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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
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Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostSat Mar 06, 2010 9:36 pm 
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confused.gif  Well, I honestly don't know how many snowmobiles fit into Park Butte Lookout, but there must have been 150 snowmobiles on the road that leads to the Park Butte lookout trailhead!   eek.gif  This is the third time in the past three weekends that I have visited the far reaches of the North Cascades - same with David (Opus) - but we decided that the third time was the charm! Last weekend we had "locational issues."  That is, we had difficulty hooking up with our group, thereby causing us to have "destinational issues" - meaning, that we didn't really get to where we wanted to - but it was fun, none-the-less.  And then, the weekend before (Mt. Ann/Artist Point) we again had "destinational" failure and didn't achieve our original goal. So, today, yes today, we were going to succeed!   agree.gif Luckily, friends are (somewhat) tolerant and understanding, so Jim K, Elle, Barb E and Kolleen and Bob (Trail Pair) were willing to give us a second chance!  (Trail Pair brought alpine guide dogs Luis and Lupe to ensure we reached our goal!)   lol.gif  Well, all started out good - the two cars of intrepid NW Hikers converged at the proper location about 8:30 a.m. on the Baker Lake Road off of Rt. 20.  We headed up toward the Park Butte Lookout trailhead, not sure how far we could make it before hitting snow.  Well, snow wasn't the problem.  It was the nearly 100 trucks with sleds carrying snowmobiles that would stimy us!   paranoid.gif  Oh no! We got stuck behind trucks maneuvering to off-load their rigs.  We witnessed one guy skillfully back up his truck for about a half-mile (slowly!) with trailer up this narrow road and park the thing to let us by.  But we didn't get far - because in another 100' was the end of the road for wheeled vehicles!  This was about 1 mile from the trailhead (actually, there was snow on the road, but it would certainly have been easy enough to drive to the summer trailhead).  So, we needed to call it good at this point and turn around and find a place to park - which we did.  But all of this fooling around meant that we didn't get started until about 10:00 a.m. - even though we arrived closer to 9:00 a.m.  But the snowmobile folks were quite nice - this was some big event day for the Northwest Glacier Cruiser group - great, wouldn't you know that we would pick the same day to be in the same place!   dizzy.gif  rolleyes.gif  tongue.gif  Oh well, we were hopeful that they would be heading more toward Baker and the Railroad grade, rather than the lookout.  Off we headed toward the trailhead. 
End of the road for wheeled vehicles
End of the road for wheeled vehicles

The day was spectacular!  Even along the road walk we got some great views on this cloudless day!   
A glorious day to be out
A glorious day to be out

On the road we had to deal with the constant snowmobile traffic - something that was driving Gus and Izzy crazy!  We kept them on-leash until we reached the trees.   
Izzy expressing her dislike of snowmobiles
Izzy expressing her dislike of snowmobiles

As we walked along, we ran into a couple of guys who said they were going to summit Baker today!  We thought they had a bit of a late start - but lo' and behold, we would see them in a snow cat coming out as we returned to our cars.  Indeed, they had summited Baker - of course, getting a ride via snowmobile up to 9000' helps quite a bit!   wink.gif   Anyway, before long we were at the summer trailhead - and were amazed at the relatively low snow level.   
Unburied biffs
Unburied biffs

It was about 10:30 a.m. and already it was time to shed clothing.  In fact, some of us figured it was more like late spring - rather than late winter!   
Jim getting down with flesh
Jim getting down with flesh
Bob showing some skin
Bob showing some skin

Even the driver removed the legs of her pants - and had short sleeves!  cool.gif  Off we headed, on the summer trail that crosses a footbridge over the creek. 
Barb crossing creek
Barb crossing creek

We became a little route-challenged - Barb and Elle seemed pretty sure about where we needed to go and waited patiently. 
Barb and Elle and Big "B" behind
Barb and Elle and Big "B" behind

As we headed N/NW, we ran across the snowmobile meeting place - quite the event.   
The convergence of noise!
The convergence of noise!
Can you say "PARTY!"
Can you say "PARTY!"

We could see Baker ahead, but we knew we had to cross the creek and head through the trees where the summer trail switchbacks up to an upper meadow.  One thing we did notices was the incredible "scarring" on the south flank of Baker from all of the snowmobile tracks - quite the major highway running up and down the mountain.

We were still just "booting it" at this point, because the snow was relatively firm.  Once we got into the trees higher up, snowshoes seemed to help with traction and avoiding tree wells.  We would keep them on the rest of the way.
Barb climbing out of the creek
Barb climbing out of the creek
Snack break as we emerge from the trees (Elle and Izzy)
Snack break as we emerge from the trees (Elle and Izzy)
Barb and Elle scoping out our route
Barb and Elle scoping out our route
As we leave the trees, Baker in view
As we leave the trees, Baker in view
Trail Pair through the meadows
Trail Pair through the meadows

It appears that Jim K is relinquishing his pointing duties to protege Opus.
David instructing Jim on proper pointing pose
David instructing Jim on proper pointing pose

It was here that we got our first glimpse of the lookout ahead - not all that far as the crow flies, but it would be a steady 1000' up.  Elle and I took off for the direct route leading up to the ridge that goes to the lookout.  The others, opted for a more gentle route that would lead them past the tarns (that were totally snow covered).   
Elle with Gus and Izzy heading toward lookout
Elle with Gus and Izzy heading toward lookout
Reaching meadows on our way to the lookout
Reaching meadows on our way to the lookout
Rest of group below us - a few tracks
Rest of group below us - a few tracks
Lookout getting closer
Lookout getting closer
Views from the ridge leading to lookout
Views from the ridge leading to lookout

Meanwhile, Elle, Gus, Izzy and I were getting closer to the lookout - without a hint of a snowmobile. 
Our destination nears . . .
Our destination nears . . .
Looking to the east from the lookout
Looking to the east from the lookout

We arrived at the lookout in 3 hours from our start at the cars, and scouted around the inside while we waited for the others.  Before, too long, they joined us.   
Trail Pair reaching the lookout
Trail Pair reaching the lookout
Barb relaxing after getting to the lookout
Barb relaxing after getting to the lookout
Inside the lookout
Inside the lookout

Sadly, our little respite would be disrupted with the arrival of a whole gaggle of snowmobilers - yes, Tom, there were definitely more than 12 folks converging on this poor lookout - however, there were only 11 heartbeats in our group (counting the 4-legged friends).  The canine alpine protectors, Luis and Lupe, saved us with loud screeches to ward off the invaders with the noisy vehicles!  YEOW, it was loud!  winksmile.gif  In any case, our new-found friends were most accommodating and took our group pic and we took some pics of them.   
Our gang of seven at the lookout
Our gang of seven at the lookout
Our new best friends!
Our new best friends!
"Boys" parked below the lookout
"Boys" parked below the lookout

We enjoyed a few more moments at the lookout - with more snowshoers showing up (not sure if they were planning to stay overnight or not).  The views are absolutely stellar!   
Wide shot of Twin Sisters and friends
Wide shot of Twin Sisters and friends
The Twin Sisters
The Twin Sisters
Loomis across the way from us
Loomis across the way from us
Glacier from the lookout
Glacier from the lookout

We decided it was time to depart and made our way back down the ridge.
On the ridge below the lookout as we're leaving
On the ridge below the lookout as we're leaving
Our best new friends along the ridge to the lookout
Our best new friends along the ridge to the lookout

As we were leaving, a very, very low-flying helicopter zoomed by us at the lookout and headed up the slope of Baker - we lost sight of it and aren't quite sure where it was headed and why.  Someone also said that there was an Air Force jet buzzing the top of Baker as well.  Just a busy, busy day on the ol' mountain.

We got in a few glissades on the way down (thank you Jim for setting the path for me).  It's a bit brisk scooting down a slope when you're wearing shorts!   The snow had softened considerably - some of us decided to bag our snowshoes for booting it in the trees - but, before long, micro spikes were applied, helping us negotiate the steep slope back to the creek.   
David climbing out of creek crossing
David climbing out of creek crossing
I should have given Gus the other half of that burrito at lunch!
I should have given Gus the other half of that burrito at lunch!
Trail Pair crossing the creek
Trail Pair crossing the creek

The snowmobile party had been dismantled and they were on their way out.  We were still seeing folks heading in toward the lookout - so, likely someone would be staying overnight.  It would have been lovely.

We got back to the summer trailhead parking lot 
Snow stopped accumulating just in time!
Snow stopped accumulating just in time!

and made our way down the road and back to our cars.  There were hardly any trucks/trailers left.  Stats for the day:  2400' or so of gain; 8 - 9 miles roundtrip; 3 hours up; about 2 hours down.  An absolutely fabulous day in a gorgeous location!   up.gif  Great way to spend 12 hours with some special friends!   agree.gif

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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Hulksmash
Cleaning up.



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
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Hulksmash
Cleaning up.
PostSat Mar 06, 2010 9:51 pm 
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With all that snow machine traffic...postholeing should have been minimal. dizzy.gif

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"Bears couldn't care less about us....we smell bad and don't taste too good. Bugs on the other hand see us as vending machines." - WetDog

Albuterol! it's the 11th essential
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TrailPair
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PostSun Mar 07, 2010 6:49 am 
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What a beautiful day to be at Mt. Baker!  We haven't sorted through Bob's photos yet, but here are a few of mine.  We will add more later.
Barb and Suzanne, Rocky Creek
Barb and Suzanne, Rocky Creek
Steep climb in the forest
Steep climb in the forest
Black Buttes, Morovitz Meadow
Black Buttes, Morovitz Meadow
Baker from Morovitz Meadow
Baker from Morovitz Meadow
Barb and Bob the closer dots, Suzanne and Elle the tinier dots.
1 label
Barb and Bob the closer dots, Suzanne and Elle the tinier dots.
View south.
View south.
Park Butte Lookout
Park Butte Lookout
Bob and David being delayed by the scenery
Bob and David being delayed by the scenery
David and Barb
David and Barb
Bob and Luis,  Baker summit looking so close!
Bob and Luis,  Baker summit looking so close!

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This thing called work is interfering with my play
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Jim Dockery
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Jim Dockery
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PostSun Mar 07, 2010 7:41 am 
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Thanks for reminding me why I don't go there until the snow melts back so the snomos can't get going.

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Trail Angel
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Trail Angel
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PostSun Mar 07, 2010 7:50 am 
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When I did the glacier monitoring trip this summer with Peltoms we found pieces of snow mobiles alll over the glacier.
I guess he does every year.
And lots of beer cans. lots. huh.gif
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Hulksmash
Cleaning up.



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
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Location: Arlington
Hulksmash
Cleaning up.
PostSun Mar 07, 2010 8:30 am 
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Quote:
When I did the glacier monitoring trip this summer with Peltoms we found pieces of snow mobiles alll over the glacier.
I guess he does every year.
And lots of beer cans. lots.

down.gif  down.gif  down.gif  down.gif  down.gif

But i bet, if some one takes lots of pictures of the mess the organized snow mobile clubs will make a clean up effort.

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"Bears couldn't care less about us....we smell bad and don't taste too good. Bugs on the other hand see us as vending machines." - WetDog

Albuterol! it's the 11th essential
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TrailPair
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TrailPair
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PostSun Mar 07, 2010 9:17 am 
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Here are Bob's pictures:
Crossing Sulpher Creek, near the TH
Crossing Sulpher Creek, near the TH
Crossing Rocky Creek
Crossing Rocky Creek
Barb assisting K and Lupe, Rocky Creek
Barb assisting K and Lupe, Rocky Creek
Jim K, K, David and Barb E.
Jim K, K, David and Barb E.
Admiring the Black Buttes
Admiring the Black Buttes
Barb E
Barb E
Almost to the lookout
Almost to the lookout
Reflections
Reflections
David, Barb and Elle
David, Barb and Elle

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This thing called work is interfering with my play
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BarbE
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BarbE
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PostSun Mar 07, 2010 11:43 am 
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Sharing a stunning winter wonderland with a "few" (possible 50-100) exuberant and rather noisy folks was a new wilderness experience for me. dizzy.gif
Was it terrible? Nope, not at all!
Watching the snowmobilers do their stunts was pretty darn entertaining.
If only I could have hitched a ride to the top of Baker  bawl.gif
A few more pics.
the timid, and the..
the timid, and the..
...fearless
...fearless
first views
first views
the team heads up
the team heads up
snowmobile & jet tracks
snowmobile & jet tracks
Elle & SD heading for the top
Elle & SD heading for the top
Freeway to the summit
Freeway to the summit
painterly snowmobile patterns
painterly snowmobile patterns
Glacier Peak from lookout
Glacier Peak from lookout
snowmobile action @ Park Butte
snowmobile action @ Park Butte
OK views
OK views
Jim & Elle
Jim & Elle
party @ Park Butte
party @ Park Butte
tough boys...
tough boys...
... and tough girls
... and tough girls
Opus admiring untracked snow
Opus admiring untracked snow
Glissade meister Jim K
Glissade meister Jim K
SD glissade
SD glissade
down we go
down we go
my shadow
my shadow
Trail Pair, Opus & Gus
Trail Pair, Opus & Gus
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ragman and rodman
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ragman and rodman
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PostSun Mar 07, 2010 1:37 pm 
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BarbE wrote:
Elle & SD heading for the top
Elle & SD heading for the top

http://static.flickr.com

Is it really fair to be short-roped to the summit?

I'm calling for an "elevation gain review board".

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"Teanaway 65" Peaks List... a guide to hiking and scrambling in the Teanaway Area.
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



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Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostSun Mar 07, 2010 4:50 pm 
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ragman and rodman wrote:
BarbE wrote:
Elle & SD heading for the top
Elle & SD heading for the top

http://static.flickr.com

Is it really fair to be short-roped to the summit?

I'm calling for an "elevation gain review board".


tongue.gif  blah.gif  notlistening.gif

Gus is allows willing to drag me up a slope!  You're just jealous because you didn't get any views on Thursday!!!  Take the elevation gain up with Mr. Kuresman!    lol.gif  winksmile.gif   s.d.

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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aywolfpac
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aywolfpac
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PostSun Mar 07, 2010 6:25 pm 
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BarbE wrote:
painterly snowmobile patterns
painterly snowmobile patterns

I really like this one.
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RokIzGud
Cozza Frenzy



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RokIzGud
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PostSun Mar 07, 2010 6:32 pm 
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It looks like a club outing like the Mountaineers on Ingles wink.gif
Nice work  up.gif   up.gif

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North by Northwest
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Spotly
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Spotly
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PostSun Mar 07, 2010 6:39 pm 
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aywolfpac wrote:
BarbE wrote:
painterly snowmobile patterns
painterly snowmobile patterns

I really like this one.

Me too!
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Highwalker's Daughter
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Highwalker's Daughter
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PostSun Mar 07, 2010 7:39 pm 
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Timely report - hoping to get up there next Saturday.  Looks like the Rock Creek crossing won't be a big problem based on your pictures, but tons of snowmobilers isn't too appealing.  However, I've never been to the lookout in the winter and really want to see it that way so I guess I'll persevere.
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JimK
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PostSun Mar 07, 2010 8:00 pm 
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Here is a short clip from our trip.



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Hiking Northwest
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > How many snowmobiles fit into Park Butte Lookout? 03-06-10
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