Forum Index > Trip Reports > Stetattle Ridge (pt 6308) and Sourdough Mountain 3/21/19
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awilsondc
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PostSun Mar 24, 2019 7:08 pm 
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On the recommendation of a friend (thanks Jake!) I decided to tackle Stetattle Ridge on my mid week day off since the forecast was good.  I drove out to Diablo after work Wednesday night with the intention of hitting the trail right away.  I'd brought all my overnight stuff to crash for a few hours up there before sunrise, but when I finally got to the trailhead at 11pm I was kinda tired... and thinking about it I'd probably only get a couple hours of sleep anyway.  I decided to shave a good six pounds off my pack and crash in my car and do my standard early morning start, but after thinking about it it would have to be even earlier than usual.  1:30 is when I'd need to hit the trail so I set an alarm for 1 and curled up in the back of my Subaru, grateful for the rest.

I hit the trail pretty much at 1:30 on the dot.  It's so nice to be able to hike on actual trail again, at least for a bit.  I was feeling pretty good.  After 30 minutes and the first 1200 feet of gain I realized I had forgot my sun glasses in the car.   rant.gif  Damn, again?!  I wasn't going to go back, I'd have to make do.  No snow at all until 2000 ft, and then only small patches until 3000 ft.  There was a packed trail to follow until about 3800 ft where the fun began.  I put my snowshoes on and started heading up super soft mushy snow with a mostly unsupportive but sometimes supportive crust.  That meant every step I couldn't predict if I'd stay on top or break through into the mush.  This continued on for 1200 vertical feet which wiped me out.  After 5000 ft the crust became more and more supportive until it didn't break through at all anymore, a welcome relief!  The full moon was out, the SUPER WORM EQUINOX MOON (!!!) none the less!  I was happy to see the visibility of surrounding terrain and at least some manner of definition on distant terrain.  I have a night trip planned later this year that will utilize moonlight, and feel much better about it now.  I made my way up to point 6308 on Stetattle Ridge, collecting a Nalgene bottle that someone had dropped along the way.  I started to head over to point 6495 but after the first up and down I realized, this was going to add a lot of time to my day... time I'd be out in the bright sun without sunglasses.  I turned around and hunkered down on point 6308 for sunrise.

dark
dark
moon light
moon light
twilight
twilight
moon shadow
moon shadow
selfie
selfie

I mostly just hung out and took pictures.  Blue hour was nice with purple tones above the pickets and an orange glow above Jack.  There were only a few clouds in the sky above Logan and Buckner, but they accentuated the scenery nicely.

colors emerge
colors emerge
Stetattle Ridge
Stetattle Ridge
Glee
Glee
Logan
Logan
sun nearing the horizon
sun nearing the horizon
North Cascades panorama
North Cascades panorama

As I was waiting for the sun to break the horizon over Jack, I looked back and noticed some alpenglow hitting the pickets!  This is such a fun time in the mountains for me.  I really like it.  I took a bunch more photos and soon the sun broke the horizon.

Redoubt - Moxes
Redoubt - Moxes
Fury - Elephant's Butte - Luna
Fury - Elephant's Butte - Luna
Sunrise and Moonset
Sunrise and Moonset
sunrise
sunrise
sun burst
sun burst

Golden hour was also lovely, with light hitting Davis in the face and illuminating the rest of the terrain.  All in total, I probably spent a good two hours up there taking photos and soaking in the views.  Soon it was time to depart.  I strapped snowshoes on my numb feet and started heading down the ridge.

golden light on Davis
golden light on Davis
light reaches the pickets
light reaches the pickets
Glee and McMillan Spires
Glee and McMillan Spires
Snowfield group
Snowfield group
daylight
daylight
illuminated Davis
illuminated Davis


Without sun glasses I'd make a mental picture of the terrain and see how many steps I could take with my eyes closed.  I usually got to 20-30 before taking a quick peek.  I didn't really want to go for Sourdough, but it was right... there...  I know from experience I'd regret not tagging it, so I headed off and it went really quick.  Only ~15 minutes from the ridge.  The views were great, but not as good as from Stetattle.

looking back towards Sourdough
looking back towards Sourdough
Snowfield
Snowfield
Logan - Buckner
Logan - Buckner
views on the way to Sourdough
views on the way to Sourdough
me hiking back to my camera
me hiking back to my camera
looking south from Sourdough
looking south from Sourdough
Sourdough panorama
Sourdough panorama
steepest part of the trip
steepest part of the trip
last shot of Davis
last shot of Davis

I stayed maybe 20 minutes before heading back.  There was one steep part on a knife edge ridge that I did facing in with snowshoes on which was interesting.  The mushy snow section was much better on the way down.  About 15 minutes from the car I sat down for some reason.  I leaned back on my backpack and thought, you know this is kinda comfy.  I cat napped for 10-15 minutes right there on the trail before getting up and finally reaching the car.  11 hours round trip with pleeeeenty of lounging, gawking, relaxing, and taking photos.  I think it's like 11 miles 5800 gain?  I didn't keep track.  I also didn't see a single person the whole day.  Great trip!
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSun Mar 24, 2019 9:13 pm 
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The pics are nice, but I can't even imagine how cool it must have been to be up in that terrain illuminated by moonlight.  A moonlit ascent of Fricaba in the Olympics was one of my coolest experiences ever.
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lovetowonder
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PostSun Mar 24, 2019 9:24 pm 
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Thank you for sharing these pictures. They gave me some envy but also joy and wonder! Wow, way to time it right with the full moon.
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Jeff
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PostSun Mar 24, 2019 9:32 pm 
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This is why I have car sunglasses and backpack sunglasses.
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Nancyann
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PostSun Mar 24, 2019 10:26 pm 
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Superb! You have really outdone yourself with these gorgeous photos, Aaron.
And during the Super Worm Equinox Moon, no less!
I forgot my sunglasses today too, but since it was raining all day it didnít seem to matter. rolleyes.gif
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Brushwork
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PostSun Mar 24, 2019 10:39 pm 
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Wow what beautiful views!!! Just amazing.   Thankyou for sharing !!!

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When I grow up I wanna play.
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iron
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PostSun Mar 24, 2019 10:49 pm 
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for some reason your pano of the n. cascades with logan centered and colonial basin in front makes me think how crazy it is that colonial basin had a huge glacier in it.

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

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Anne Elk
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PostMon Mar 25, 2019 12:41 am 
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Love seeing all the changes from moonlight thru sunup.  Just grand. I think you might have some 2020 calendar photo contest entries in there.  And I continue to be amazed at folks who sleep at trailheads...and I thought I was an early bird hiker b/c I like to leave the house before sunup.  zzz.gif

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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awilsondc
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PostMon Mar 25, 2019 6:46 am 
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olderthanIusedtobe, lovetowonder - The moonlight was quite grand!  I could walk without a headlamp a good 2 1/2 hours before sunrise.  I'm sure the snow helped reflect some of that moon light, but it was very cool.   smile.gif

Jeff, Nancyann - Yeah... those sunglasses.  I've had more issuses with sunglasses than any other piece of equipment I own.  Lost, forgot, dropped, had knocked off my face by a tree branch pinned by snow that I triggered...  I'm totally going to use Jeff's strategy of a dedicated backpack pair!

Thanks Brushwork, Anne Elk!  I'm going to have a hard time selecting just one photo for March next year! 

Iron - I hope these glaciers stick around for future generations!  Colonial is one I've wanted to climb ever since my first trip down highway 20 years ago.  Maybe this year!
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silence
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PostMon Mar 25, 2019 6:56 am 
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Stunning! Great effort getting up there! Beautiful collection of photos!

The money shot IMO!
awilsondc wrote:
twilight
twilight


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PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. Ė Bob Dylan
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Bootpathguy
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PostMon Mar 25, 2019 9:51 am 
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awilsondc wrote:
moon light
moon light

That's really cool! If you hadn't explained the image, most would think it's a sunny daytime photo with really crappy exposure.

Reminds me of my first, "Super", something moon hike. Think it was the "Super Duper Purple Mega Moon" or something like that.

Left the car @ midnight, moon already high in the sky. Hiked without headlamps. Arrived at our location around 3:30 am. Sipped quality tequila and watched the sunrise with mountain goats just a few feet away.

Thats what I love about some of these TR's. Brings back some really good memories.

Thanks for sharing

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RichP
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PostMon Mar 25, 2019 9:52 am 
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Spectacular location and photos. I made point of doing a night hike too during the supermoon but only on some hills near my home.

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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GaliWalker
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PostMon Mar 25, 2019 10:25 am 
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Spectacular!

Jeff wrote:
This is why I have car sunglasses and backpack sunglasses.

Me too. Additionally, after losing my second pair of sunglasses on a hike - related to taking them off during picture taking - I've got my backpack pair on a strap.

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
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Stefan
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PostMon Mar 25, 2019 2:07 pm 
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spectacular!

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Art is an adventure.
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nordique
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PostMon Mar 25, 2019 4:31 pm 
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Wow, one of the best and best-photographed TR's I've ever seen on this site--and I've been on this site for many decades!  Do you post photos to your own photo site somewhere?
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