With a short notice, day, and trip, three intrepid souls journeyed to the meager hill known as Calamity Hill/ AKA The Eaglet. You might be asking, who on Earth would make such an epic quest to experience the sacredness of this special place, so glad you asked, that would be Steve F., Donny, and yours truly. This would be my second time up and I was looking for those elusive views that are cloaked behind clouds, fog, and falling moisture in the great NW. Hyped by the forecast of 0% chance of rain and 50% cloud cover it seemed that luck would shine on us. Last time Jeff R. and I had the pleasure of witnessing the color of fog gray within our 50 yard bubble.
Stopped by a 4' high snow berm on the road to Heather Lake TH, we had to back up a couple hundred yards to a safe pull off area. Once geared up we hit the hard packed/ tracked out snow with Steve & Donny wearing snowshoes and myself booting it. It was probably an 1/8th-1/4 of a mile to reach the TH (1,400'). At 2,000' I put on my snowshoes and we all headed off trail into the mystery before us. As we progressed along the ridge I was reminded where all of the elevation is on this trip, right in front of me. Sometimes trees and bushes were friendly enough to lend a branch or trunk in exchange for my CO2. I was glad to assist as I was well aware that they were also sharing with me the oxygen they were creating. The snow was firm and easy to travel on, traction bars on the snowshoes bit well and provided a good purchase on the steeper sections. As we continued we were witness to many slides from 3-4' high that ran from 50 yards to 75 yards.
Once at the open ridge it all became clear that a mixed bag of clouds, fog, mist, and partial sunshine muted by fog was going to be the weather served for the day. The steep snow covered rock faces that surrounded Heather Lake and Lake 22 where impressive, huge fans of avalanche debris skirted the lakes, fracture lines created by the parting slab releases looked like sinister smiles created by Mother Nature on a mean streak. The virgin snow scape ridge held the imprints of the winged ones dances, the four legged ones scurrying from one place to another, and the ever changing shadows created by the sun and clouds doing their dance across the sky. The trees were cloaked in a layer of fresh frost that winked at times from the sun sending a reminder of it's presence. On days like this it's hard not to come up with some interesting photographic images, and this was the norm for the day.
I know, your probably saying to yourself, yeah yeah yeah, now wheres the pictures? Are we on the same page here? Ok Ok! but first I'd like to say that there has been a good deal of people making their way up here in the past couple of years and their reports can be experienced as follows:
Tom, Matt, and TZ, I'm glad that I was able to stimulate your cerebral cortex in a visual way that was pleasing to you. As far as the fracture lines on the N face of Pilchuck; in the past 12 years that I've been going up there I've never seen anything like it. What I've seen in the past, has been cornices and rocks breaking away creating small slides. It would be interesting to get up there for a closer inspection. My best guess at how deep those slab breaks are would be at least 2-4'. Those few fractures in the image titled "Summit Of Mt. Pilchuck" were just samples of what was peppered all across the N facing slopes. Quite a site to see in real life.
BTW, I should add a word of caution for anyone going up to Lake 22 or Heather Lake, while we were at the summit of Eaglet we witnessed a slide on the Lake 22 side. I would say going around the lakes would be putting oneself in a potential high risk area. Lets read a report about your trip to these areas and not a report on how you were brought back down from a mishaps.
Remarkable! Love the shot of Big Four and the shot of Hall and Marble. Vesper is amazing.... That north face view of Pilchuck....sensational! The place looks like "avy central"! Any photos of Three Fingers?
Thanks for the TR and the shared photos. Inspiring....though daring!
weathercrazy, I'm not washing your car, He He He! glad you enjoyed the pics.
SteveF, Thanks for adding some pics, now has the cat got your tongue?
wildernessed, Your welcome!
Tazz, I know, you bet, I do to.
GGW, If you want you can use the frames for any of your shots, there sized for a 800 x 600 image, just copy and paste, there you go.
Gabigabs, Thanks! Agreeded!
Sabahsboy, You're such a word wizard, you never cease to amaze me with the way you weave words. No shots of Three Fingers. That part of the sky held all of the mountains in the clouds all day. Once or twice it looked like Three Fingers was about to appear then all of a sudden more clouds mysteriously appeared. I think I'm going to fire the scene manager on that set.
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