Forum Index > Trip Reports > Larch Hunting at Ice Lakes, Mt Maude, & N Spectacle Butte
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
Justus S.
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 1148 | TRs
Location: WA
Justus S.
Member
PostFri Oct 17, 2008 7:39 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I've been waiting for the report, nice! It was cool running into you guys.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 4046 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostSat Oct 18, 2008 12:58 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Three Lessons I Learned from this Trip:

  1. Be careful what you wish for; you might get it.
  2. Take the detours.  Go see whatever there might be to see.
  3. Prepare to be delighted.  Enjoy whatever you discover.  What you get might be even better than what you expected.

1st Careless Wish: Ever since I first say Ice Lakes on a trip in 1994, I’ve wished to see the lakes with fresh snow and golden larches.  Result:  In every one of four subsequent trips during larch season, I’ve been obstructed by deep snow or fresh storms.  But it’s been an entertaining quest anyway.

Saturday

Leroy Basin

Trailhead Group
Trailhead Group

Delightful Discovery: The trees had much more color remaining than I had expected.

Jack Mountain
Jack Mountain
Mt. Maude
Mt. Maude
Seven
Seven
Hillside above the gully
Hillside above the gully
The gully
The gully


Delightful Discovery:
There was just enough new snow to frost the rocks above and coat the basins below.

Frosty Crest (Maude)
Frosty Crest (Maude)
Snowy Basin (with Buck & Glacier)
Snowy Basin (with Buck & Glacier)

Delightful Discovery: Walking through the larches was wonderful, as always.  The light reflected off the colored needles made the very air itself feel rich and comforting.

Trail
Trail
Amid the larches
Amid the larches
Hiking with larches 1
Hiking with larches 1
Hiking with larches 2
Hiking with larches 2
Hiking above larches
Hiking above larches

Delightful Discovery:  Even when fallen from the trees, the larch needles scatter like artwork amid the snow, heather, and blueberries.

Larch Needle Art 1
Larch Needle Art 1
Larch Needle Art 2
Larch Needle Art 2

Ice Pass

Delightful Discovery:  Finally, instead of steely cold grey and black, Upper Ice Lake was bright blue in the sunshine.

Upper Ice Lake
Upper Ice Lake
Upper Ice Lake & Spectacle Buttes
Upper Ice Lake & Spectacle Buttes
Maude & Upper Ice Lake Basin from Ice Pass
Maude & Upper Ice Lake Basin from Ice Pass

Mt. Maude

We descended a couple hundred feet, switched to lightweight summit packs, and most of the group ascended Maude.

Looking back to our packs and companions below Ice Pass
Looking back to our packs and companions below Ice Pass
Ascending
Ascending
Nearing Maude’s summit
Nearing Maude’s summit
Maude Summit Group
Maude Summit Group

Not So Delightful Discovery:  Clouds were rapidly building up from the west.

Clouds west of Glacier Peak
Clouds west of Glacier Peak
Shadows below Jack & Fernow
Shadows below Jack & Fernow


1st Fruitful Detour:
Descending Maude, I angled over to the steeper east edge of the slope, which gave me a view of both of the lakes.  The high contrast with the snow made the lakes look like black voids, but I enjoyed seeing their shapes in context with the peaks beyond.

Upper Ice Lake from Maude
Upper Ice Lake from Maude
Lower Ice Lake from Maude
Lower Ice Lake from Maude
Ice Lakes & Ice Creek Valley
Ice Lakes & Ice Creek Valley

Upper Ice Lake

We descended back to our packs and made a camp at Upper Ice Lake.

Delightful Discovery:  Back at the packs, Tom & Justus greeted us as they passed by on their fast day trip.

Spectacle Buttes Falling into shadow
Spectacle Buttes Falling into shadow
Descending to Upper Ice Lake
13 labels
Descending to Upper Ice Lake
Larch & Sky
Larch & Sky

Evening Recon

2nd Fruitful Detour: After dinner I went roaming out along the shore of Upper Ice Lake, dropped down to the bench above Lower Ice Lake, and followed the bench back past Middle Ice Pond to camp.

Several Discovered Delights:
* The outlet stream tumbled down its steep cleft in series of short falls and rapids, including a perfect secluded waterfall-fed pool.
* The overcast evening light made the larches glow with soft light like warm blazes in the cool gray landscape.
* The still surface of the middle pond reflected all the peaks in the last bit of fading life as I walked by.

Waterfall Pool
Waterfall Pool
Waterfall Pool and Ice Ridge
Waterfall Pool and Ice Ridge
Icebox Peak
Icebox Peak

Sunday

2nd Careless Wish: I wanted it to not be frigidly cold overnight.  Result: Thick clouds moved in and covered the summits, providing a warming blanket of air that raised the temperature overnight.

Camp on Sunday morning
Camp on Sunday morning
Breakfast
Breakfast

Traverse to Lower Ice Lake via Middle Ice Pond

Several Discovered Delights:
* Despite the ominous wind and clouds, almost everyone was willing to try for North Spectacle Butte anyway.
* Ptarmigans!  My favorite mountain bird!  Even better, these ptarmigans were midway in transition from brown to white, their white feather with bits of brown and black making a perfect match for the brown and black rocks amid the white snow.
* Sneaking past one side of the clouds, bright sun lit up the crest line of Ice Ridge in the storm-freshened clear air.
* Scores of scattered boulders decorated the near end of Middle Ice Pond.
* Calmer water at the far end of Middle Ice Pond made pretty reflections of even small details.
* Some surprisingly large larch trees stood on the heights above Lower Ice Lake.
* Sizable stands of larches dropped steeply down into the Entiat Valley.
* Fallen larch needles filled the tracks of previous hikers.

Middle Ice Pond & cloudy summits
Middle Ice Pond & cloudy summits
Ptarmigans
Ptarmigans
Plump Ptarmigan
Plump Ptarmigan
Skinny Ptarmigan
Skinny Ptarmigan
Icebox Reflection in Middle Ice Pond
Icebox Reflection in Middle Ice Pond
Ice Ridge Reflection in Middle Ice Pond
Ice Ridge Reflection in Middle Ice Pond
Lower Ice Lake
Lower Ice Lake
Larch tracks
Larch tracks

North Spectacle Butte Ascent

Easy slopes and ridges led all the way to the top of North Spectacle.

Un-Delightful Discovery: The wind was roaring across the ridges, especially in the Maude-Spectacle Col.  Going up the final slope, I was afraid to even get out more clothes, for fear that anything I unfastened would be whipped away by the wind.  Fortunately, the summit itself was less windy.

Delightful Discovery:  There were small larches all the way up on top.

Ascending North Spectacle Butte (note hiker at col)
Ascending North Spectacle Butte (note hiker at col)
Windy Ascent
Windy Ascent
North Spectacle Butte summit group
North Spectacle Butte summit group
Highest larch on North Spectacle Butte
Highest larch on North Spectacle Butte

North Spectacle Butte Descent

Delightful Discovery: The clouds lifted.  The sun came out.

Descending
Descending
Lakes emerging from clouds
Lakes emerging from clouds

Lower Ice Lake

Delightful Discovery:  Lower Ice Lake has an especially enticing peninsula and island.

Lower Ice Lake while descending
Lower Ice Lake while descending
Lower Ice Lake
Lower Ice Lake
Lower Ice Lake Island
Lower Ice Lake Island

3rd Fruitful Detour: On returning to Lower Ice Lake, I detoured around the shore the peninsula for a swim.  Besides the fun swim, this detour also brought me to the golden shoreline.

3rd Careless Wish: I wanted to swim to the island in Lower Ice Lake.  However, I forgot to wish for the cold wind to stop.  It was a great swim anyway.

Swimming
Swimming
Swimming Back
Swimming Back

Delightful Discoveries while Swimming:
* The water was surprisingly comfortable, enough that I swam back and forth a bit extra.  (However, the waves that occasionally slapped me in the face were not so delightful.)
* The island was fun to visit.  I was originally going to just swim, but the island was too tempting, even if it meant getting out in the cold air.  Much of the ground turned out to be soft pumice, perfect for running around in bare feet.
* The swim felt great afterward – a brief chill while drying off, but then I felt thoroughly refreshed and invigorated.

Best Delightful Discovery of the Trip:  Two items individually seemed quite un-delightful – constant winds by the lake, and larches that had already lost most of their needles.  But the two together produced something extra special – a golden shoreline of floating larch needles outlining the whole downwind curve of the lake.

Golden Shoreline
Golden Shoreline
Golden Shoreline panorama
Golden Shoreline panorama
Lower Ice Lake Outlet
Lower Ice Lake Outlet

On the hike back along the Lower-Middle lake bench, many of the earlier delights looked even better in the bright sun.

Lower Ice Lake Vicinity
Lower Ice Lake Vicinity
Big larches & North Spectacle Butte
Big larches & North Spectacle Butte
Larches & South Spectacle Butte
Larches & South Spectacle Butte
Rocks in Middle Ice Pond
Rocks in Middle Ice Pond
Middle Ice Pond & sunny summits
Middle Ice Pond & sunny summits

Upper Ice Lake

Delightful Discovery:  The bright day make Upper Ice Lake shine in rippling shades of color, everything from deep navy to bright teal.

Upper Ice Lake
Upper Ice Lake
Upper Ice Lake pan
Upper Ice Lake pan

Ice Pass

The shifting, wind-ruffled waters of the lake continued to display stunning varieties of blue as we ascended.

Ready to leave camp.
Ready to leave camp.
Hiking back up to Ice Pass
Hiking back up to Ice Pass
My shadow bidding farewell to Upper Ice Lake
My shadow bidding farewell to Upper Ice Lake
Upper Ice Lake Basin
Upper Ice Lake Basin
Ice Pass Cairn
Ice Pass Cairn

Leroy Basin Exit

Delightful Discovery: I thought it would be less interesting going back down Leroy Basin, but the sunlight shining from the opposite side lit up new aspects of all the trees and slopes.

Larches to the west
Larches to the west
Larches to the east
Larches to the east
Larches Near & Far
Larches Near & Far
A bit of red meadow at the corner
A bit of red meadow at the corner
Berries & grass
Berries & grass

Back at the Car

A mouse shredded some papers in my trunk again, and chewed holes in one of my favorite shirts.
Along the drive home, my odometer reached 123456.

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 3731 | TRs
Location: Pittsburgh
GaliWalker
Have camera will use
PostSat Oct 18, 2008 8:01 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Matt, thanks for the photo of that "delightful" pool just below Upper Ice Lake, near the top of the falls - one of the fondest memories from my only visit to Ice Lakes. Your photos are wonderful!

--------------
'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography site: http://galiwalker.zenfolio.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Don
Member
Member


Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 2015 | TRs
Location: Fairwood, WA
Don
Member
PostSat Oct 18, 2008 2:12 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
What a great collection of pictures everyone!  up.gif  Those larches look magnificent.

Quote:
We tried to settle down again but sometime around 1-2AM things started to get real interesting.  The winds started blowing with some gusts hitting our tent so hard that the side would cave in and the fabric hit us in the face.

Yeah, I can relate to that exact experience!  I thought my tent was the only one with this feature.  hockeygrin.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
MtnManic
Member
Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2008
Posts: 439 | TRs
Location: Kirkland WA
MtnManic
Member
PostSat Oct 18, 2008 5:17 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Drool!  I guess I'm going to have to get back into shape for backpacking - I wish I had been there.

Beautiful pictures!

--------------
Backpacking: limited to one pack at a time.  Cameras: limited to as many as I can carry.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ingunn
Hiking Viking



Joined: 01 Feb 2008
Posts: 1754 | TRs
Location: Redmond
Ingunn
Hiking Viking
PostSat Oct 18, 2008 5:24 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Matt, amazing photos!!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Bedivere
Why Do Witches Burn?



Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 6934 | TRs
Location: The Hermitage
Bedivere
Why Do Witches Burn?
PostSun Oct 19, 2008 11:14 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Matt wrote:
Who is Mad Monty?  While I was hiking alone past Middle Ice Pond in the evening, some guys on the opposite side had built a big campfire (right underneath a large larch, damn them).  They yelled across and asked if I was Monty.

Heck if I know who he is other than some hairy, hippy lookin' dude I crossed paths with on the Entiat trail.  He said to look his photo albums up on Google and this is what I came up with:

http://www.pbase.com/mad_monte1

Gotta be him, can't imagine there's more than one character calling themselves "Mad Monte" in Ardenvoir.

--------------
Photo Portfolio
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Yana
Hater



Joined: 04 Jun 2004
Posts: 3995 | TRs
Location: Out Hating
Yana
Hater
PostSun Oct 19, 2008 5:10 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I actually have one photo that is not exactly a "repeat" of those already posted.



Stupid lighting.

--------------
PLAY SAFE! SKI ONLY IN CLOCKWISE DIRECTION! LET'S ALL HAVE FUN TOGETHER!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Just Todd
Trowel Owl



Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Posts: 226 | TRs
Location: here.
Just Todd
Trowel Owl
PostFri Oct 24, 2008 9:53 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
FINALLY  shakehead.gif  I'm getting around to my own reply.

Thanks (again) y'all for a (another) great trip.

Sorry I was a slug on Saturday - school has really zapped my energy as of late. Nothing like a good nights rest in freezing temps and gale force winds to refresh one's self - Sunday was better energy wise.

Tired or not, I couldn't' pass up that area with fresh snow and golden larches. I'd figured we'd get good views (and photos) but it was better than what I'd envisioned.

Alas, I still have yet to load my photos onto Flickr and then to here. It may never happen, or maybe I can do so after this quarter is done in December. We'll see. But you guys pretty much captured the experience head-on.

Oh, and the questions about Mad Monte must be right in that this is most likely him. I'm jealous of his vintage stove collection! http://www.pbase.com/mad_monte1/image/54963414 Bastard! A collectible I'm holding off on starting myself due to a severe lack of space.

Back at ya when I can.

--------------
Sunset is an all day process.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
MtnGoat
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2001
Posts: 9745 | TRs
Location: Lyle, WA
MtnGoat
Member
PostFri Oct 24, 2008 8:14 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Wow. Probably the single most memorable set of trip pics I can remember seeing in quite some time. The combination of the weather, the season, the light snow on everything, and stellar photography from all concerned made this a top notch TR. Wow.

--------------
Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
steve_podleski
Member
Member


Joined: 19 Sep 2007
Posts: 281 | TRs
Location: mukilteo
steve_podleski
Member
PostMon Oct 27, 2008 1:49 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Great, great trip reports and fabulous fotos!  I was on day hike through Spider Meadows and up to Larch Knob that Sat; did not make Spider Gap because the sun was too low and I wanted to be back to the trailhead because dark.  Did anyone save a GPS track of your treks?  If yes, is there a site to download the .gpx files?
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Tazz
Member
Member


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 7911 | TRs

Tazz
Member
PostMon Oct 27, 2008 2:19 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
nice images matt!!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > Larch Hunting at Ice Lakes, Mt Maude, & N Spectacle Butte
  Happy Birthday mtnrider, PetDrAndrea, Quest for Adrenaline, hikejon!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy