Forum Index > Trip Reports > Getting It Wright on a glorious day! 11-23-08
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1716 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostSun Nov 23, 2008 7:17 pm 
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When we last left you (we were on Stillaguamish) there was a conundrum about "How many NW Hikers does it take to make a decision?"  Well, we got you through that one - now the new question, "How many NW Hikers does it take to tell you where you are going?"   
The directionally challenged!
The directionally challenged!

shakehead.gif  lol.gif  Sad, folks, sad.  But this little adventure started out a bit confused anyway  confused.gif  - Cartman (Eric) and Opus (David) were supposed to meet Jack at the Bellevue P&R - but apparently, Jack was still in bed!   embarassedlaugh.gif  So, meanwhile, the Driver, Middle E (Barry), Jim K and Gus were headed to the Alpental Parking Lot for a rendezvous with Trail Pair (Bob and Kolleen) @ 8:30 a.m.  And, also joining this rag-tag group (obviously, not worried about his reputation for hooking up with this sketchy group  paranoid.gif ) was Joe.  So, David managed to catch up with us and we were headed out about 9:00 a.m.
Assembling NW Hikers
Assembling NW Hikers
In the beginning . . .
In the beginning . . .

There were a fair number of cars in the parking lot, but folks were heading in all sorts of directions.  In fact, we weren't even sure where we were headed!  (surprised?   dizzy.gif  winksmile.gif )  It was a glorious day - with stunningly blue skies with the clouds burning off.
Lifting clouds (looking south)
Lifting clouds (looking south)

We set off for - at least - Snow Lake.   
Barry and Eric with Gus heading towards Snow Lake
Barry and Eric with Gus heading towards Snow Lake
Creek early along the trail
Creek early along the trail

The last time Jim K, David and I had been on this trail, it was heavily ladened with snow and we had a devil of a time trying to make it to the saddle above Snow Lake - in fact, Jim and I didn't - but David, Yumi and Jack did and eventually went on to Snow.  But today, ahh, today would be different.  The trail to the lake was well-trodden - probably all of the N.W. Hikers' footsteps heading to Avalanche Mountain.   hmmm.gif  We were making great time.   
K and Jim K heading up to the saddle
K and Jim K heading up to the saddle

Still uncertain of our destination, there was a slight sense of panic among some of our group . . . 
Jim giving directions - Bob pleading for help!
Jim giving directions - Bob pleading for help!

But we trudged on and were treated to some great early winter scenery.
Icicles on the rocks along the trail up to saddle
Icicles on the rocks along the trail up to saddle

It wasn't long before we reached the Snow Lake saddle and got some views to the north.   
First peek of Snow Lake as we drop over the saddle
First peek of Snow Lake as we drop over the saddle
Snow lake from the trail looking north
Snow lake from the trail looking north
Avalanche Mtn. to the east
Avalanche Mtn. to the east

At the junction with the Avalanche route, we were still confused.
Still discussing which way to go
Still discussing which way to go

But Gus is single-minded!   
Gus trying to get his best friend, Kolleen's, attention
Gus trying to get his best friend, Kolleen's, attention

We had made such great time to Snow Lake (a little more than an hour  - much quicker than we expected), the decision was made to soldier on to Gem Lake and Wright Mountain.  Only Eric had been to Avalanche, but so many NW Hikers had been there this week, we decided to throw caution to the wind and head on - and David's knee seemed to be holding up well, so he was game for it!  Snow Lake is a BIG lake, and it took a while to get to the end of it and head toward Gem.  The snow was in excellent condition and about 12" deep.  We didn't need snowshoes, because the trench had been started by a few folks who went before us.  Good thing, because none of us were carrying snowshoes!  And, we wouldn't need ice axes.  The route up to the Snow Lake saddle on the west side would prove to be pretty slick on our way out due to the amount of traffic during the day and the falling temperatures - but nothing impassable.   
Western ridge above Snow Lake and little frozen pond in the foreground
Western ridge above Snow Lake and little frozen pond in the foreground

Just before the log crossing at the NE end of Snow Lake, we ran into our friend Jack and Jack's Mom.  Jack is a gorgeous German Shepard - Gus had such a great time with him on our way to Jolly Mtn. earlier this year.  He was delighted to meet a 4-legged buddy.  Jack's Mom (Chris) was on her way back - seems Jack didn't want to cross the log bridge across the outlet stream.  We suggested that Gus might encourage him to take a chance, but no luck.  Jack was certain that he didn't want to take a chance!   
Barry and Gus crossing log bridge with little difficulty
Barry and Gus crossing log bridge with little difficulty

So we continued on without them, but Shadow (Scott) Chris' 2-legged son was ahead on snowshoes, helping to pack the trail for all of us!   
Eric and Gus heading toward Gem
Eric and Gus heading toward Gem

Soon, we were at Gem Lake and, yup, there was Scott.
Scott at Gem with cool clouds above
Scott at Gem with cool clouds above

It was a bit breezy here, so we opted to head out of the wind to grab a bite to eat before heading up Wright.   
Barry and K heading from Gem toward Wright
Barry and K heading from Gem toward Wright

We grabbed some lunch along Gem's lakeshore with a view of our destination.
Wright Mt. from Gem lakeshore
Wright Mt. from Gem lakeshore

Joe decided to wait for us here, but Scott decided to join us for a quick jaunt up Wright.  There was no broken trail from this point forward, but Barry, our fearless leader, had no trouble making his way up the east side of the ridge (and out of that brisk wind!).  We had to cross a couple of lousy talus fields that simply weren't covered quite enough by new snow.  But it wasn't a show-stopper.  Gus seemed to be the one to have the most difficulty with finding his way out of the holes in the rocks.  Barry soon was on top of the summit of Mt. Wright.
King (aka Barry) of the Mountain (on Wright summit)
King (aka Barry) of the Mountain (on Wright summit)

And the rest followed for some great summit shots - the wind wasn't too bad and the temperatures were quite tolerable.  We didn't dawdle, but had time to take in the sights.
K and Bob on the summit of Wright
K and Bob on the summit of Wright
Scott coming up to the summit - lovely peaks behind
Scott coming up to the summit - lovely peaks behind
Glacier Peak in distance
Glacier Peak in distance
View of Gem and Snow lakes and Mt. Snoqualmie to the east (looking south from summit of Wright)
View of Gem and Snow lakes and Mt. Snoqualmie to the east (looking south from summit of Wright)
Gem and Snow lakes with the saddle above Snow that we came up and over
Gem and Snow lakes with the saddle above Snow that we came up and over
Group shot on the top of Wright - gorgeous!
Group shot on the top of Wright - gorgeous!

Wanting to be in a pic on the summit, the Driver asked for someone to take a pic - hmmm, not as easy as it looks!   
"What do you mean you can't see anything through the viewfinder?"
"What do you mean you can't see anything through the viewfinder?"

We were worried that going down off of the summit would be tricky over the talus fields - but to our surprise, it was relatively easy.  Once back at Gem Lake, we reconnected with Joe, who was wrapped up in his down jacket and bivy sack all toasty!  We took a quick snack break.
David digging for M&Ms
David digging for M&Ms

Barry, the Driver and Gus headed out first and made quick time getting back to the car.  We were amazed at the number of people coming in towards Snow Lake,  huh.gif since it already was 3:00 p.m. - and the sun had dropped behind the ridge.  The trail down the west side of the saddle, was already "iffy" - some of our group even pulled out their Yak-Trax.  But what a great day (the only thing missing was a little drama!   lol.gif  wink.gif )  We figure about 11 miles roundtrip and maybe 3200' of gain or so.  Perfect Sunday afternoon. (Better than wasting time watching the Seahawks lose once again!)   up.gif  up.gif

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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Joe
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Joined: 29 Jun 2002
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Location: Kent
Joe
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 7:29 pm 
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a few of my photos

On-the-trail
On-the-trail
views2
views2
in-the-switchbacks
in-the-switchbacks
first-view-of-snow-lake
first-view-of-snow-lake
snow-lake
snow-lake
crossing-the-outlet-stream
crossing-the-outlet-stream
middle-fork-views
middle-fork-views
blowing-snow
blowing-snow
views4
views4
Gem-lake-and-Wright-mtn
Gem-lake-and-Wright-mtn
views-across-gem-lake1
views-across-gem-lake1
views-across-gem-lake2
views-across-gem-lake2

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Joe
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EastKing
Summit Addict



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 2049 | TRs
Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
EastKing
Summit Addict
PostSun Nov 23, 2008 7:34 pm 
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Beautiful pictures and great trip report!!! up.gif

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I am addicted to summits! I can't eat, drink or breath without them. Life without mountains would really suck.

http://www.myspace.com/climbandsurfmackg | http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=894
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1716 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostSun Nov 23, 2008 7:40 pm 
The Wright Stuff
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EastKing wrote:
Beautiful pictures and great trip report!!! up.gif

10Q -  winksmile.gif  Fabulous day with a great group of folks!  (Plus, Gus enjoyed being the solo, 4-legged member!  He could score more hand-outs!   biggrin.gif ) s.d.

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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GeoTom
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Joined: 19 May 2005
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GeoTom
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 7:49 pm 
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Jasper would have enjoyed this trip. Alas, he got to watch me fill in the hole I dug in the front yard the day before. And chase after the occasional frisbee and soccer ball.

Are you sure TrailPair was actually there? The sky doesn't look gray enough for one of their patented summit views.  hockeygrin.gif

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Tazz
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Tazz
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 7:51 pm 
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what  a perfect day huh? sweet stuff up.gif
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Ingunn
Hiking Viking



Joined: 01 Feb 2008
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Ingunn
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 8:04 pm 
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Excellent photos - I haven't seen views this clear in ages!
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TrailPair
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TrailPair
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 8:22 pm 
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Not only was the weather perfect, but the snow conditions were good, too! The fresh snow from last night flocked the trees, making everything more beautiful. Great destination and company.
Snow Lake trail
Snow Lake trail
Icicles and dark blue sky
Icicles and dark blue sky
Snow Lake
Snow Lake
Bob and Eric on summit, Upper Wildcat Lake beyond
Bob and Eric on summit, Upper Wildcat Lake beyond
Suzanne and Barry descending Wright Mt.
Suzanne and Barry descending Wright Mt.

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This thing called work is interfering with my play
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Go Jo
of the lykkens



Joined: 08 Jun 2003
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Location: Around The Bend
Go Jo
of the lykkens
PostSun Nov 23, 2008 9:54 pm 
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TrailPair wrote:
Suzanne and Barry descending Wright Mt.
Suzanne and Barry descending Wright Mt.

Excellent Views, WOW!

Sadie's Driver wrote:
Perfect Sunday afternoon. (Better than wasting time watching the Seahawks lose once again!)   up.gif  up.gif

We may be smiling for the camera, but I was crying on the inside knowing what the mountains had to offer today. Climbing the stairs to our seats just didn't have the same pay off! Thanks for sharing (or rubbing it in  bawl.gif ) ~Jo
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Hiker Mama
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Hiker Mama
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 10:09 pm 
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That looks like a really fun and gorgeous trip for this time of year.  Cool!
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Opus
Wannabe



Joined: 04 Mar 2006
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Location: The big rock candy mountain
Opus
Wannabe
PostSun Nov 23, 2008 10:14 pm 
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Great day to be out!  Glad to be above the treeline again!

Click here for the full photo set.
Misty mountains
Misty mountains
Snow Lake trail
Snow Lake trail
Passing cloud
Passing cloud
Ridge view
Ridge view
Frozen pond
Frozen pond
Spin drift
Spin drift
Cold out
Cold out
Gem Lake
Gem Lake
Snoqualmie Mountain
Snoqualmie Mountain
Wright Mountain top
Wright Mountain top
Snow and Gem lakes
Snow and Gem lakes
Heading down
Heading down
Lake outlet
Lake outlet
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Jennifer S.
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Jennifer S.
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 10:19 pm 
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Wow, great photos everyone! Looks like a fun trip.
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Tazz
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Tazz
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 10:19 pm 
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opus!!   slobber.gif  good stuff as usual!
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
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Matt
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 10:29 pm 
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The lakes and snow all look beautiful.
Bummed that I had to stay home today.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1716 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostMon Nov 24, 2008 7:49 am 
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GeoTom wrote:
Jasper would have enjoyed this trip. Alas, he got to watch me fill in the hole I dug in the front yard the day before. And chase after the occasional frisbee and soccer ball.

I doubt that Gus would have wanted to share with Jasper!  However, when some inquiring gentlemen at Snow Lake asked, "Is Gus a Field Dog?  lol.gif  shakehead.gif I replied, "No, he would be a "Counter" dog - he took a silver in the recent Counter Surfing Competition!  The entire Pumpkin Pie - GONE - in a flash!  Jerk.  winksmile.gif  tongue.gif

Are you sure TrailPair was actually there? The sky doesn't look gray enough for one of their patented summit views.

Yes, that does seem a little odd, doesn't it?  It must have been the sunny personalities of Cartman and Joe that blew the curse! cool.gif  wink.gif


s.d.


the lykkens wrote:
We may be smiling for the camera, but I was crying on the inside knowing what the mountains had to offer today. Climbing the stairs to our seats just didn't have the same pay off! Thanks for sharing (or rubbing it in)~Jo

Sorry! Sorta'! (why didn't you call?  I could have told you which would be the better choice!!!  embarassedlaugh.gif)  s.d.

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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