Forum Index > Trip Reports > Boulder Ridge (Marmot Pass, ONP) well, almost  11/17/18
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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostTue Nov 20, 2018 9:47 pm 
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I was looking for somewhere to hike last weekend when I came across rubywrangler's Buckhorn report in the lazy trip report section.  Great photos BTW, you should check it out.  Anyway, I was shocked to see how bare it was up there!  Almost no snow, a week before Thanksgiving!  I asked my good friend Trevin to join me on a hike up Marmot Pass and up to Boulder Ridge for a sunset hike and he was down.  I calculated the time we'd need and we met in Olympia at a leisurely 9:15 and drove out to the trailhead.  We were on the trail by 11:30.

It was a bit cold, but we warmed up quickly after a few minutes on the trail.  Years ago we had done a couple backpacking trips up to Marmot Pass together, but neither of us had been on the trail in eight years.  I gotta say this trail is marvelously engineered!  The grade is so gentle you can barely tell you're gaining 3500ft elevation.  It only really feels steep a couple times.  It took us a bit over 2 hours to get to the pass where we stopped for a snack.

Big Quilcene River
Big Quilcene River
Big Quilcene River
Big Quilcene River
First view of Boulder Ridge
First view of Boulder Ridge
Last section of trail to Marmot Pass
Last section of trail to Marmot Pass
Marmot pass
Marmot pass

From there we headed south up the ridge and the views opened up!  Amazing views all around!  I had never been up this ridge before and was definitely impressed.  There was a trail too which we followed up and over point 6294 until we reached some difficulty at ~6400ft.  I had considered dropping down a couple hundred feet to the east into a gully and reaching Boulder Ridge that way, and maybe that would have been better, but we stuck to the ridge line and it was beginning to become clear that I had underestimated the terrain and the time it would take to cross.  I knew our summit bid was in jeopardy, and some of the terrain we agreed would not be pleasant to cross in the dark so we set a turn around time that would get us back across that section before dark and continued on the ridge.  Little did we know it, but class was about to be in session - Choss 101.  The Olympics are renowned for horrible choss, and I feel like I earned my bachelors degree last year on Mount Mystery.  Trevin was relatively uninitiated in Olympic choss and was about to get a full dose.  The final 100 feet up to the high point nub on the topo due west from Boulder Ridge's summit was a full on choss fest.  As soon as I started up I knew we weren't going to make it to Boulder Ridge so we made that little nub our high point and headed back looking for a cool spot on the ridge to chill for sunset.

Buckhorn
Buckhorn
Trevin making his way up the ridge
Trevin making his way up the ridge
Boulder Ridge w/ Constance and Warrior behind
Boulder Ridge w/ Constance and Warrior behind
Trevin on the ridge
Trevin on the ridge
Buckhorn, Iron, and Worthington through a rock window
Buckhorn, Iron, and Worthington through a rock window
Choss 101 - class is in session
Choss 101 - class is in session
yes, it IS as chossy as it looks
yes, it IS as chossy as it looks
Boulder Ridge and a snag
Boulder Ridge and a snag
Trevin, ready for another battle with choss
Trevin, ready for another battle with choss
Descending one of the harder parts
Descending one of the harder parts
Last little bit of choss
Last little bit of choss
Making our way back down the ridge
Making our way back down the ridge

Having called off the summit bid as soon as I knew we couldn't make it back through that nasty choss in daylight left us plenty of time to chill on the ridge and admire the amazing views during golden hour, sunset, and dusk.  It was an amazing sunset, one of the best I've seen all year.  After the sun set, dusk and blue hour was when things really got good.  Where the sun had set there has a vertical god ray straight up to the heavens, through layers of yellow, orange, and pink clouds with blue sky in the background.  To the east towards Glacier Peak the sky was a bright and vibrant orange and pink, and above both Buckhorn and Boulder Ridge was a lovely purple.  There was every color of the rainbow except green!  Why is that by the way?  Why is there no green for sunsets, but you get every other color?  Any it was phenomenal.  Aaaaaand my photos suck.  I mean, I was horribly disappointed with them.  They in no way whatsoever convey the awesomeness of that hour we spent up there, but here they are anyway and a few from Trevin.

This looks like a good spot to chill
This looks like a good spot to chill
Selfie, strolling through golden hour
Selfie, strolling through golden hour
Setting sun
Setting sun
Last rays of sun
Last rays of sun
Just after the sunset
Just after the sunset
Trevin is stoked about the show!
Trevin is stoked about the show!
Inner Constance w/ Stone and Skokomish
Inner Constance w/ Stone and Skokomish
Dusk colors and Boulder Ridge
Dusk colors and Boulder Ridge
Admiring the scenery
Admiring the scenery
That's me... taking some shots
That's me... taking some shots
Peak Colors
Peak Colors

We spent well over an hour admiring the colors in the sky until they faded, and then we headed back to the car which we reached by 7pm.  It was an awesome trip, and I already want to go back for the summit!  Oh, by the way not a single patch of snow up there.  Crazy!  Obviously that's going to change soon...

Last light on Boulder Ridge
Last light on Boulder Ridge
Ready to descend
Ready to descend
Trevin on descent
Trevin on descent

13.5 miles, 4400 ft gain, 7.5 hours
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Jake Robinson
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Jake Robinson
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 12:38 pm 
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Nice late-season trip! I also have to give rubywrangler credit for inspiring an Olympics trip, it was a great day to be over there. Fun to see you doing battle with that Olympic choss again, I know how much you love it...

Also I have to disagree, the photos do NOT suck!
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meck
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 4:22 pm 
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Lovely trip and photos (I'm rather jealous)!  Even if those shots didn't capture how beautiful it was, they still convey the evening well!

And yeah the route to take is down into the bowl on the east side (north of the ridge), then up to a notch/over a chockstone, then easy walk to the summit.

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*pain is just your body telling you "you're doing it wrong"*
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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostThu Nov 22, 2018 5:53 am 
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meck wrote:
the route to take is down into the bowl on the east side (north of the ridge), then up to a notch/over a chockstone, then easy walk to the summit

Ahhhh I suspected as much, but there was a trail so we just kept following it and then... choss happened.  lol.gif 

Good to know though, I'll definitely take that route when I come back.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Boulder Ridge (Marmot Pass, ONP) well, almost  11/17/18
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