Joined: 06 Dec 2006 Posts: 204 | TRs | Pics Location: Olympia
Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:32 pm
Yellow Aster Butte and Chain Lakes - 9/25-9/26/2009
This was my first trip to the Mt Baker area, and won't be the last! I read about many interesting trails. Because of a recent trip report from the Zachster, I decided on Yellow Aster Butte for an overnighter.
Beautiful fall color, all along the way. Talked to a few hikers coming down the trail, all said it was an amazing place. One said I was the 22nd going up that day. At the top looking down at the tarns, I could see a few tents around. I planned on watching the sunset from the summit, so I wanted a closer site to the main trail. I looked around for a while, but didn't find the perfect place. One suitable spot had a food cache hanging from the tree, which eliminated that site as a possibility... I found a nice spot a bit farther away from the main trail than I'd hoped, but it had a great view. The ground was a bit soggy in the middle, so I set up my tent on the edge.
The sunset was amazing from the top. A cloud would form, then dissipate over Baker. Once the sun set, I headed back to camp. I stopped along the way to filter water. As I was pumping, noticed it sure was getting dark...fast. I put on my headlamp and hurried back. I followed the boot path, took the correct turn-off, but then lost my sense of direction. I knew I was within a hundred yards, but couldn't see my camp. Before I'd left, I set a waypoint with my GPS, this didn't really help much because I was so close. I circled around a few minutes then found the site, stupid waiting till dark to return. Lesson learned.
I left camp around 7AM, a cool 35 degrees, to head to Artist Point for a day hike of either Chain Lakes or Ptarmigan Ridge. The clouds were swirling around Baker and Shuksan, so I explored the Chain Lakes. Excellent fall color and lots of berries. I waited around for an hour or so hoping the clouds would part for pictures of Shuksan, they sure like to tease.
I stopped at the famous spot at Picture Lake to find about 20 people lined up with Camera's and tripods waiting for sunset. Tried to talk myself into waiting too, but it was still 2 hours till the sunset and I was tired. I snapped a few pictures, and hit the road for the 200 mile trip home.
Just beautiful! I couldn't decide on Walt Bailey, YAB, or Ingalls lake yesterday, but ended up at Ingalls. YAB is definitely on my list for next year - I was thinking of flower season but your pics are so lovely that I may have to move it to berry season instead!
Joined: 17 Jan 2007 Posts: 4189 | TRs | Pics Location: dog training
Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:05 pm
It really does get dark fast now! But catching the sunset from the summit is so worth it... glad you got to enjoy it. BTW, those are very blue blueberries you found there! Some of the best of the year.
-------------- "May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am"
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