Forum Index > Trip Reports > high pass, winchester mountain - 2008-10-26
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iron
getting old



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
Posts: 5529 | TRs
Location: kenmore
iron
getting old
PostSun Oct 26, 2008 8:31 pm 
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my friend/roommate (mike, aka N (pronounced en-yay)) were thinking of hiking up mt. david today. since this was his first hike of the year due to training for the ironman world championships (as well as heels that easily get torn up while hiking), we toned it back a bit and headed north - way north.

this trip is trip no. 2 in the Don't Waste Your Time in the North Cascades book. so far, trips no. 1 and no. 2 are bonifide stellar hikes. getting to the trailhead was okay - except for the last 2.5 mi. like the book says, it gets rough, real rough. the road makes the middle fork road look like the newly paved section of i-5. i drive a 2wd camry with not a lot of clearance. on the road, there were some huge ditches traversing the road, cut out by the streams/falls along the mountainside. some of these gullies were so deep, we couldn't actually see the bottom while going into them. all told, we bottomed out 14 times on the way in and 10 times on the way out. if you like your 2wd, low clearance car, you may want to walk or bike this stretch.

anyway, we were astonished with the stellar views from the parking lot! on either side of the parking lot, which is essentially an isthmus, is a lake - part of twin lakes. snow on the trail greeted us starting at the trailhead at EL 5200', never getting more than 12" deep. most of it was crusty, so walking was fine. the hike up to high pass continually brought amazing views. once on the ridge, baker presents itself for your awe.

parking lot view
parking lot view
heading towards high pass
heading towards high pass
snow conditions on the north side of the mountain
snow conditions on the north side of the mountain
closer to the ridge
closer to the ridge
baker says hello
baker says hello
amazing hoarfrost (i think)
amazing hoarfrost (i think)
almost on the arm of larrabee
almost on the arm of larrabee

we continued up to the ridge heading easterly from larrabee peak. larrabee looks like a great peak to climb. in fact, we saw a group of three heading up there via the lower climber's trail and up the gully. not sure if they summited. from the ridge, you get a killer view of american border peak and tomyhoi. don't forget the classics like baker and shuksan. just wonderful.

ice-coated blades of grass - awesome!
ice-coated blades of grass - awesome!
at 6800' on the ridge with larrabee in the background
at 6800' on the ridge with larrabee in the background
heading down from the ridge
heading down from the ridge
getting closer to the trailhead
getting closer to the trailhead
larrabee in the background
larrabee in the background

down we came close to the trailhead where the trail heads south. now, we were going up to winchester mountain in hopes of finding the lookout we couldn't see from the arm of larrabee. sure enough, it was still there. it looked to be a well-maintained lookout (maintained by the mt. baker hiking club) and there was a cute little register and history book. from here, you get similar views except for this time, you get to see twin lakes where you parked.
the old style lookout
the old style lookout
inside the lookout
inside the lookout
register and history book
register and history book
looking down from the lookout
looking down from the lookout
N soaking in the views
N soaking in the views
twin lakes with the parking lot in the midde
twin lakes with the parking lot in the midde
upper twin lake
upper twin lake

there was an added bonus on this peak. a group of four younger guys (early 20s) were up there, playing music. they had stayed the night before and seemed so at peace with the world, playing the bongo, harmonica, clackers, train whistle, and several other things. one guy preached the idea of appreciating this wonderful area and the beautiful lookout. they really complimented the beauty of the area.
our musician friends
our musician friends

the snow and trail conditions were fine on the whole. i wouldn't drive the road for the last 2.5 mi if you have a low clearance vehicle and the road is wet. otherwise, just take your time and you'll be fine.

trip stats:
13 mi
3700'
5.5 hrs with 45 mins lounging around - a casual pace for sure  tongue.gif
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b00
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Joined: 29 Sep 2003
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b00
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PostSun Oct 26, 2008 8:53 pm 
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up.gif  up.gif  from the iron fan club!
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seattlehikertoo
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Joined: 26 Jun 2008
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Location: Finding an alternative to Mailbox Pk
seattlehikertoo
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PostSun Oct 26, 2008 9:02 pm 
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Great report. Actually, I was thinking of hiking Mt David tomorrow. Looks fairly snowfree on your hike to Winchester.
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Jennifer S.
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Location: South Puget Sound
Jennifer S.
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PostSun Oct 26, 2008 9:33 pm 
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oh cool, I love lookout hikes. looks like a nice one for the "to do" list.
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ree
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ree
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PostMon Oct 27, 2008 7:48 am 
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You made it up that road in a Camry???  I'm impressed!!

Love that area.  Wow, it looks cold up there.  I'd like to get up that way before it gets snowy.
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