Forum Index > Trip Reports > Ramparts Again 11/23/07
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
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Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostSat Dec 01, 2007 2:24 am 
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Rachel & Rampart Lakes, 11/23/07
Party: Matt, Mike T, Lynn G, Richard B

What a difference just eleven days can make.  In the time since my previous Rampart Lakes trip, the waters froze, new snow fell, and the skies cleared.

Date:                    11/12                                  11/23
Sky:                      Cloudy, Dim, Gray                  Clear, Bright, Blue
Precip:                  Freezing Rain                        Dry
Trail:                      Bare or Slush                        Ice or Snow
Waterfalls:            Running                                Frozen
Rachel Lake:          Dark Wind-Blown Waves       Shiny Clear Fresh Ice
Rampart Lakes:      Gray Ice patterned               White Snow patterned
                              with White Snow                  with Tree Shadows
Horizon:                Gray Mist                              White Peaks
Hiker:                    Chilly                                    Comfy
Photos:                  Blurry                                  Sharper
Satisfaction:          High                                      High

Valley Trail:
11/12
11/12
11/23
11/23

Creek Waterfall:
11/12
11/12
11/23
11/23

Cliff Waterfall:
11/12
11/12
11/23
11/23

Rachel Surface View:
11/12
11/12
11/23
11/23

Rachel Elevated View:
11/12
11/12
11/23
11/23

Tea Tarn:
11/12
1 label
11/12
11/23
11/23

Waterfall Lake:
11/12
11/12
11/23
11/23

Waterfall Lake downlake:
11/12
11/12
11/23
11/23

Christmas Lake:
11/12
11/12
11/23
11/23

Zen-Christmas Channel:
11/12
11/12
11/23
11/23

Zen Island
11/12
11/12
11/23
11/23

Zen Lake:
11/12
11/12
11/23
11/23

Long Lake South Island:
11/12
11/12
11/23
11/23

Ripples on Long Lake:
Looking uplake 11/12
Looking uplake 11/12
Looking downlake 11/23
Looking downlake 11/23

Rampart Outlet Creek:
11/12
11/12
11/23
11/23

(Further down I've added new posts with more pics and the story of today's trip, inlcuding a dim ending.)

--------------
ďAs beacons mountains burned at evening.Ē J.R.R. Tolkien
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Scrooge
Famous Grouse



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 6964 | TRs
Location: wishful thinking
Scrooge
Famous Grouse
PostSat Dec 01, 2007 5:21 am 
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What a neat idea, Matt.       up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

And superb execution.         agree.gif

Now if you just had a warm and toasty selfportrait from 11/23 ..........

Matt cold, wet ....... and happy
Matt cold, wet ....... and happy

--------------
Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you....... Go and find it. Go!
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Dayhike Mike
Bad MFKer



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 10979 | TRs
Location: Going to Tukwila
Dayhike Mike
Bad MFKer
PostSat Dec 01, 2007 7:27 am 
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Nice! I like the contrast between the two sets of pictures....

--------------
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke
"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." -Solomon Short
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Gil
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Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 3627 | TRs

Gil
Member
PostSat Dec 01, 2007 9:07 am 
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Cool report! Nice to see people still getting out.

--------------
Friends help the miles go easier.
My most interesting images
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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 22765 | TRs
Location: Cle Elum
Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob
PostSat Dec 01, 2007 9:12 am 
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Really nice work Matt. up.gif

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

ó Abraham Lincoln
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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 8913 | TRs
Location: Wenatchee
wildernessed
viewbagger
PostSat Dec 01, 2007 10:49 am 
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up.gif Nice, the snow laden forest is awesome and refreshing to be out in.
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Bryan K
Shameless Peakbagger



Joined: 29 Sep 2005
Posts: 5065 | TRs
Location: Headed west soon
Bryan K
Shameless Peakbagger
PostSat Dec 01, 2007 10:54 am 
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Amazing what 11 days can do up in the mountains. Thanks for posting comparison pictures, cool idea up.gif

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www.youtube.com/bkraai | www.flickr.com/photos/bkraai/sets/
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Gabigabs
Trail Breaker



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 844 | TRs
Location: Seattle
Gabigabs
Trail Breaker
PostSat Dec 01, 2007 2:41 pm 
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Awesome. Thanks.

--------------
Life is simple... Eat, Sleep, Hike!
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 4070 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostMon Dec 03, 2007 1:02 am 
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Earlier I posted comparison photos from this trip and my previous trip eleven days earlier.
Now here's the story of how today's trip went, plus photos unique to this day.


The trail began in morning shadow, but blue skies promised hope above the trees and sunshine slid down the valley walls toward us.  The recent clear calm weather was evident all around.  Several inches of undisturbed powder snow flocked the wide needles of the conifers and perched in cottony fluffs on the bare limbs of the brush in the avalanche tracks.  The creek was lined with ice and steamed golden where the morning sun struck.

Icy Misty Morning Creek
Icy Misty Morning Creek
Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland
Frosty Lynn
Frosty Lynn

Creek crossings had narrowing channels of water running over and under the ice, all contoured in flowing shades ranging from crystal clear to thickening gray-green to frosty white.  At one crossing, the ice was just thick enough to hide the stepping stones, but too thick to support hikers, making for a chilly splash-dash passage..

Icy Creek
Icy Creek
Icy Creek Crossing
Icy Creek Crossing
Step Fast!
Step Fast!

The rapids and waterfalls were a frenzy of frozen spray, hanging icicles, and layered coats of ice.  The trail required creative footwork in many sections, where runoff had frozen to hard ice.

Switchback Waterfall
Switchback Waterfall
Freezing
Freezing
Crossing below the Cliff Waterfall
Crossing below the Cliff Waterfall
Frozen waterfall rock face
Frozen waterfall rock face
Outflow with Icicles
Outflow with Icicles
Icicles
Icicles

Rachel Lake was a surprise.  Eleven days ago it was dark wind-ruffled water.  Today it was flat calm ice, banded by successive rings of of snowy ice, gray ice, and crystal clear brand new ice.  From above it reflected the sun with eye-watering brightness.  As we hiked higher, the sunís impact filled the valley below with a sea of fog.

Banded Rings of Rachel
Banded Rings of Rachel
Bright Rachel
Bright Rachel

Up at the Rampart Lakes, the snow had fully overrun the lakes.  Only the contours of the shoreline and islands marked the location of each lake.  Under clear skies, the trees cast long shadows across the lakes, and the surrounding peaks stood up around the horizon.

Tarn 2
Tarn 2
Tarn 2 Hiding in the Snow
Tarn 2 Hiding in the Snow
The peaks are out!
The peaks are out!

Now, however, I experienced a shocking betrayal.  At the first major lake, my companions sat down on a comfortable snowy viewpoint and declared that they were perfectly content to just relax there for a break and then head back down.   Apparently they werenít thrilled at the idea of descending the icy trail after sunset.  But what about my ambition to circumnavigate all the lakes and find a high point for viewing them all?  Isnít that more important than a few falls on hard slick steep ice?  How to resolve this terrible divergence of goals?

[b:d2ab5080f1][color=blue:d2ab5080f1]Passel of Lazy No-Account Denali-Wearing Traitors[/color:d2ab5080f1][/b:d2ab5080f1]
Passel of Lazy No-Account Denali-Wearing Traitors

The rest of the story is just a little farther down the page.

--------------
ďAs beacons mountains burned at evening.Ē J.R.R. Tolkien
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Tazz
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
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Tazz
Member
PostTue Dec 04, 2007 7:15 pm 
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love the comparison shots Matt!  COOL!
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 4070 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostWed Dec 05, 2007 12:34 am 
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The Rest of the Story

So the mutineers relaxed and I hurried.  They wandered a bit and proceeded back at a leisurely pace, detouring toward the opposite end of the ridge to watch some hikers on Alta.  I scurried around the lakes as fast as I could, racing from one photo vantage to another.

I skirted the upper end of Waterfall Lake, where the waterfall still kept an oval of water open.  Above the waterfall, Christmas Lake was just a flat surface of white snow, except for its outlet pool.  The channel between Christmas & Zen Lakes was speckled with snowy rocks and bright sheets of ice, reflecting Alta in the distance.  Rows of icicles stretched across the rock bands above.

Waterfall Lake
Waterfall Lake
Shadows on Waterfall Lake
Shadows on Waterfall Lake
Alta Mountain above Channel between Christmas & Zen Lakes
Alta Mountain above Channel between Christmas & Zen Lakes
Icicles on the Rocks Above
Icicles on the Rocks Above

I headed up point 5530 to get a view above the lakes:

Rachel Lake & Hibox Mountain
Rachel Lake & Hibox Mountain
Waterfall Lake Outlet
Waterfall Lake Outlet
Long Lake & Thompson
Long Lake & Thompson

Shadows outpaced me back along the Zen Lake shoreline.  By 2pm, the low winter sun had already dropped behind the ridge crest.

Zen Lake from Above
Zen Lake from Above
Shadows Stretching Across Zen Lake
Shadows Stretching Across Zen Lake

I circumnavigated Long Lake by hiking up the far side to check the farthest pools.

Tree Shadows on Long Lake with Hibox
Tree Shadows on Long Lake with Hibox
Pools at North End of Long Lake
Pools at North End of Long Lake
Frozen Ripples of Snow on Long Lake
Frozen Ripples of Snow on Long Lake

Then I paused for a self-portrait and tea, and rejoined our tracks for the trip out.

My Shadow on Tarn by Long Lake
My Shadow on Tarn by Long Lake
Warmer than last time
Warmer than last time
Tea at Tarn 2
Tea at Tarn 2

Rachel Lake and the valley formed matching seas of ice and fog.  The last bit of open water at the lakeís end caught reflections of the ridge above.

Rachel Lake
Rachel Lake
Meeting of Fog & Ice
Meeting of Fog & Ice
Rachel Reflection
Rachel Reflection

Then it was down from sunlight into the valley sea of fog.

Late Light on Hibox
Late Light on Hibox
Misty Frozen Waterfall
Misty Frozen Waterfall

I guess Iíve lived too long in the Pacific Northwest.  The dim misty forest felt relaxing and friendly, like a comfortable blanket wrapping around me as I hiked out.

Trees in the dark mist
Trees in the dark mist
Forest disappearing upward into the fog
Forest disappearing upward into the fog
Ghost Brush
Ghost Brush

--------------
ďAs beacons mountains burned at evening.Ē J.R.R. Tolkien
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TrailPair
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TrailPair
Member
PostWed Dec 05, 2007 10:04 am 
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We have been waiting for your report!  Good stuff! up.gif

Just look at what those mutineers (or mousceteers) missed. cool.gif

--------------
This thing called work is interfering with my play
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touron
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touron
Member
PostWed Dec 05, 2007 6:24 pm 
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Nice photos.  You demonstrated great strategy in handling the mutiny.  In days of yore the general would scuttle his ships, thus necessitating the march forward.  What would the modern day equivalent of this be--impounding the snow shoes?

--------------
Touron is a nougat of Arabic origin made with almonds and honey or sugar, without which it would just not be Christmas in Spain.
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Scrooge
Famous Grouse



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: wishful thinking
Scrooge
Famous Grouse
PostThu Dec 06, 2007 9:47 am 
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What a difference a day makes.       agree.gif

Matt cold, wet ....... and happy
Matt cold, wet ....... and happy
Matt warm, dry ...... and happy
Matt warm, dry ...... and happy

--------------
Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you....... Go and find it. Go!
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostThu Dec 06, 2007 12:52 pm 
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Wow, Torok must be gettin' old.  Why back in my day, that boy'd be all over them thar hills.

I like your summit tea photos.  They all very similar - I mean it is a cup of tea - but I like them anyway, and would think something's amiss without 'em. up.gif

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Ramparts Again 11/23/07
  Happy Birthday JVT!
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