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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostSun Nov 24, 2019 10:07 pm 
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The forecast was looking grim for the weekend, with a narrow window of good weather Saturday morning.  The forecast looked good around the Mount Saint Helens area so I set out Saturday morning for the Norway Pass trailhead to catch a sunrise and climb a couple mountains.  The google maps route took me through Glenoma instead of Randle which I thought odd, I tried to get it to give the the route that goes through Randle but it wouldn't route that way so I just trusted it would get me there.  It didn't.  When I ran across a closed logging gate a good half an hour off of highway 12 I knew I had to quickly come up with a plan B.  I knew I'd need something short in order to make it to any kind of view for sunrise and High Rock Lookout came to mind.  It was close enough and a short enough hike.  I calculated how long it would take to get there and I would just barely make it so I hustled over to the trailhead and started my hike by a little after 6:30.

I hiked at a decent clip and made it to the summit in about 40 minutes, taking a couple photos along the way.  Sunrise was nice, would have been nice to have a few more clouds in the sky but it was nice to chill at the lookout for a few minutes.  I thought about what to do with the rest of my day and thought about climbing Mt Wow which was near by and I hadn't done, but the thought of slogging out a bunch of gain in a forest / bushwhack didn't sound too appealing.  Plummer Peak came to mind.  The Tatoosh range was near by and always has great scenery through out the whole hike.  I went with the repeat with good scenery over the new peak with no views until the top.  I packed up and headed back to the car, then on to Mount Rainier National Park.

Adams with dawn colors
Adams with dawn colors
Sun nearing the horizon
Sun nearing the horizon
Rainier from the lookout
Rainier from the lookout
Sunrise
Sunrise
Looking to the mountain
Looking to the mountain
First light on Rainier
First light on Rainier
High Rock Lookout
High Rock Lookout
Rainier and High Rock
Rainier and High Rock
Long way down
Long way down
Last view of Rainier
Last view of Rainier

Normally for Plummer Peak you'd park at Reflection Lakes and start at the Pinnacle Saddle trail across the road, but the road to Reflection Lakes is closed during the winter season.  To get to Reflection Lakes you have to park at Narada Falls and hike an extra mile and a half to the start of the Pinnacle Saddle Trail.  So that's what I did.  Narada falls was nice, but super icy by the view point from all the frozen spray.  Reflection Lakes was starting to freeze over, still reflective but with visible ice crystal patterns all over the lake.  I hiked to the end of Reflection Lakes and took some photos.  Clouds were really started to moving and I suspected that any views from up on Plummer were quickly diminishing.  I had the though to just head back to the car and skip Pinnacle, so I started heading back the way I came.  My legs didn't like that idea though and started taking me up the Pinnacle Saddle trail so, I obeyed the call and followed their lead.

Narada Falls
Narada Falls
Reflection Lake
Reflection Lake
ICE!
ICE!

After a bit in the forest, the trail breaks out with views of Rainier.  It was just as beautiful as I had remembered.  This is definitely one of my favorite easy trails in the National Park.  Most of the trail was snow covered.  I had microspikes with me, but never felt the need to put them on.  Soon I reached the saddle and was greeted with views out towards Mt Adams, and over east to Unicorn.  A couple steep sections of snow almost had be breaking out my spikes, but I found a way and soon found myself on the summit!

Snow covered trail
Snow covered trail
A melted section of trail
A melted section of trail
Just as gorgeous as I remember it
Just as gorgeous as I remember it
First views of Plummer
First views of Plummer
Frozen trail
Frozen trail
Nearing the saddle
Nearing the saddle
Pinnacle Saddle
Pinnacle Saddle
Plummer Peak
Plummer Peak
Unicorn and Boundary
Unicorn and Boundary
Pinnacle Peak and The Castle
Pinnacle Peak and The Castle
Goat Rocks
Goat Rocks

I love the views from up here.  There were clouds mooving in from the west.  Low clouds, that would crash into the east Tatoosh peaks and dissipate as they poured over the mountain tops.  It was mesmerizing to watch.

Clouds dissipating
Clouds dissipating
West Tatoosh Peaks
West Tatoosh Peaks
Adams
Adams
Layers - St Helens
Layers - St Helens
Summit pano east
Summit pano east
Summit pano west
Summit pano west

I probably spent close to an hour on the summit taking the views before it was time to head back.  The views were just as good on the way down.

St Helens lurking
St Helens lurking
Tahoma
Tahoma
Back at the saddle again
Back at the saddle again
Some peaks across the way
Some peaks across the way
Trail back from Pinnacle Saddle
Trail back from Pinnacle Saddle
Love this view!
Love this view!

I popped back over to Reflection Lake to takes a few more photos since the sky had really cleared up.  It was looking like sunset would be a good one.  I really wanted to head up to Paradise for the show, but the gate leading out of the park closes at 5 (sunset was 4:30) and I didn't think it could make it out if I stayed for sunset so I started back for the car.  On the way back I took the loop up and around to Ruby Falls which had a cool icicle octopus clinging to the center of the falls.  I made it back to my car, and back out of the park with plenty of time to spare.  Not a bad day for a plan B!

Reflection Lake
Reflection Lake
Reflection Lake pano
Reflection Lake pano
Log on Reflection Lake
Log on Reflection Lake
Cascades
Cascades
Ruby Falls 1
Ruby Falls 1
Ruby Falls 2
Ruby Falls 2
Ice bubbles
Ice bubbles
Lane from the road
Lane from the road
Pinnacle from the road
Pinnacle from the road
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williswall
seeking tailwind



Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 1659 | TRs
Location: Bellevue, WA
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PostSun Nov 24, 2019 10:32 pm 
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awilsondc wrote:
Clouds dissipating
Clouds dissipating

This is a beautiful photo

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"You run with me, not the other way around. (Cassie re races)

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moonspots
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PostMon Nov 25, 2019 8:20 am 
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awilsondc wrote:
High Rock Lookout
High Rock Lookout
Pinnacle Saddle
Pinnacle Saddle
Trail back from Pinnacle Saddle
Trail back from Pinnacle Saddle

Some spectacular shots! I quite enjoyed this descriptive report.

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"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



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Have camera will use
PostMon Nov 25, 2019 9:07 am 
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awilsondc wrote:
Adams
Adams

Spectacular! That little cloud just below and to the right of the summit is perfect.

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
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silence
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PostMon Nov 25, 2019 3:55 pm 
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Yummy ... delicious shots!

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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. Bob Dylan
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Jake Robinson
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Jake Robinson
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PostMon Nov 25, 2019 6:54 pm 
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awilsondc wrote:
The google maps route took me through Glenoma instead of Randle which I thought odd, I tried to get it to give the the route that goes through Randle but it wouldn't route that way so I just trusted it would get me there.  It didn't.  When I ran across a closed logging gate a good half an hour off of highway 12 I knew I had to quickly come up with a plan B.

Eric and I had a very similar experience Saturday morning trying to get to the same basic area. Google Maps was taking us who knows where on some old logging road and we ended up ditching the app and using Eric's road atlas (gasp!) which of course worked fine. Funny I had also considered going to High Rock and Wow that day. Great shots as usual.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > High Rock Lookout, Plummer Peak (MRNP) 11/23/19
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