Forum Index > Trip Reports > Lake Ann (Baker/Shuksan) TRIP Report (& hike) 09/14/08
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1803 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostMon Sep 15, 2008 8:49 pm 
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TRIP Report:
Tree roots and talus are commonly encountered when hiking... so here is our 'trip' report for the day:
Oarboar: 2 trips plus 1 ankle biter & 1 slo-mo sit down
Elvis:  2 trips plus 1 stumble & 1 ankle turner
CHawk:  2 trips plus 1 virtual trip (looked like a trip but supposedly wasn't a trip)
8Buck:  2 trips plus 1 non-trip (it sounded like a trip to all of us in the front but 8Buck claims it didn't happen).
No first-aid type injuries & entire party reached the intended destination and returned to the trail head.  (Always a good sign!)

Lessons Learned & Memorable Moments:
> Always bring all 10 of your 10 essentials.

> Make sure your water bottles don't have cracks in them.

> Display your NW Forest Pass if required (& buy one if you don't have one!)

> Hiking Poles can be a very valuable piece of equipment when you least expect it.

> There is a chance that Elvis might sing on the trail when you least expect it - or when you see a fungus shaped like a dancing frog.  Sorry - no pics.

> If you leapfrog our party on the trail you might get to (or be subjected to) pass through a hiker-tunnel, complete with cheering.  (Hiker-tunnel:  imagine hikers standing on both sides of the trail with arms raised and outstretched to  cover the trail, requiring passing hikers to walk underneath the arch created by the party being passed).  Sorry - video not available.

> The Berry Crop Failure is already resulting in defensive/aggressive bears.  This was posted at the trail head (sorry it's a bit blurry), warning about the situation and what to do.  We didn't see any bears on our trip.
Trailhead Notice regarding Bears & Berry crop failure
Trailhead Notice regarding Bears & Berry crop failure

Our Dayhike Story:
Met up with CHawk & 8Buck in Mt. Vernon at 7:30 Sunday morning to spend a glorious day showing off the splender of Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan.

Knowing that Oarboar was looking for more opportunities to hike with others, we extended an invitation to him and we agreed to meet at the Lake Ann TH about 10:30am.  While this was a bit of a late start for a day with temps forecasted to hit 80 degrees, it gave me some time to show off the Austin Pass and Artist Point highlights, including a quick warm-up walk out Huntoon Point for some in-your-face Mount Baker photos.

Austin Pass Pics:
Pre-hike wandering at Austin Pass
Pre-hike wandering at Austin Pass

Artist Point/Huntoon Point/Table Mtn Pics:
Shuksan reflected in tarn along Huntoon Ridge
Shuksan reflected in tarn along Huntoon Ridge
Table Mountain from Artist Point
Table Mountain from Artist Point
Group ascending Table Mountain (yikes!)
Group ascending Table Mountain (yikes!)
Baker reflected in Huntoon Tarn
Baker reflected in Huntoon Tarn
Mt Baker view from Huntoon Ridge trail
Mt Baker view from Huntoon Ridge trail

We geared up & hit the trail just a little before 11:00am under a cloudless sky, appreciative of the shade offered by the forest as we descended toward Swift Creek.

Started taking pictures after the Swift Creek junction and took lots of care as we ascended through the talus portions of the trail to avoid any injuries while also admiring the views of Mt. Baker over our shoulder.  We continued our steady progress to the saddle where beautiful Lake Ann pops into view.  The only remaining snow on the trail is about a 20 foot long patch which didn't pose any problems.  There is still a patch of snow that extends down to the lake shore on the south side of the lake, but it's not part of the traditional trail.
Mt Baker view from Artist Point
Mt Baker view from Artist Point
Ascending toward the saddle
Ascending toward the saddle
The Last Remaining Snowfield
The Last Remaining Snowfield
Group at saddle above Lake Ann
Group at saddle above Lake Ann

We descended toward the lake and the group was fascinated with the close-up view of Shuksan that comes into view as you approach the campsites.
CHawk captures images of Shuksan
CHawk captures images of Shuksan
Shuksan looms over the group
Shuksan looms over the group

We had originally considered taking the group over toward the Lower Curtis Glacier, but reconsidered that choice due to the late start and the heat.  We'll leave that side trip for another day.
Lower Curtis Glacier from Lake Ann (10x zoom)
Lower Curtis Glacier from Lake Ann (10x zoom)

Found a shady spot above the lake to stop for lunch.  8Buck couldn't resist the temptation for a little additional exploring so he took a 15 minute side trip around the lake to ascend the opposite side toward a rock bench.  Hopefully he'll share his photos from that vantage point with all of us lazy hikers.  Thanks, 8Buck, for returning in a timely manner.
8Buck's cross-lake excursion
8Buck's cross-lake excursion
Across Lake Ann
Across Lake Ann

Our return was uneventful and our slow and steady pace afforded many opportunities to enjoy the micro-views along the trail.  8Buck took so many photos of trail-side features and textures that a passing party inquired as to what it was he was studying.  Hopefully he'll share some of those with us as well.
Ants herding Aphids 2
Ants herding Aphids 2
Ants herding Aphids
Ants herding Aphids

Lots of wild flowers are still hanging around the trail as were a lot of berries (despite the TH posting).  We also came across a rock mushroom and a fungus on a tree that led to Elvis singing.  That's a story for the next social.
Indian Paintbrush still abundant
Indian Paintbrush still abundant
Rock Mushroom
Rock Mushroom

Returned to the trailhad at about 5:30pm and stopped by Picture Lake for some early evening Shuksan photos while hordes of photographers were arriving to stake out their position for the upcoming sunset and full-moon display.  Noticed some real fall colors starting to appear at the Picture Lake viewing area, FYI.
Shuksan Reflection off Picture Lake (broad view)
Shuksan Reflection off Picture Lake (broad view)
Shuksan over Picture Lake
Shuksan over Picture Lake
Shuksan reflected in Picture Lake
Shuksan reflected in Picture Lake
Colors starting to change at Picture Lake
Colors starting to change at Picture Lake

Grabbed a Subway sandwich in Kendall on the return, took the Hwy 9 route through Acme.
Bought an anvil.
Stopped for a quick picture of the moon over the Twin Sisters Range and returned to Mt. Vernon at about 8:30pm.
Moon over south Twin Sister mountain, view from Acme
Moon over south Twin Sister mountain, view from Acme

Thanks, everyone, for making today such a memorable event!

My next scheduled outing isn't until Oct 5th.

Advice to those who haven't done this trail before:
For those reading this report who aren't familiar with the Lake Ann trail, it's important to look at the topography of this route.  From the trail head, the route immediately drops about 800 feet down into a valley and then ascends about 900 feet to a saddle before dropping another 100 feet to the lake.  My point is that some guide books indicate the trail is a 900 foot elevation gain... when really that's only half the story because you gain another 800 or so on the way back out.  (Yeah - my elevation numbers are only approximate).  Make sure your party understands that concept and is properly prepared for the physical challenge.

~E

--------------
"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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KarenČ
A Real Canadian Girl



Joined: 25 Jul 2002
Posts: 1369 | TRs
Location: Behind the Lens
KarenČ
A Real Canadian Girl
PostTue Sep 16, 2008 7:05 am 
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What a great choice of trail!  I say that since we were there the day before, too bad we didn't meet up.  That rock bench is where I did some sunrise shooting (great little spot...if there had been some color in the sunrise  mad.gif ).  There is a sweet little campsite there.

I also scrambled up that ridge in the evening.  There is a trail that goes from the saddle when you first get to the lake up though.  There are some great 360 views from up there.  Of course I don't have any pictures because I stupidly left my camera below.  Not stupid because I don't have any shots, but because it was getting dark and I had a hard time spotting where I'd left my camera and pack on the way down amongst all the rock!   lol.gif

Great report Elvis, I'll keep the singing in mind next time I hear someone on the trail....I'll know its you coming.   lol.gif
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Gray
Lazy Hiker



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 1062 | TRs
Location: Seattle, WA
Gray
Lazy Hiker
PostTue Sep 16, 2008 11:45 am 
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Re: Ants vs. Aphids:

a) wow, that's a lot of bugs!

b) slightly misnamed, should prolly be Ants and Aphids, since iirc, the ants are actually herding the aphids, not working against them. Kinda a symbiotic relationship where the ants take them to food sources, then "milk" them.

--Gray
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Davidč
Token Canadian



Joined: 25 Jul 2002
Posts: 3045 | TRs
Location: The Great White North
Davidč
Token Canadian
PostTue Sep 16, 2008 4:29 pm 
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Elvis is that you?  Hiking in sunshine?

Sorry about your luck - hopefully there will be a lot more rain for you to enjoy the rest of the year  hockeygrin.gif

--------------
Warning! Posts may contain traces of sarcasm.

Hiking Website: http://members.shaw.ca/karenanddavid/Index.htm
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Hiker Mama
Member
Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2006
Posts: 3298 | TRs
Location: Lynnwood
Hiker Mama
Member
PostTue Sep 16, 2008 4:38 pm 
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Yeah!  Elvis got out for a proper hike!  And you got a beautiful day, as well.  Good for you.  You got some really nice pictures.  up.gif
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peltoms
Member
Member


Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 1758 | TRs
Location: Worcester MA
peltoms
Member
PostTue Sep 16, 2008 5:23 pm 
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Nice shot of picture lake, we have all seen 1000 in full light but few in nice low evening light, I wanted to see a moon reflection there too.
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1803 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostTue Sep 16, 2008 10:00 pm 
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Thanks for the comments, everyone!  There wasn't anywhere else that I would have rather been.

Looks like we were a day late to see K2 & PIB but a day early to see Slugman.  Bummer!

The Ants & Aphids was really neat to see.  I'll have to learn a bit more about that - thanks for the insights Gray.  Not the kind of party I'd want to be atgag.gif  eck.gif  C'mon... you have to read the first six sentences and scroll halfway down to the focused picture.

Much less graphic info here.

It was a great day in the sun... and D1 knows about my run of luck with the weather.  My hike dates are almost always set between 30 and 365 days in advance.  The weather does periodically suck (really bad), but it NEVER wins.

2008 has been exceptional - only once have I needed to use the rain gear - and that was more for warmth than precipitation.

-------------------
Forgot to post this pic of Baker with a fishy looking section of exposed rock near the summit.  Surely it must be a message.
So long and thanks for all the fish!
So long and thanks for all the fish!

--------------
"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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Oarboar
Comically unhip



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 1442 | TRs

Oarboar
Comically unhip
PostTue Sep 16, 2008 10:08 pm 
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Elvis, it was great to go hiking with you.  I'll write more about the trip when I can get home a little sooner at night.  Right now, though, the alarm's going off in a little over six hours.

--------------
Sadly, right now I'm a poseur.  Sigh.
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joyhiker
joyhiker



Joined: 29 Jul 2007
Posts: 19 | TRs
Location: Granite Falls Wa
joyhiker
joyhiker
PostWed Sep 17, 2008 8:40 pm 
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How are the camps around Lake Ann?? Fires?
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1803 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostWed Sep 17, 2008 8:56 pm 
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The camps are fantastic... so I hear.



Fires are prohibited; campers must use backcountry stoves for cooking. In keeping with wilderness regulations, party size is limited to 12.

If entering the North Cascades National Park Service Complex overnight, a free backcountry permit is required.

A Northwest Forest Pass is required for each vehicle parked at the trailhead.

More info here.

--------------
"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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Oarboar
Comically unhip



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 1442 | TRs

Oarboar
Comically unhip
PostWed Sep 17, 2008 9:29 pm 
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Man, I had more trips than just two.  I do remember the slo-mo sitdown, though.  There was another time on the way back up when your trekking pole saved me from going face first down the hill.

BTW, I am soooooo sold on trekking poles now. Thank you for loaning me yours, and now I want to get a pair of my own.  They made Monday so much easier for my legs.  I'm just glad I didn't break them in the @#$%ing talus.

I'm sorry I completely missed the ants and aphids lecture and Elvis singing.  I was in go mode 90 percent of the time on the trail.  Despite those omissions, I will say that it was a brilliant move to put me in front -- I stopped less often and got a better workout that way while you guys got to keep a nice leisurely pace in the back.  I wish I'd brought another liter of water, though.  I was still dehydrated at work Monday even after additional replenishment on the way home.  The $2 Pepsi at the Heather Meadows vending machine was well worth it.

I tremendously enjoyed the hike while huffing and puffing, and the up-close view of Shuksan and its glaciers was well worth the trip.  Had I a change of shorts, I would've gone for a dip in the lake, but I settled for enjoying lunch.

I'm going to have to cut this short.  I decided to just power my way up the last uphill, determined at one point to let only heart failure stop me from stopping before I reached my car (don't laugh, follks).  Made it, although I probably pushed myself harder than I should have.

Took my time getting down the hill.  Stopped at JenJen's grocery and saw JenJen and ChubbyHubby just as I was about to leave.  You should buy one of their shirts the next time you're up there, as I will.  Crossed the road to Frosty's and ran into a schoolteacher that I fell for 20 years ago (along with her husband).  The feelings have faded, but she doesn't look like she's changed a bit.  The burger and fries were great when I ate them, although they gave me indigestion an hour or two later.  Still enjoyable, and I'm going to have to sit down and try one of their dinner meals next time.

All in all, a great day.

--------------
Sadly, right now I'm a poseur.  Sigh.
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alpendave
Cat Herder



Joined: 01 Aug 2008
Posts: 666 | TRs
Location: Kitsap Peninsula
alpendave
Cat Herder
PostWed Sep 17, 2008 10:42 pm 
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Too bad about the berry crop. Over hear in the Inland NW, people are saying it is one of the best berry crops in a long time. What a difference.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Lake Ann (Baker/Shuksan) TRIP Report (& hike) 09/14/08
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