperatures in the morning. Like last Saturday during our lunch break at the lake it cleared off a bit and we could see the Lower Curtis Glacier of Mt Shuksan. On our way back everybody left me in the dust behind and I enjoyed the first Cascade blueberries (Vaccinium deliciosum) this year. Thanks to everybody who joined me today for the 8.8 miles and 2,000 ft elevation gain/loss hike.

Fritz

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Cascade Pass/Sahale Arm

Ten eager hikers headed for Cascade Pass (nine Members plus one guest) and all navigated

the 30+ switchbacks to reach the Pass.  The faster hikers arrived first, had lunch, and were

ready to continue upward towards Sahale Arm as the rest of us checked in at the Pass.  The

views at the Pass (and even on the way to it) were as spectacular as expected, but the four

Members who made it to high points above the Pass raved about the amazing views from

up there.  Some of the remaining six ventured upwards to the extent they were comfortable

with or remained mostly at the Pass, which was pleasantly cool and quite breezy.  Everybody

made it safely back to the trailhead after a challenging but very rewarding hike.

The road from Marblemount to the Pass is in excellent condition.  The first portion is well-paved,

and the remaining gravel portion is in very good shape, with nary a pothole to be found.  We

were fortunate in having excellent weather.  There were a few bugs, but they weren’t really

bothersome.  The whole day unfolded smoothly, with good communication and lots of

friendly interaction and banter. Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Al

Chain Lakes Hike 2022

Eleven MBC hikers turned out for my Chain Lakes loop hike. We met up at the Austin Pass/Heather Meadows picnic area. Three ambitious hikers proceeded up the Wild Goose Trail while the other eight of us shuttled up to Artist Point. We reassembled at the trail junction to Ptarmigan Ridge/Chain Lakes, and hiked down to Mazama Lake to enjoy a lovely lunch. Then we proceeded the rest of the way around the loop between the lakes and up to Herman Saddle, enjoying views of Mount Baker and Iceberg Lake below. Then we descended back to the parking lot, enjoying views of Bagley Lake and Shuksan. A gracious driver chauffeured us up to Artist Point to retrieve the two cars there. It was a beautiful clear day with stellar views of mountains all around, not too buggy, and only a bit hot in the sun in the rocky areas. Thanks to all who joined me! Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Cowap Peak Hike

So the promised temperature in the 70’s turned out to be in the mid-80’s, and the promised breeze to keep the flies away was cancelled due to supply train disruption or possibly Covid. It was hot and the flies were biting. However, 13 stalwart hikers made it up the short but brutally steep trail to the top of Cowap, where jaw-dropping vistas of jagged peaks met the eye in all directions. Chekamus Lake could be seen to the north. An eagle circled overhead. But it was uncomfortably hot to sit in the sun, and shade is scarce at the summit, so most of the party started down after a short stay, abandoning their leader. On the way down, swarms of little blue butterflies decorated a few small creek crossings, and larger swallowtails and fritillaries cruised around the summit and the meadows. The meadows were still at their best, but won’t last long. Blueberries are not ready yet. 

Thanks as always to those who came, and braved the heat and the flies and hardly complained at all. Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Owen

Penny says it was Cultus Lake, not Chekamus. My apologies.

Scott Paul Trail Hike 2022

We encountered the good/bad/ugly and excellent. The good: we knew that the Scott Paul Trail is not instagramized (I can make up words, can I) as well as the Park Butte Trail and most people are going up that fashionable trail. We crossed 4 people once we were on the Scott Paul Trail section. Probably lots of people were also going up all the way to Mt Baker. The bad: the forest road to the trailhead is really bad. The ugly: the parking situation at the trailhead is horrible. We had to park a mile down on the road side. The excellent: what do you think? The hike itself of course. Seven MBClers were venturing out to enjoy the Scott Paul Trail at perfect hiking weather. Every day you can observe Mt Baker and Mt Rainier and Glacier Mt and Mt Shuksan is a good day. Before you ask, we did not see 6 bears. No, we did not see 5 bears or 2 bears. We saw zero bears, but we had lots of fun crossing the new suspension bridge over Rocky Creek. Thanks to all the participants for another wonderful hiking day.

Fritz

Excelsior Peak Hike

Seventeen Members of the Club summitted Excelsior Peak in perfect weather today.

In leisurely fashion we skirted the Damfino Lakes, glittering in the morning sun. We then

worked our way gently uphill through shady forest before emerging into brilliant sunshine 

as we traversed a hilly meadow abloom with lupine, valerian, arnica, penstemon,

aster and various other wildflowers (thank you, Penny and Owen, for sharing some

botanical expertise!).  Upon reaching the base of Excelsior we first headed east towards

the High Divide Trail and then turned west onto a trail that brought us to the peak of Excelsior.

While lunching at the breezy summit we were treated to a magnificent 360-degree visual 

extravaganza starring the one and only Koma Kulshan, with Mt. Shuksan,  Bearpaw Mt., 

Church Mt., Cougar Ridge, and Skyline Divide excelling in supporting roles.  

Canyon Creek Road is in excellent condition, and there were no significant obstacles to

deal with on the trail. We expected some mud and lots of bugs, but the trail was in very

good shape and we encountered few bugs until the final half mile or so as we approached

the end of the trail. The wildflowers have yet to reach their peak, so the enchantment of

this hike may only increase during the coming few weeks.

I left my Iphone behind in the car, but Richard and others have offered to submit photos.

Al

Church Mt Hike 7/30/2022

Beautiful day, gorgeous views, wildflower meadows and a lovely group of MBC hikers. What more can you ask for a summer Saturday hike? About 9 miles and a bit shy of 4,000 ft elevation gain was just what 7 MBC hikers asked for. Some of you may think that’s not for a heat wave day, but I have to tell you it was by far not as bad as you think. O.K. we had to earn the breathtaking views with our sweat but we were mostly hiking at a 70 degree temperature. Just a normal summer hike!

This was our second attempt this year to summit Church Mt. and compared to the previous hike there was no more snow on the trail. The mountain slopes were green and full of mountain meadow wildflowers. All of us made it up to the peak and we were glad we were there again. Photos can be viewed om the MBC Flickr Album Page.

Fritz