Forum Index > Trip Reports > Baldy & Domerie (USGS Kachess Lake) 1/1/2018
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 4087 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostTue Jan 02, 2018 11:38 pm 
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Date:  New Year's Day, 2018
Destination: Baldy 5107 & Domerie 4717 (USGS Kachess Lake)
People:  Matt, Carla (Dicey), Elle (Snowdog)
Dogs:  Isabel

What a way to start the year!
We started out in fog, but then ascended to brilliant frosted trees just barely above the clouds.

This is what makes winter camping worthwhile.  We had to walk an extra 1.6 miles to the trailhead, and deal with cold weather, but the winter cover made the ridge crest beautiful, in a way that the summer of view of lowlands by I-90 couldn't match.

The best part was hiking right at the margin between clouds and sunshine, where the last faint haze of fog brushed a magical mystical glow around the bright trees.


The evening before was a fine New Year's Eve celebration with Sadie's Driver, Middle E, BarbE & Tom, Snowdog & Rob, Dicey, & myself.

We took the usual winter route – hike the closed road 1.6 miles to the trailhead at 2250 feet, then Trail 1212 (Easton Ridge) across Silver Creek to the junction at 3500 feet, then left on Trail 1308.2 (Domerie Divide) to the ridge crest at 4900 feet, then right on Trail 1308 to Mt. Baldy.  We lucked out and found a beaten track already in place all the way to Baldy.  Along the way, we occasionally saw a blue patch in the clouds above, but feared they might just be sucker holes.

GPS Track
GPS Track
New Year's Eve in Wenatchee
New Year's Eve in Wenatchee
My new Forester at its second trailhead ever
My new Forester at its second trailhead ever
Good luck reading this sign at the Easton Ridge – Domerie Ridge junction
Good luck reading this sign at the Easton Ridge – Domerie Ridge junction
Hiking up the foggy forest
Hiking up the foggy forest

Around 4500 feet, the magic began.  Misty clouds slowly parting to reveal gorgeous frosty trees.  Then we ascended into  bright sun above the clouds.  And then we wove back  in and out of the diaphanous clouds, like a fantastic montane dance of veils, tantalizing and revealing all the wonderful magic of the winter terrain, so that around every corner was a new discovery of how beautiful it could be.

coming up to the top edge of the clouds
coming up to the top edge of the clouds
the edge between blue and gray
the edge between blue and gray
the mix of sun and fog
the mix of sun and fog
Blue sky above
Blue sky above
Bright trees above
Bright trees above
A wave of clouds washing up onto the mountainside
A wave of clouds washing up onto the mountainside
Ring around the sun
Ring around the sun
The roiling ocean of clouds below us
The roiling ocean of clouds below us
a beautiful frosty tree
a beautiful frosty tree
Izzy playing
Izzy playing
Taking a break in the sun
Taking a break in the sun
me too
me too

The hike on the ridge crest provided more dancing between clouds and sun, as it dipped and curved toward the summit.

Hiking up to the crest
Hiking up to the crest
magic trees
magic trees
ring around the sun
ring around the sun
hiking in wonderland
hiking in wonderland
tracks through the trees
tracks through the trees
edging back into the cloud
edging back into the cloud

The trees just looked extra cool glowing through the fog.


Hiking on the edge between blue sky and radiant clouds:


Near the summit we climbed into clear air, with high clouds now decorating the blue sky above.


At Baldy's summit, I only paused briefly for photos because I wanted to visit Domerie as well.  Carla and Elle stayed longer to drink hot tea and enjoy the view.  They said they'd be okay meeting me at the car later because
there was a case of beer and bag of potato chips available.

Carla and Elle on Baldy summit
Carla and Elle on Baldy summit
Looking back down the ridge we came up
Looking back down the ridge we came up
Bears Breast, Hinman, & Daniel above a sea of clouds
Bears Breast, Hinman, & Daniel above a sea of clouds
Stuart, Sherpa, Argonaut, Colchuck, Dragontail, Little Annapura, McClellan above a sea of clouds
Stuart, Sherpa, Argonaut, Colchuck, Dragontail, Little Annapura, McClellan above a sea of clouds
Rainier
Rainier

Domerie's summit was completely cloud-shrouded.  The wind must blow there steadily around that corner, because everything was coated with thicker rime.  I paused only briefly in the windy cold, then dropped back to a calmer area in the woods where I could make some hot tea for my return journey.

on the way to Domerie
on the way to Domerie
Domerie summit rime
Domerie summit rime
Domerie views
Domerie views
Frosted icicles giving a history of the weather – snow, then melt, then frost
Frosted icicles giving a history of the weather – snow, then melt, then frost
I haz tea
I haz tea

On the windswept ridge back to Baldy, it was fun to see my tracks climb out of the clouds.

rainbow halo around the sun
rainbow halo around the sun
tracks emerging from the fog
tracks emerging from the fog
sunnier skies ahead
sunnier skies ahead
back above the clouds
back above the clouds

As I continued along the crest, the lowering sun cast a warmer tone across the tops of the trees.

sun descending toward Rainier
sun descending toward Rainier
late afternoon light
late afternoon light

Going back down the trail, the sun took on a more golden glow, as it edged toward the clouds.

evening light through the trees
evening light through the trees
end of the first day of the year
end of the first day of the year

The well-beaten trail was easy to follow down.  I descended the last thousand feet by headlamp, then walked the road by moonlight back to the car.

Stats: 12.7 miles, 3990 gain, 8:45 hours
102 photos = average 1 photo every 5.1 minutes


Driving directions:  Take I-90 exit 70, cross to the north side of the highway, turn left on the access road, and then turn right FS 4818, and turn left onto Road 203 to the trailhead. Basically, turn at any junction that says Kachess Dam or FW4818.  The  FS 4818 road is groomed for winter travel and closed to motorized access beyond its junction with the access road.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Gimpilator
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Member


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 1179 | TRs
Location: Edmonds, WA
Gimpilator
Member
PostWed Jan 03, 2018 6:24 am 
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Nice looking trip Matt.   up.gif   Congrats on the new Subaru.

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http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Jeff
Ramen Elitist



Joined: 18 Aug 2008
Posts: 2665 | TRs
Location: Someone get me out of Everett, WA
Jeff
Ramen Elitist
PostWed Jan 03, 2018 9:20 pm 
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That's a good looking ridge. Did you see any signs about parking or permits? It looks like it's a legal spot to park for a day or two but it's always a crap shoot in winter.
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 4087 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostWed Jan 03, 2018 11:26 pm 
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There is no sign about parking or permits.  There is a sign stating that the road beyond that point is groomed for winter recreation and is closed to all motorized travel except snowmobiles.

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 8946 | TRs
Location: Wenatchee
wildernessed
viewbagger
PostThu Jan 04, 2018 5:13 am 
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up.gif Those are the winter conditions i'm waiting for yesterday surprised me by being a blue sky day while not forecasted (should have looked at satellite imagery). Nice !

--------------
Living in the Anthropocene
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BarbE
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Joined: 28 Jul 2006
Posts: 1010 | TRs

BarbE
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PostThu Jan 04, 2018 9:15 am 
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Wonderful TR and ethereal shots! My favorite kind of magical winter scenery.
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Snowdog
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 922 | TRs
Location: on (& off) the beaten path
Snowdog
Member
PostThu Jan 04, 2018 9:56 am 
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Way to wax poetic~.   It was magical in a way only winter provides.  I luv snow!  As does my Isabel... wub.gif

--------------
'we don't have time for a shortcut'
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RichP
sin rumbo



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 3914 | TRs
Location: Seattle
RichP
sin rumbo
PostThu Jan 04, 2018 10:14 am 
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My vocabulary is expanding just reading your report.

diaphanous- adjective
(especially of fabric) light, delicate, and translucent.
"a diaphanous dress of pale gold"
synonyms: sheer, fine, delicate, light, thin, insubstantial, floaty, flimsy, filmy, silken, chiffony, gossamer, gossamer-thin, gauzy; translucent, transparent, see-through
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Baldy & Domerie (USGS Kachess Lake) 1/1/2018
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