Forum Index > Trip Reports > Park Butte and Railroad Grade 09-10-06
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1801 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostMon Sep 11, 2006 10:08 am 
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Well, back to one of my favorite destinations... it seems I was here exactly one year ago with the Everett Mountaineers group.

This year, I had the privilege of spending a spectacular day on the trail with "Smartboard" and "Wetshoe".  I don't think either are members here, but that's not important.

One is a well traveled alpinist and the other is an avid outdoor recreationist... excluding hiking.

Originally, the plan was for Wetshoe and I to visit Park Butte, which I was confident would be a great first hike for him.  On Saturday we discussed the upcoming outing with Smartboard and he was thrilled to join us.

Once on the trail, blueberries were abundant and bugs were not.  Great combination!  Sunny skies from the get-go, but Mt. Baker was cloud covered.

At the split for Park Butte or Railroad Grade, Smartboard was confident the clouds would clear shortly and he encouraged us to take the RR grade trail and we could hit Park Butte later in the day if we all felt up for the additional elevation and mileage.

Smartboard's prediction was dead on.  We proceeded upward past high camp until the trail petered out.  From there we attempted to cross westward to get a view of the Deming Glacier... but periodic rock falls and a touchy canyon wall scramble and small snow patch crossings left us with another 1/4 to 1/2 mile remaining to our intended viewpoint.  Tired, hot and intimidated by rockfalls, we ditched our Deming Glacier view and made our way back toward the Easton Glacier.
Men of Baker
Men of Baker

Met a solo hiker high up on RR Grade... big hiking stick and a large tripod in hand.  He continued upward for some shots and we saw him later descending safely.

Lots of Marmots on the RR Grade trail.  Up close and personal.
Easton Marmmot
Easton Marmmot

Met a group of four on the RR Grade, taking a break and taking some pictures.  We offered to take a group shot of them - hopefully they turn out well.

We returned to the Park Butte trail junction, took a little break and then opted to give Park Butte a try.  Just over 30 minutes later we reached the lookout (thank you Skagit Alpine Club for the new roof... nice job!).  Just as we arrived, a group of four was starting their return trip... with Rosie, the Woodmansee's dog.  That's a popular name up in this neck of the state.

Had another break in the same spot as last year and then began our descent.

Met up with solo-photographer man again... still going strong!  NWHiker member?  Always curious.

Smartboard led us to the little tarn where we snapped some shots from a location made popular by a local photographer.  After taking my favorite shot of the day... my camera beeped the dreaded message:  CARD FULL!   doh.gif   It's Ok though, the final shot did get saved.  up.gif

Popular Photo Opp
Popular Photo Opp

See Cinnamon's recent pics - they're exceptional!
As we reached the log-bridge creek crossing we encountered a solo hiker dealing with some vertigo issues.  We offered assistance, but she managed to ultimately make a safe crossing of the creek and resume her journey.

My GPS read 12.1 miles for the day.  Downloading our route to TOPO! showed a few bumbled waypoints (due to the trees along the switchbacks) and reported a cumulative elevation gain/loss of about 5,500 feet.  I expect that after I fix the waypoints the number will be about 4,500 - 4,750 feet.

Great day, great company... but I need to stop forgetting the sunscreen!

Thanks Wetshoe and Smartboard for joining me and making for a memorable outing.

~Elvis

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"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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Davidą
Token Canadian



Joined: 25 Jul 2002
Posts: 3045 | TRs
Location: The Great White North
Davidą
Token Canadian
PostMon Sep 11, 2006 10:49 am 
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Good Stuff! - Thanks for Sharing  smile.gif

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Warning! Posts may contain traces of sarcasm.

Hiking Website: http://members.shaw.ca/karenanddavid/Index.htm
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plain old dan
Member
Member


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 272 | TRs
Location: Tualatin Oregon
plain old dan
Member
PostMon Sep 11, 2006 11:21 am 
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Love the marmot shot!
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1801 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostMon Sep 11, 2006 12:04 pm 
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Thanks D&K and M!

That Marmot was quite the poser.  He let me capture the left side, right side and center.

He'd scramble off his rock, only to return 30 seconds later... again and again.

~E

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"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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Trevor
Member
Member


Joined: 31 Jan 2004
Posts: 1564 | TRs
Location: Edmonds, WA
Trevor
Member
PostTue Sep 12, 2006 5:42 pm 
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Thanks for your report, Elvis. I was in the area yesterday. The day delivered exactly what I was needing ,granted the relative failures of the last couple weeks. I had a little trinket of solitude while up in the lookout.Of my three trips there, this was the first that featured lookout visitation. I could imagine it being a near-ideal way to view baker at the prime hours. I was a little disappointed, however, that all but one of the window walls were boarded up. I found lookout mt.'s lookout to be a tad more impressive in certain regards.

I also scrambled down to pocket lake to see how the perspective of baker was. The scramble killed just enough time so that my return to the top coincided with sunset lighting. One of the better days in recent memory.

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Trevor Anderson Photography
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1801 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostWed Sep 13, 2006 6:29 pm 
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We contemplated (briefly!) heading down to Pocket, but we 1) already had our fill of elevation for the day and 2) were not sure if there was a trail down there or if it would be off-trail.

Glad you were able to capture the images you were seeking.
Keep 'em coming!

~E

--------------
"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Park Butte and Railroad Grade 09-10-06
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