Forum Index > Trip Reports > Two Hikes at Mt. Rainier 7.28-29.07
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Hesman
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Hesman
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PostSun Jul 29, 2007 3:07 pm 
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After nearly a month of PMing and working out the details a weekend at Mount Rainier was organized. The main course of the day was to hike from Mowich Lake to Tolmie Peak to watch the sun set over the Olympics and the Puget Sound and watch the moon rise over Mount Rainier. It was also planned that a day hike to Spray Park would take place before making the trip to Tolmie Peak.

I was super dooper excited to see that there were no clouds in the sky as I drove up the road to Mowich Lake. This meant that it would be a great show on top of Tolmie Peak this evening. But, alas, it didn't turn out this way. The cloud gods must of had something against me, because about three hours after my Sinmobile and I rolled to a stop at Mowich Lake clouds started accumulating around Mount Rainier.  huh.gif  The cloud gods just had to give me heck.

Luckily I arrived at Mowich Lake early enough to claim a campsite. After setting up my tent I went in search for the rest of the people I would be hiking with. I soon found Bryan and Iceman725 well embedded at a campsite nearby. We spent a short amount of time learning real names and not screen names. I went off to get some more stuff from my Sinmobile when I found Twister walking to the campground. There were so many cars that Twister had to park a quarter of a mile down the road from the parking lot. One of the NPS rangers said that Saturday was the busiest this summer at Mowich Lake.

Once we had all BS'd and set up camp, Twister and I took off towards Spray Park with Bryan and Iceman725 to catch up later. Twister and I made good time to Spray Falls, which was just jam packed with hikers. After checking out the falls we made our way up the trail towards Spray Park. Roughly in the middle of Spray Park, Twister and I found a spiffy spot to eat lunch and cross our fingers that we would get a decent view of Mt. Rainier. All Mt. Rainier did was play peekaboo with us through the clouds.  frown.gif  This means I will have to make another trip to Spray Park for a better view of the surrounding landscape.

Twister and I decided to return to Mowich Lake so we could eat an early dinner and get ready for our evening walk to Tolmie Peak. We almost reached Spray Falls when we met Bryan and Iceman725 hiking up the trail towards Spray Park. Bryan informed us that he and Iceman725 had met the last two people of our Tolmie Peak group, DooderMange and his hiking companion. The four of them planned to meet Twister and I in a couple of hours at Mowich Lake and then set out for Tolmie Peak.

Twister and I had a good dinner and about an hour after we had returned to our campsite Bryan and Iceman725 returned to eat dinner as well. DooderMange and his hiking companion hadn't returned to Mowich Lake yet when we ready to leave. We wondered where they were and we hoped they would catch up with us. We found out later in the evening that DooderMange had decided to spend a little more time at Spray Park. Especially since he's a Kansas transplant and that there aren't many really big hills in Kansas like Mt. Rainier.  lol.gif

Anyways we trudged off into the clouds with our fingers crossed that it would lift about the time we were to watch the sun set and the moon rise. There was quite a large field of Avalanche Lilies near Eunice Lake. Where the trail switchbacks above Eunice Lake is a really large field of Bear Grass and I have never seen such a large field of Bear Grass. We all wondered if bears really eat Bear Grass or not.

At Tolmie Peak we discovered that there was a NPS volunteer at the lookout. We got to check out the original fire finder (the map has been update since the fire finder was put in the lookout) and Bryan talked lookouts with the volunteer. There were a few late evening hikers at the lookout and the soon left since it was a bit cold. We did get a sneak peek of the Puget Sound when the clouds lifted high enough. We never did see Mt. Rainier, the sun set or the moon rise.  bawl.gif  bawl.gif

up.gif  up.gif  to NPS volunteer Flash Panolini for being very gracious, having an interesting conversation through the lookout windows and for putting up with 4 goofy people camped out on the catwalk for several hours.  biggrin.gif

We had a good walk out in the dark and wondered along the way back to Mowich Lake, "Are we there yet?"

The following morning, I was up early (5:15) because of a child in a neighboring tent asking his/her parents persistent questions.  huh.gif  After eating breakfast and BSing for a few hours I made my way home. Bryan took off to do a loop hike with Iceman725 in tow for a few hours before he had to return home. Bryan had a few days off from work. Lucky dog!  agree.gif  Twister left about the same time I did and DooderMange and his hiking companion planned to do a little more hiking before heading home.

What happens at fire lookouts stays at fire lookouts. Bryan would probably disagree with this and probably will post some incriminating pics.  paranoid.gif  paranoid.gif

Considering I bought a $130 digital camera, I was really impressed with the pics it took.  biggrin.gif

Spray Falls
Spray Falls
Trailside waterfall
Trailside waterfall
Rainier plaing peekaboo
Rainier plaing peekaboo
More peekaboo
More peekaboo
Lupine and Bumblebee
Lupine and Bumblebee
Trailjunky inspired mountain porn
Trailjunky inspired mountain porn
Lousewort
Lousewort
Tiger Lily
Tiger Lily
Eunice Lake
Eunice Lake
Eunice Lake #2
Eunice Lake #2
Eunice Lake from above
Eunice Lake from above
Avalanche Lily
Avalanche Lily
Tiger Lily and Eunice Lake
Tiger Lily and Eunice Lake
Lots and lots of Bear Grass
Lots and lots of Bear Grass
Tiger Lily & Tolmie Peak
Tiger Lily & Tolmie Peak
Tolmie Peak Fire Lookout
Tolmie Peak Fire Lookout
Tolmie Peak Lookout Fire Finder
Tolmie Peak Lookout Fire Finder
North from Tolmie Peak
North from Tolmie Peak
Best Puget Sound view we had
Best Puget Sound view we had
Shoes for Silly Traveler
Shoes for Silly Traveler
Only UFO's grow at night
Only UFO's grow at night
L to R: Bryan, Iceman725 & Twister
L to R: Bryan, Iceman725 & Twister
Eunice Lake at night
Eunice Lake at night
More UFO's!
More UFO's!
Help! Even more UFO's!
Help! Even more UFO's!
Avalanche Lilies iluminated by headlamp
Avalanche Lilies iluminated by headlamp
Mowich Lake
Mowich Lake
Mowich Lake Ranger Station
Mowich Lake Ranger Station
Woolly Eriophyllum
Woolly Eriophyllum
Mountain Alder
Mountain Alder

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You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. - Abraham Lincoln
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. - Dr. Seuss
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TPayne
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Joined: 06 Dec 2006
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TPayne
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PostSun Jul 29, 2007 9:16 pm 
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Thanks for the invite HJT. Too bad those low clouds and fog never lifted. It would have been quite a show with the moon rising over Rainier. We'll definetly need to try again soon.

Today in Spray Park, the clouds were socked in pretty heavy. A few small patches of blue sky gave a ray of hope, that never turned out. I followed Bryan until 6300 feet. He descended into Seattle Park, and I headed back to Mowich Lake. Only 1 tent remained, and it was 50 degrees with drizzle. The road became a muddy mess in spots.

Here's a few additional pics:


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http://tompayne.smugmug.com
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MCaver
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MCaver
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PostSun Jul 29, 2007 10:59 pm 
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Iceman725 wrote:

Spray Falls  up.gif
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Solo Steve
Harry Mudd wannabe



Joined: 07 Jun 2006
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Location: Federal Way
Solo Steve
Harry Mudd wannabe
PostMon Jul 30, 2007 1:04 am 
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ditto.gif  Compared to my last visit last September, Spray Falls are most impressive! Nice pic.
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boot up
Old Not Bold Hiker



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 4539 | TRs
Location: Bend Oregon
boot up
Old Not Bold Hiker
PostMon Jul 30, 2007 2:01 pm 
same day, same mtn, different world
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Mt Rainier is just plain a big ole mountain!  Did I get the dates right?
I was up there hiking on saturday the 28th on the Sunrise side and we seemed to get different weather!

We also did 2 hikes, but easy days hikes combined into one.  Did the 1&2 Burroughs, came back the glacier view route (with only a tiny spot of dicey snow crossing) then hiked the Palisades lake trail for the flowers.

Marmot pair
Marmot pair
Palisades Lake trail, end of July 2007
Palisades Lake trail, end of July 2007
Sunrise views
Sunrise views
View from the burroughs on Sunrise side of Mt Rainier
View from the burroughs on Sunrise side of Mt Rainier
View of 3rd Burrough from 2nd.  End of July on Rainier from Sunrise side
View of 3rd Burrough from 2nd.  End of July on Rainier from Sunrise side
View from the trail, just one step to get to the Glacier below.....
View from the trail, just one step to get to the Glacier below.....

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friluftsliv
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Tom
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Tom
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PostMon Jul 30, 2007 2:04 pm 
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Cool looking lake.  Looks like more than just one step though.
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boot up
Old Not Bold Hiker



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
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Location: Bend Oregon
boot up
Old Not Bold Hiker
PostMon Jul 30, 2007 2:46 pm 
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Tom wrote:
Cool looking lake.  Looks like more than just one step though.

Naw, its just one STEP. Then its just a bunch of bouncing and rolling and sliding.  eek.gif

The trail has a pretty impressive amount of exposure considering how easy access it is for the "flip-flops and pepsi can" set.

The snow patches on the climb up to the burrough were relatively easy without quite the same vertigo inducing dropoff to the side, even though the effect of a slip would probably not be a lot different. 
Just a tiny patch of snow, and a few hundred vertical feet slide if you slip
Just a tiny patch of snow, and a few hundred vertical feet slide if you slip
Good trail....just don't slip or trip.....
Good trail....just don't slip or trip.....
Climbing up to the Burroughs in July. Just a couple of patches
Climbing up to the Burroughs in July. Just a couple of patches

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friluftsliv
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Bryan K
Shameless Peakbagger



Joined: 29 Sep 2005
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Location: Headed west soon
Bryan K
Shameless Peakbagger
PostMon Jul 30, 2007 5:52 pm 
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Well I've returned from my Mother Mt loop to add my .02 worth to this thread. HJT thanks for the invite for a great day/night at Mowich & Tolmie. Too bad about the weather at the lookout, but still a great time anyway.
It was great to meet HJT, Twister and Doodermange, I already knew Iceman725, actually he and I met at Tolmie Lookout last September. I told Iceman that it was kind of like Brokeback MT, without the man-sex!!!!!
Anyway, here's my addition to the picture gallery.
HJT all blurry and Iceman725 enroute to Tolmie.
HJT all blurry and Iceman725 enroute to Tolmie.
Chug a lug HJT!!
Chug a lug HJT!!
Twister keeping warm.
Twister keeping warm.
MML 026
MML 026
Lillies at night
Lillies at night

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www.youtube.com/bkraai | www.flickr.com/photos/bkraai/sets/
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TPayne
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TPayne
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PostMon Jul 30, 2007 6:57 pm 
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More incriminating evidence...


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El Dooder
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Joined: 15 Jul 2007
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Location: Olympia, Washington
El Dooder
Green Earth Bum
PostMon Jul 30, 2007 9:36 pm 
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It was great meeting you guys. Gosh look at those pix from the other side of the mountain! There's not a cloud in sight.

I had a great time out there--spray park had some really great flowers. I will say one thing--that sunday everybody cleared out and the place was deserted and a lot more relaxed. I think next time I go it'll be on a week day.   wink.gif

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