Did the White Pass - PCT - Pilot Ridge loop this weekend. Campsites at White Pass & Blue Lake were as full as you'd expect for Labor Day weekend but most folks were on their best behavior. Mosquitos are mostly gone but a bumper crop of biting flies showed up at times. Still a decent amount of water flowing around White Pass/Red Pass and on the way south to Dishpan Gap. Much drier between Blue Lake & the N Fork Sauk - one very small stream at ~3800 feet between Pilot Ridge and the river, but otherwise bone dry for ~11 miles. Blue Lake High route is steep (poles suggested for the way down) but not too hard to navigate. Flowers are past peak but berries are going wild.
Thanks for the beta, Hutch!
Aaron, I loved your collection of photos from your trip with your wife!
Yesterday I had a hunch that we would find clearer skies up on the Cascade Crest, so I twisted Hiking Partnerís arm and we did an exploratory scramble/veggie belay attempt to a lake we have been researching just west of the crest near Stevens Pass. Our attempt failed, but we did find blue skies and fresh air! As a consolation prize we visited Lake Valhalla, which we hadnít seen since Thanksgiving Day. Hardly anyone was there and it was sublime.
Hibox mountain was misty and ethereal yesterday morning. Fall is descending on us quickly. Most views to the Chimney group were socked in, unfortunately. Summit block scramble is fun but there is an exposed move on the normal (easy) scramble route that I wouldn't want to do if wet. Still patting myself on the back for downclimbing bits of it successfully. Signed the summit register and left a note about the tooth I chipped on a branch on my ascent!
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