With the nice forecast we decided to heck with the long drive, we're going to do one more North Cascades trip this year. It turned out to be great, even though it was cloudier than the forecast predicted. The light was very unusual, with an almost sunset like glow behind Baker at 2pm.
The first part of the trail was fairly boring, switchbacking in the forest. After it crossed over the ridge it opened up with views of Baker and Yellow Aster, with a layer of packed slick snow. YakTrax helped here and were soon on better snow cover passing some tarns. The trail was a little slick here with mud from melting snow. After turning the corner and heading for the summit though it was mostly bare ground. All the larger tarns below were frozen over with a nice snow cover. There were cross country ski tracks down there, I believe heading in the direction of Tomyhoi.
We ate our lunch on the false summit and enjoyed the view. After some waffling I set off down the ridge to scramble the true summit. There was a little twenty foot scramble partway along that was the trickiest part of the trip. Just enough snow on the rocks to make things interesting. After that it was smooth sailing and I was soon on top looking down into snow-free Tomyhoi lake and onwards. I sat on the big rock for a snack and headed back.
On the descent the sky behind Baker was really lighting up, making it seem much later than it really was. Very pretty. The snow was much softer now and had melted out, revealing some slick gooey mud in places. Nearing the tarns we saw a guy in Keds and skinny jeans heading up towards us carrying a gallon jug of water slung over his shoulder with some cord. He gave us a surprisingly pleasant hello for a person wearing a black shirt with "F*** you" printed all over it. We wished him luck and headed down for a very nice dinner at Grahams.
Yeah, that's my favorite picture too. Fran and Addy waited on the false summit while I went over for the scramble. I didn't expect them to show up that well but the weird glowing light brought them out.
I'll have to get back up here again in the summer for the colors, and to go up Tomyhoi.
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