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Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 328 | TRs
Location: Bremerton, WA.
|Yes, that’s right … the group ABBA … but I’ll get to that later.
The plan was to head to Marmot Pass and then on up to the summit of Buckhorn Mountain. Got to the TH about 7am … me and 2 other cars and that was it except for the guy in the tent with the 2 dogs. I’m sure my big diesel truck rolling by him that early did not make him a happy camper. Sorry about that !
01 - At the Big Quilcene Trailhead
02 - Lonely in the parking lot at 7am
On the trail you immediately enter the Buckhorn Wilderness. That’s appropriate since Buckhorn is my destination.
03 - Entering the Buckhorn Wilderness
This is one well used trail. Well groomed … heavily used … really nice. A pretty easy hike all the way to Shelter Rock camp.
04 - Homemade footbridge
05 - Messy waterfall
06 - Sunrise on the trail
07 - Water on the trail
08 - Shelter Rock Camp
After you leave Shelter Rock the trail begins the slow slog up and up and up. It’s not a bad slog though. Lots of views and the up is not straight up (like Lake Constance).
09 - Trail views begin
10 - Trail views headed up
11 - Marmot Pass on the right in the distance
12 - Marmot Pass way off in the distance
13 - Nice trail
14 - Trail across the scree field
Arrived at Camp Mystery and discovered only 1 tent there.
15 - Camp Mystery - Orange tent in the woods
16 - Camp Mystery
After Camp Mystery, you head up a gorgeous meadow to the cliff wall and then up around that to the final walk up to Marmot Pass.
17 - Heading up the meadow toward the cliff wall
18 - Trail along the cliff wall
19 - Looking back down the meadow
On the way up I was able to get my first good looks at Buckhorn and what I still had ahead of me.
20 - First good look at my destination - GULP!
21 - Oh wow .... that's a long way up
22 - Still looks like a long way
Once I stopped looking up I finally reached the pass.
22a - Approaching Marmot Pass
22aaa - Approaching Parmot Pass
23 - View from Marmot Pass
23a - Me at Marmot Pass with Buckhorn Mountian in the distance
24 - View from Marmot Pass
25 - Time from TH to Marmot Pass
26 - View from Marmot Pass
At this point I’d like to thank seattlehikertoo for his TR on this part of the hike. I had printed out his TR and carried it in my pocket so that I could refer to it if I had some questions on where to go once I left the trail. As I was standing at Marmot Pass, I read this line from his TR:
I took the foot path north, and at the first jct headed to the right up the steep shoulder of Buckhorn Mt. The wildflowers and the scenery continued to engulf me with such intensity, that I barely noticed the 800 or so feet to the summit ridge I would gain in the next half mile.
I would soon come to realize that while he might have barely noticed the 800 feet to the summit ridge, I, on the other hand, noticed NOTHING BUT THE 800 FEET !
27 - Heading up the ridge to Buckhorn
28 - Heading up the ridge to Buckhorn
29 - Marmot Pass in the distance - bottom left
29a - Marmot Pass in the distance - center
30 - Heading up the ridge on Buckhorn
31 - Heading up the ridge on Buckhorn
32 - Heading up the ridge on Buckhorn
33 - Heading up the ridge on Buckhorn
Finally reached the top of the ridge and realized that I’m way up high now. Time to test out my fear of heights
34 - On top of the ridge
35 - Must peer over the edge
36 - Not scared ... must peer over
37 - A little more
38 - Peering over the edge !
39 - Still peering
Once you get on top of the ridge, it’s a pretty easy hike all the way to the base of the summit itself. Real easy to follow the trail.
40 - Heading to the summit of Buckhorn
41 - Summit in sight - on the left
42 - Heading to the summit of Buckhorn
This was my first good look at the summit. You can’t see it in the picture but look at the square rock in the center of the picture on the summit. At this point, I could see that there was someone sitting up there. That’s where I want to sit !
43 - Heading to the summit of Buckhorn
Ok … here’s where ABBA comes in. You figure I’ve been hiking now for going on 4 hours and as I started to climb that last incline to the summit I realized that for the entire hike I had been humming the song SOS by ABBA for the entire trip. Once I realized it, I tried to stop singing it in my head and the harder I tried, the worse it got. I even started humming it out loud ! I knew I had to stop before I got to the summit because if I broke out into song when I got to the summit, I just knew that the person that was up there was gonna toss my butt right off the edge. So … stifling that stupid song … I made my way up the last little push.
44 - Heading to the summit of Buckhorn
44a - 15 foot Boulder
45 - Almost there
45a - Last little summit push
45aa - Easter Island Face Rock
Finally …. Got to the top and met a nice guy by the name of Thane. We talked a bit and he agreed to take a few pictures for me.
46 - On the summit
47 - Celebration
48 - The required shoe shot
After we sat for a while, Thane looked over and asked … “What’s that on top of that rock over there on the edge of the summit ?”
Hmmmm … Craig needs to go see !
49 - See the tall rock in the center ?
49a - I must go stand on it !
50 - Standing on the rock !
51 - Now to get down ... Hmmmmm ....
It was a cairn ! I, of course, added my little rock to it. Since I was in my exploring mode now … and way way up high, I decided to test out my fear of heights thing. I discovered that when I get short of breath, mutter things to myself like “what are you thinking”, and feel my toes scrunch up in my boots so tight that I could make diamonds out of the sand between my toes, that’s a clear indication that I am STILL SCARED OF HEIGHTS !!!!
52 - Time to test my fear of heights
53 - Fear of heights test
53a - Fear of heights test
54 - Fear of heights test
55 - Fear of heights test
56 - Fear of heights test
57 - Fear of heights test
57a - Fear of heights test
After I got all that out of my system, Thane headed down and I was left to enjoy the summit all to myself for the next hour.
58 - Buckhorn Summit View
59 - Buckhorn Lake
60 - Iron Mountain
60a - Buckhorn Summit View
61 - Buckhorn Summit View
62 - Buckhorn Summit View
63 - Buckhorn Summit View
64 - Buckhorn Summit View
65 - Buckhorn Summit View
66 - Buckhorn Summit View
67 - Buckhorn Summit View
68 - Buckhorn Summit View
After a while I thought I saw something off in the distance. I then realized that it was Thane heading back to his camp to meet up with his Mom … and I could actually see them from this far up.
69 - Look close at the ridge for the 2 white dots
70 - See the white dots ?
71 - My new friend on his way down
I made another friend while I was having lunch.
72 - My lunch companion
After I took a nap, I woke up to this sight.
73 - Buckhorn Summit View
74 - Buckhorn Summit View
Headed back down to the TH. On the way up, I only encountered one other person … Thane. On the way down ? I bet I passed 30 or more people on their way up. Camp Mystery was packed by the time I came back down. This sure does seem to be a very popular place. If you want solitude, start real early and enjoy it while you can. When I hit the TH, I was surprised to see how full the lot had gotten.
75 - Not so lonely in the parking lot anymore
Top Elevation - 6988 ft
Elevation Gain ~4500 ft
TH to Marmot Pass – 2:50
Marmot Pass to Buckhorn summit: 1:00
Time on Summit: 2:00
Summit to TH: 2:30
Total Time: 8:20
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Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 600 | TRs
Location: Where the roots all twist...
|Looks like you made good time. I didn't go up Buckhorn when I went up in June. Instead I went up the other ridge from Marmot Pass. Nice flat area up there with some nice little spots to camp. Definitely one of my favorite hikes, minus the hordes of people and poodles. Now you need to check out Royal Basin before the snow flies.|
My personal blog
Peninsula Wilderness Club
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Joined: 05 Jun 2006
Posts: 2139 | TRs
Location: Lacey WA
|There is nothing wrong with ABBA. I, in fact, quite like that song. And it's not a super popular song so the fact that you know it enough to be humming it on a trail means you, too, must like ABBA.
Anyway nice photos. I went to Marmot Pass earlier this year but not Buckhorn, but thanks to your detailed report, I feel like I was there!
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 7922 | TRs
|okay! congrats on your summit of buckhorn mtn. great TR and photos as usual, entertaining
so are you done with your fear of heights?
yes, the upper royal basin is doable as a day hike, about 7+ one way. do it early as the days are closing in!
my 'twin' and i may be heading to marmot at the end of the month for an overnighter or two. we want to go to home lake/constance pass.
"Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!" - Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss
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