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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 4022 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostFri Feb 02, 2007 1:13 am 
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Barometer Mountain has yielded many winter trips for me, but this was the only trip that had views.  The first attempt reached the summit after Stefan and Alton valiantly broke trail through fresh snow, but was covered with clouds.  The second attempt stopped at Mazama Dome in dense fog after Ian broke a snowshoe.  Two subsequent trips diverted to other destinations due to concerns about avalanche danger.  This time the way was all clear, both for snow conditions and for views.

The route to Barometer has its ups and downs, and its acrosses.  Is “acrosses” even word?  Well it’s supposed to be the plural of “across.”  We went down from the parking lot (4250), across Bagley Lakes (4150), up to Herman Saddle (5300), down to and across Hayes Lake (4778), and up the ridge to Barometer (5763), and then the whole thing back in reverse.

Barometer Trip Map
Barometer Trip Map

Making the trip on a Monday, we found the entire Bagley Lakes basin virtually paved over with ski tracks from the weekend, but hardly a soul to be seen today.  In fact we only saw one other party before we crossed Herman Saddle and were alone for the rest of the day.  Beyond Herman Saddle, only a single ski track showed any sign of human visitors this weekend.

Lots of ski tracks along Bagley Lake
Lots of ski tracks along Bagley Lake
Approaching Herman Saddle - really lots of ski tracks
Approaching Herman Saddle - really lots of ski tracks
Pristine snow beyond Herman Saddle - Iceberg Lake & Mt. Baker
Pristine snow beyond Herman Saddle - Iceberg Lake & Mt. Baker

Herman Saddle is oddly named, because it’s actually the saddle between Table Mountain and Mazama Dome, rather than the saddle to nearby Mount Herman.  It’s a dramatic setting, because it’s the first place you see the dominant peaks in opposite directions – Shuksan above Bagley Lake to the east and Baker above Iceberg Lake to the west.   It also holds special memories for me because it’s the first mountain pass that my son Daniel hiked across.


Matt at Herman Saddle
Matt at Herman Saddle
Daniel near the same spot in Fall 2003
Daniel near the same spot in Fall 2003

We angled down on the slopes right of Iceberg Lake to reach Hayes Lake and trekked across its flat surface to the col northwest of point 5166.

Three snowshoers on Hayes Lake - one on the far side (at upper right), two as shadows from the ridge (at lower right)
Three snowshoers on Hayes Lake - one on the far side (at upper right), two as shadows from the ridge (at lower right)
Hayes Lake with Barometer Mtn in the distance
Hayes Lake with Barometer Mtn in the distance
Do my legs look fat?
Do my legs look fat?

From there we just followed the ridge crest to the summit of Barometer. The ridge had a few brief steep sections.  The summit was very windblown and cold, so we tagged it quickly and dropped back down low enough to enjoy a more comfortable lunch.

Tracks on the ridge to Barometer
Tracks on the ridge to Barometer
Tea at lunch looking back up to the summit
Tea at lunch looking back up to the summit
Jay, Richard, & Eric below the summit
Jay, Richard, & Eric below the summit

The summit did provide a good view of the line of peaks bracketing Herman Saddle:  the high ridges of Slate, Herman, & Mazama left of the saddle; the long flat of Table Mountain right of the saddle, and Shuksan dominating the skyline directly above the saddle.

Barometer summit view: Slate, Herman & Mazama
Barometer summit view: Slate, Herman & Mazama
Barometer summit view: Mazama, Shuksan, & Table
Barometer summit view: Mazama, Shuksan, & Table
Tree icicles near the cold summit
Tree icicles near the cold summit

On the way back across Hayes Lake, I enjoyed the particularly fine afternoon light slanting above us to light up the long cliffs of Table Mountain and the bands of bright clouds above.

Returning across Hayes Lake
Returning across Hayes Lake
Table Mountain from Hayes Lake
Table Mountain from Hayes Lake
End of the lake, beginning of the sky
End of the lake, beginning of the sky

By the time we climbed back up to Herman Saddle, gray clouds hid the sun, but a few bits of colored light leaked through to accent the peaks as they fell into shadow.

Sastrugi near Herman Saddle
Sastrugi near Herman Saddle
Baker falling into shadow
Baker falling into shadow
Shuksan falling into shadow
Shuksan falling into shadow

Round trip 7 miles, 3800 feet cumulative gain (with extra 900 feet ups and downs each way), 7 hours.

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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silly_traveler
~ roaming ~



Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Posts: 1525 | TRs
Location: kirkland
silly_traveler
~ roaming ~
PostFri Feb 02, 2007 1:41 am 
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stun.gif  Beautiful pictures  up.gif

I like the winter vs. summer one at Herman Saddle  smile.gif

--------------
♫ You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  And you're the one who will decide where you'll go.  Oh the places you'll go. - Dr. Seuss
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 13088 | TRs
Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostFri Feb 02, 2007 7:40 am 
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One day I will be tech enough to have maps like this included in my reports.  Great stuff!
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trailjunky
Backcountry Bumpkin'



Joined: 14 Jun 2004
Posts: 1124 | TRs
Location: timberline
trailjunky
Backcountry Bumpkin'
PostFri Feb 02, 2007 6:58 pm 
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Great trip, nice pics.  Love the last shot of Shuksan! up.gif
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Trevor
Member
Member


Joined: 31 Jan 2004
Posts: 1564 | TRs
Location: Edmonds, WA
Trevor
Member
PostFri Feb 02, 2007 9:09 pm 
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A particularly nice rendering of the season's  soft light. From winter scenes chalked with contrast to a more muted palette, the featured work serves to vicariously quench the tongue thirsty for winter scenery. The abstract focus in the vertical shot really allows one to be drawn to the striking details that typify an unruptured-February blanket.

If there were a more appropriate time for tea. . .

--------------
Trevor Anderson Photography
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yew
non-technical



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 1163 | TRs
Location: Bellingham
yew
non-technical
PostFri Feb 02, 2007 10:28 pm 
Wow!
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Wow! that trip was quite an accomplishment! up.gif   This spat of clear, cool, dry weather stabilizes the avalanche hazard to not so hazardous.  My relationship to Barometer Mtn is based on its wide, open avalanche swaths on its lower west-facing slopes on the Wells Crk Rd..

You didn't see but one set of ski tracks beyond Herman Saddle because the snow has been so poor for skiing for the last week or so.  That's one benefit of snowshoeing over skiing;  "Good snow" is not as much an issue for snowshoeing as it is for skiing.

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"I aint jokin woman, I got to ramble...We gonna go walkin through the park every day." - Led Zeppelin
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 4022 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostSat Feb 03, 2007 12:34 am 
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It's funny how often the best photos offer themselves at times when I thought the conditions were wrong.  Late in the day, I was disappointed that the sun hid behind a band of hazy clouds in the west.  But the soft light and shadowed peaks, accented with a few hints of color where the sun reached through, were actually much more appealing than the harsh contrast from direct sunlight.

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Beave
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Dec 2001
Posts: 276 | TRs
Location: Woodinville
Beave
Member
PostSat Feb 03, 2007 5:57 pm 
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Thanks for the TR Matt. I'd like to get to Barometer one of these days and your write-up will be a good inspiration and guide.

Beave
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Barometer Mountain 1-15-07
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