Forum Index > Trip Reports > Alta Mountain - 9/06/08
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
JimK
Member



Joined: 07 Feb 2002
Posts: 5473 | TRs
Location: Ballard
JimK
  Top

Member
PostMon Sep 08, 2008 10:20 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Everyone else was off hiking and climbing and I was left to a rare solo weekend. Time to visit an old favorite. I was at the Rachel Lake trailhead at 8:40 am to find only a couple of vehicles. The first few miles of trail are pretty flat and go by fast. The cloud level was low and Hibox was in and out of the clouds as I passed below.

Pink Flowers
Pink Flowers
Fall Colors
Fall Colors
Hibox And Clouds
Hibox And Clouds

I reached Rachel Lake in 1:40 and took a short break. Next is a short steep climb to the ridge top. Views down to Rachel and some umexpected flowers along here.

Rachel Lake
Rachel Lake
More Flowers
More Flowers

I met two other hikers at the ridge top junction. There are some blueberries on the ridge climb but less than usual and they are much smaller. I left them for the bears. They'll need them. I also saw several marmots lower on the ridge.

Marmot
Marmot
Lila Lakes
Lila Lakes
Lupine
Lupine

Soon I was heading into the clouds. Visibility dropped to very little. There were more and better flowers on the ridge than I expected.

Into The Clouds
Into The Clouds
Raindrops On Bloom
Raindrops On Bloom

I continued past all the false summits as the visibiltiy dropped even more. I did meet one hiker with a dog who had spent 45 minutes on the summit waiting for a view before giving up.

What's Ahead?
What's Ahead?
Another Bump Ahead
Another Bump Ahead

As I reached the summit I saw one heck of a big cairn. It was not there when last I visited in 2003. It's about seven feet tall and growing.

Summit Cairn
Summit Cairn

I reached the summit just before noon and stayed for 45 minutes. At times I had short views out though the clouds never did clear.

Tarns In The Mist
Tarns In The Mist
Alta Ridge
Alta Ridge
PCT
PCT
Alaska Lake
Alaska Lake

I retraced my steps down the ridge to the junction and headed straight towards Rampart Lakes. It only took me 13 minutes to reach the first lake, much less than I expected. There is still a few snow patches along the trail.

Harebells?
Harebells?
Avalanche
Avalanche
Green Ridge
Green Ridge
Hibox And Lilas
Hibox And Lilas
Spirea
Spirea

I spent a little time poking around the lakes and then headed back. In short order I was back at the junction. I reached Rachel to find the crowds had arrived.

Alta From Ramparts
Alta From Ramparts
Columbia Lewisia?
Columbia Lewisia?
Monkey Flower
Monkey Flower
Creek And Alta
Creek And Alta

I still had the steep crummy trail to descend to the valley below. It was just as steep and crummy as ever. As I passed by Hibox it was now all blue sky. I passed a lot of folks heading in. Back at the trailhead the lot was nearly full.

Hibox And Blue Sky
Hibox And Blue Sky

I have done Alta with bright sun and in the rain. It was different thils day with the thick clouds. In some ways it was like doing the trail for the first time. I'm sure I'll be back to visit agailn some day.

--------------
Hiking Northwest
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 13088 | TRs
Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
  Top

Brutally Handsome
PostMon Sep 08, 2008 10:23 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Such a gorgeous area.  That cairn was not there last fall, but we did stack some rocks.  I wonder if that was the start of the monster...
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
tigermn
Member
Member


Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 9248 | TRs
Location: There...
tigermn
  Top

Member
PostTue Sep 09, 2008 8:51 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
You must have been one of those guys that left just ahead of me. I was in the black Maxima parked right next to the rest rooms.
I left the trail head at 08:45. No one passed me and I didn't catch anybody. I slogged up to Rachel lake taking waypoints/pictures etc in more like 2 hours so I wasn't gonna catch anybody unless someone was going up on crutches.

I bagged it .17 miles from the summit at 12:18 when the lack of views were apparent as I couldn't even really see much further ahead and the clouds seemed to just keep rolling through, not really burning off.

--------------
My flickr photo site.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
JimK
Member



Joined: 07 Feb 2002
Posts: 5473 | TRs
Location: Ballard
JimK
  Top

Member
PostTue Sep 09, 2008 9:08 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Yep, I was right behind your car in the little red Saturn. I left just a minute or two ahead of you. You never know who you'll almost meet.

--------------
Hiking Northwest
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
TrailPair
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 1699 | TRs

TrailPair
  Top

Member
PostTue Sep 09, 2008 9:30 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
It was so thoughtful of you to leave those few berries for the bears. wink.gif

We were wondering what you were doing....nice report and photos...as usual. up.gif

--------------
This thing called work is interfering with my play
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > Alta Mountain - 9/06/08
  Happy Birthday gigamike, wheezer!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy